Day 1 - Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds
Well, after a slightly delayed start to the journey, we eventually got on our way! It was an uneventful journey to the Royal Armouries, and after a well needed lunch break we split into two groups to enjoy the museum.
This evening, after a lovely meal of lasagne and chips (followed by lemon tart) we all enjoyed a stroll on the beach. The pebbles provided the entertainment, with some children building towers and others holding their own version of a 'shot put' contest. There were quite a few soggy feet by the time we left! This group of boys were particularly proud of their creation, which was undoubtedly the largest on the beach.
Day 2 - The Great Orme Copper Mine
Today we made our way to the top of The Great Orme. We were first in the queue for the tram ride up, and enjoyed wonderful views of LLandudno on the way up. At the top, the children enjoyed a talk by the ranger, which included learning about the native fauna and flora and hunting for fossils.
In the afternoon, we visited the Bronze Age Copper Mine. A number of children found themselves facing personal fears, but all made it through the mine unscathed. They were then encouraged to burn off any remaining energy in the play park.
Day 3 - Electric Mountain and Slate Museum
Our first stop today was at Electric Mountain. The journey into the area provided us with some stunning scenery, with mountains towering above blue-green lakes that sparkled in the beautiful May sunshine. The morning consisted of two activities, the main one being a tour of the power station deep within the mountain. The children were amazed by the sheer size of the station and how quickly it could generate electricity when needed. They were equally impressed with the very flattering hair nets they were asked to wear!!! While one group headed deep into the mountain, the other group worked in small teams and we saw some brilliant teamwork to create motorised Lego vehicles.
After leaving Electric Mountain, we headed onto the neighbouring slate museum, where the children enjoyed lunch before investigating the exhibits. They watched a farrier at work, and learned about how slate is mined and split.
And to end the day... some fun and games!
Day 4 - Welsh Mountain Zoo
We had a lovely start to the day - during breakfast we all sang Happy Birthday to our two birthday boys - in Spanish!
Yet again the sun was shining on us this morning as we set off for the zoo. The children were very excited! We had a fabulous day looking at and learning about all the different animals, in particular the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. Before meeting one of the creatures, the children showed off their knowledge of rainforests and the impact that human activity is having on this very important ecosystem. Some of them then held the giant insect, while others settled with a quick stroke. One or two stayed well clear - possibly the result of finding out that this species vomits on rotting waste before mashing it up and consuming it!!! I have to say, who can blame them?
Day 5 - Evacuation day!
Our final day arrived much too soon! Many of the children needed a gentle shake this morning to wake them, but they were all looking forward to heading home and seeing loved ones (and undoubtedly X-Boxes, Playstations and TVs too). It was a busy start to the day, with the children packing their bags and sorting out their laundry, but they all did a brilliant job! We only found two items in total when inspecting the rooms - a great effort.
Before leaving lovely Llandudno, we took advantage of an open-top bus tour around the town and surrounding areas. We passed Conwy Castle and got an alternative view of The Great Orme. We then got a few last minute snaps before boarding our coach for the journey home. You'll see fewer smiles in these than in the photos from earlier in the week! Although we were sad to leave, we have brought home some great memories.
I have to say, I have been on many residential trips in my previous schools, but my first experience of the 'Edward Richardson Resi' was brilliant! This is down to Mr Baldock's fantastic organisation, the care, compassion and patience shown by all staff, a coach driver who joined in and took real care of us all, and the enthusiasm of a truly wonderful group of youngsters. We have received so many compliments: from members of the public, from tour leaders and from hotel staff. The children were wonderful ambassadors for our school and a credit to their parents and carers.
We have already starting thinking about next year's residential trip. Look out for a letter coming home soon!