Leeson House

On the 26th April, our Year 5 class set off on their first residential trip to Leeson House. Here is their diary of the trip:

  • Leeson House 2017

“Our first bit of excitement was whilst we were on the coach. We were all very busy chatting and talking about what we would be doing over the first few days, that we didn’t realise we were about to drive on the chain ferry at Sandbanks to take us over to Purbecks. Some of us had never been on a ferry before! If Miss Thomas hadn’t told us, we would never have known we were even on the ferry as we couldn’t feel it moving at all!

“Once we arrived, dropped off our suitcases and had been introduced to Amelia, our group leader for the next few days, we set off on our first walk. We were all wearing many layers which we kept taking off and putting back on again for the next few hours! After about an hour walking, we arrived at the top of a very steep hill that would take us down to Dancing Ledge. The view was incredible and we were all very excited to get to the bottom so that we could eat our lunch! Miss Thomas was also pleased as she’d already heard, “When are we going to be eating lunch?” at least 30 times!!

“We had to walk in single file an arm’s length apart down the hill. It was extremely steep and took us about 20 minutes to get all the way to the bottom, which included navigating our way down some very steep and bumpy steps. We stayed down on Dancing Ledge for at least an hour and after our lunch, we had an opportunity to look for fossils. Some of us were lucky enough to find a rock with a fossil in. Whilst we were looking for fossils, Amelia took us in groups to show us the quarry below us.

“Next, we picked up our bags ready to head back to Leeson House. It was at this point that we realised we were going to have get back to the top of the hill and it was not going to be easy!!!!  We were all so relieved to reach the top, but also exhausted, so we collapsed on the grass! We were pleased that the rest of the walk back was relatively flat! Throughout the walk, Amelia told us many stories, lots about smugglers and about the places where we were.

“On the walk back to Leeson House, the next question that Miss Thomas was getting fed up of hearing was, ‘when do we find out who’s in our room’? Luckily, once we arrived back and had been to the toilet (some of us had been desperate for at least an hour and hadn’t been able to go) we found out the answer.

“After being shown to our rooms and having a fire drill, we had a little bit of time with our friends before dinner. Dinner was delicious and we definitely didn’t go hungry! We all sat in a dining hall with another school. After dinner was the interesting part, which was unpacking and making our beds! Some of us did this very easily. Others of us made quite a mess of it! We enjoyed team building games before hot chocolate and bed. This was great fun. There were 12 different games for us to do. About half an hour before the end, it started to rain. It didn’t dampen our spirits and actually made some of the games more fun! The teachers all hid under the tree. We didn’t mind getting wet as we headed inside for hot chocolate, followed by showers.

“Bedtime – the part that the teachers were dreading!! Despite what we might have come home and said about not getting to sleep until at least 2 o’clock in the morning, we were all asleep by just after 10.30 and we slept until about 6 o’clock, when we decided to make lots of noise. This resulted in us getting told off by Miss Thomas!

“On Thursday morning, Mrs Clifford joined us and we were driven to Durlston Country Park. We had a couple of hours to explore Durlston, including looking at The Globe, visiting the Visitor Centre and walking along the timeline. The timeline was incredible. It started 4.54 billion years ago, when the Earth was made and we walked right up to a huge stone at the end, which represented present day. We couldn’t believe it at the end when we found out that for the whole distance we had walked, humans had only been around for a quarter of a millimetre!

“We spent some time just looking at the view and seeing what we could see. Mr Rickard, Mrs Hills and a few children spotted a peregrine falcon. After lunch, we had some spare time before Amelia met us. We spent this running around and rolling down hills. I don’t think we realised that we were going to be spending another 8 hours outside, also running around!

“On the walk back to Leeson we had to walk through a field that had some cows in it. We had to walk in a straight line in silence through the field. When we got across the stile at the end of the field, Miss Thomas said that we should walk through another field with cows in, as she enjoyed the silence!! We had a couple of hours free time when we arrived back at Leeson House. We spent this time running around, exploring and playing handball as Mr Rickard had brought the equipment with him.

“After dinner, we went back outside for orienteering. Miss Thomas explained to us what we had to do and gave us the map and a clipboard with our sheet to fill in. We then spent the next hour and a half running around the grounds of Leeson House trying to find the symbols. It became even more fun when it started to get a bit darker and we were allowed to use a torch! Yasmine, Daisy and Emma were the winners and the only ones who managed to complete all three sheets. George, Jack and Jayden were very close behind.

“It was now time for hot chocolate, showers and bed. It is safe to say that we were all shattered from all the exercise that day. To the relief of the teachers, we were all fast asleep (and some of us snoring!) by 10 o’clock. We stayed asleep till about 7 o’clock. As soon as we woke up, we had to pack everything as we had to be out of our rooms by 8.15 for breakfast. We are pleased to report, and I’m sure our parents will be pleased to hear, that we all managed to pack our own suitcases, organise our things for the day, hoover our rooms and not lose anything, all before breakfast!

“For our last morning, we went pond dipping. We were given keys to look at to help us identify different animals found in the pond. One person from each group at a time had a turn pond dipping. They then took their nets to their groups and emptied the contents into a container filled with pond water. We looked carefully in the water for the creatures and moved them into another container. We had to identify what we had caught. Harry, Giles and Charlie all caught small newts. Lucy caught a rare great crested newt. We had a great time pond dipping.

“Our final activity was a geology workshop. For this, we were in a classroom and we had lots of different activities to do involving ordering, identifying and touching different rocks. Sadly, our time at Leeson House had now come to an end and we got on the coach to come back home. We had so much fun and loved our trip.”

Please take a look at our Year 5 Class Page to see what else we’ve been doing.