Summer has arrived at Llanishen Fach Primary School. Here’s how they make the most of it
We are very lucky in having extensive grounds, and even more fortunate in having heroic staff who look for ways to utilise this good fortune to the benefit of the school community.
For many years now, we have held a regular annual ‘campout’ for our Year 4 pupils, only being suspended during the Covid restrictions. And it is because of Covid that last year, and again this year, we are playing catch-up, giving additional opportunities for pupils from other year groups to participate.
If you have ever organised a family camping trip, you will well know just how much organisation and effort goes into the simplest of overnight stays, not to mention the resulting bleary-eyed mornings after! So, imagine such a trip but multiplied by 30 children and repeated over four nights with consecutive classes. Now you can see the use of ‘heroic’, to describe our intrepid campout team, is far from hyperbole, a team who sees it simply as being ‘all in a day’s work’ here at Llanishen Fach.
This year we were fortunate to be supported by ‘Jim Bob’s Buses’, who kindly provided a camper van to ensure at least one of us got a good night’s sleep and was fresh and ready for the early morning shift.
Campouts are led by our outdoor learning team, Mrs Carter, Miss Davies and Mr Barrett, assisted and supported by a further 30+ staff who help with everything from food shopping to running evening activities and organising portable loos.
For many years Mr Gunning, a community legend, was a stalwart of our campouts with his hugely popular campfire songs; since his retirement we have managed to persuade Mr Gunning to return each year to keep alive the tradition of comic songs before bed, and this year was no exception.
During their overnight adventure with us, the pupils get to experience a number of activities. With the summer holidays not far off you might like to try some of them with your family:
Wild garlic pizza
Simply make a basic bread dough and top before cooking with a butter and garlic spread.
Pop bottle rockets
Using a bike pump and a cork, continue to pressurise a pop bottle quarter filled with water and wait for blast off.
Fallen branches found scattered through the woods on the Wenallt make den building an addictive pursuit; there is always more you can add.
Life skills need to be learnt, and there is no better way to learn than having a go yourself.
Heat the marshmallow over a camp fire and then simply sandwich between biscuits of choice (we like chocolate digestives).
Develop an interest in our British bats, take a walk at twilight on a warm summers evening and see how many you can see swooping and diving for insects.
As with everything we do, no two days are ever the same, and campout was no exception. One evening the children were surprised by the arrival of The Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir who performed for them around the campfire and were in return persuaded to join in with one of our many raucous action songs.
A very happy end to yet another magical campout. Next year we expect to be back to just two nights under canvas, which will come as a bit of a relief after this year’s four nights adventure. But be assured, we are already looking forward to it, as are our current Year 3 pupils.