On Wednesday 15th May, Year 5 went on a two night residential field-trip to Leeson House near Swanage. Situated amidst beautiful countryside in the picturesque village of Langton Matravers, Leeson House is an old country house with large grounds, and lies only a few miles from the rugged Purbeck coastline. It was the ideal base for learning about the local area, including its history, geology and wildlife.
On the first day, the children explored the local environment with a walk from Leeson House to Dancing Ledge, a place renowned for its role in smuggling and shipwrecks. On route they stopped at Spyway Barn, an old barn once used by smugglers to stash their contraband, and ate lunch. They returned to Leeson via the village centre where they visited the local church and graveyard and were wowed with stories about the village’s sometimes murky past.
On the second day, the group visited Durlston Country Park and were given a guided tour by one of the park rangers. He taught them all about the animal and plant-life in the area, and pointed out some incredibly well-preserved fossils including dinosaur footprints and sharks fins. We were fortunate enough to be in the park when a pod of Dolphins was crossing the bay. Some of the children thought they caught a glimpse of the pod skimming playfully across the horizon (although others were more sceptical!!)
On day three, the children enjoyed a geology workshop where they learned about the underlying rocks of the Purbecks and how they were formed. They also got to handle and classify various fossil samples according to different criteria. The final activity was orienteering in the house grounds. For this the children had to use maps to locate special markers dotted around the area.
All in all, it was a very rewarding and memorable three days. The group learned a lot, had fun and really supported each other.