Willersley 2023 – Thursday

This week is all about making great friendships

Willersley 2023


We don't just do activities in the daytime - they keep us working here right into the night. Last night we were doing night time axe throwing and fencing. But keeping busy helps to make sure we make the most of every minute - and we sleep well!

Fencing & Axe throwing!

Via Ferrati

Can you imagine climbing, but instead of going upwards you go along the cliff wall? That's Via Ferrati - and it takes a lot of skill, patience and determination. But we all loved it!

It may look like we're just on holiday...

but in fact we're just having endless learning experiences. We're learning how to communicate. We're learning how to face our fears. We're learning how to help one another, and how to listen - not just to our instructors but also (and more importantly perhaps) to our peers. Our learning covers all subjects - science (fires, gravity), physical education, maths (problem solving), English... Of course the holiday is great in itself, but the fact that we're also learning such valuable skills is tremendous!

Our Comments

Willersley 2023 – Wednesday

Willersley 2023


What an amazing day. We have done more rifles and archery, some low ropes and climbing, along with zip wires and aero ball and initiative exercises. We've had a few moments of wet weather and it can also be a bit chilly but there's nothing can spoil the amazing fun that we're having.

Archery & Rifles

We all got chance to work on our aim today - outside with archery and then inside with rifles. Not only do you have to master holding the equipment but we also had to learn to make corrections to our aim. If the first arrow doesn't hit the target, how do we correct our stance to get a better result the next time?

Overcoming Fear

Just going away from home for a full week was the first test - even if we've done it before there's always some anxiety, and even if we absolutely love the chance to experience so much, we can't help but miss home. Then there's the activities themselves. For some of us it's the water activities, or climbing, or zip wire - but we all find ways to get over the nerves. Part of the strength comes in getting on so well as a team. We all help each other along and give moral encouragement.

Our Comments

Willersley 2023 – Tuesday

Willersley 2023


Today we have been very busy. Luckily we start each day with a hearty breakfast as we get hungry very quickly. Between, canoeing, initiative exercises, kayaking and archery - we do so much it's hard to take a breath!

Initiative Exercises and Archery

Today we did initiative exercises where we really learned the value of team work and good communication. We also did archery - here it is very different. You have to be vigilant and rely on yourself - you have to follow the safety rules carefully and then think about how to correct your aim to get a better result.

We love it here

Can you imagine? Here we are in a real life castle - sleeping and eating in it? It's wonderful. Of course we miss all our families and our friends, but really we're so busy and we have so many opportunities that there isn't much time for missing home. If we're not learning new skills or bonding with each other, we're probably eating or sleeping!

Our Comments

Willersley 2023 – Monday

Willersley Castle 2023!


We set off at just before lunch today- bright eyed and full of smiles. Some of us had packed what looked like our whole bedrooms - let's see if we actually use everything we've brought!

And we're off!

There’s no resting when we’re on residential at Willersley Castle – no sooner had we arrived than we got given our schedules for the day. Once we’d had our orientation talk, checked out our rooms and unpacked (in a fashion), we were straight into our activities. Miss Halstead has an iWatch and she’d closed all her rings in record time today!

Mrs Robinson’s group (Group 7) did Low Ropes and Miss Halstead’s group (Group 8) did the Blind trail. It was really good fun – you have to really have faith in each other for both the activities. In the low ropes we give each other confidence and tips, and in the Blind Trail we rely on each other to get around the obstacles without hurting ourselves.

For this evening we have eating (very important) and Manor Olympics on the agenda.

Low Ropes

On the low ropes we worked in pairs, helping each other to master the skills. It may not look high but it is still a little nerve racking and we have to really listen to each other to make sure we don't fall.

Blind Trail

Well obviously we're not actually blind, but being blindfolded like this does several things. It makes us appreciate how those who struggle to see have such a challenge in their day to day lives. Secondly, it makes us think about our other senses. When we cannot use our eyes we have to use other senses to aid ourselves in getting around. In particularly our hearing and touch. And finally, we realised how important it is to have others to help us - and how clearly we need to communicate.
Often we talk with our hands, or make other gestures - but when people cannot see we have to make sure that our words are clear and accurate.