As part of our Roots & Shoots Awards 2023 prize, our school won a choice of an all-expensive paid class residential trip or a class activity day at the RSPCA, Mallydams Wood Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre. Before arranging the trip, Andrea and I visited the site to view the facilities for our risk assessment and to meet with Sam Cattermole, School’s Engagement Officer, to discuss dates and plans for our actual main trip.
The site was totally amazing and we spent far longer than intended as we wandered round the grounds. Not only was there the beautiful woodland, dotted around, in between the trees were story corners with reading book washing lines, wooden outdoor stages, mud kitchens, den building, campfire areas, tree house, a bug house city, lovely winding nature trails and so much more!
After chatting for quite a while, Sam made us the extremely generous offer of both trips! She said our passion for helping nature and all the amazing things we have been able to do to encourage the children to join us in our love for all things wild, was inspiring! The only things she asked of us was that we fundraise for the RSPCA, which was our pleasure to accept.
As Year 5 were the class to take up the kind offer of the Residential Trip, they decided to pioneer the fund raising venture. Their first idea was to make and sell chocolate lollies as this could be linked to their classroom Topic on Mayan Culture. They learnt all about how important chocolate was to the Maya; they deemed chocolate the ‘Food of the Gods’. They also discovered that they worshipped the cacao tree and the cacao bean. They even had a chocolate goddess named Ixcacao who they prayed to for fertile land and successful harvests. With all this knowledge, Year 5 produced some amazing chocolate lollies – white and milk chocolate with a variety of toppings. They were then sold after school to all the children, parents and staff.
By the end of the session, they had taken £277 profit – this was not surprising as the queue was right across the playground and took half an hour to serve everyone. This was a wonderful as, with other ideas in the waiting for more fund-raising, they are off to a great start.
And to round up, here are some photos of the Year 5s enjoying their residential and having fun in the great outdoors.
Thank you to all the staff at Mallydams for making this such a wonderful experience – especially as for many of the children, this was their first time sleeping away from home!