School may be finished in the classroom, but for a group of Y7 and Y8 boys, school continued in the forest – and what a fabulous time they have had.

The three-day holiday course was held at the school’s nature reserve in Ickwell, which aimed to teach the boys basic skills and safety in fire lighting, tool use, wood craft and cooking over an open fire.

The boys worked in teams to make their own mallets, using bow saws and billhooks. They then used the mallets to build their own survival shelters.

Lunch meant roasting popcorn kernels over an open fire followed by cheese toasties and s’mores, and nothing was quite so satisfying as eating them while chilling out in survival shelters they had built themselves. One boy came up with the ingenious idea of wearing his hoody back to front, thus providing a handy popcorn holder! While others used the icing sugar as face paint.

By day three, the boys were working independently; persevering and working together to hone their newly-learnt, invaluable outdoor skills.

Here is what some of the boys had to say:

“Thank you for an amazing trip, I can’t wait to do it again next summer.”

“My favourite activity was making bows as we were allowed to use them in the safety area.”

“I relax when I’m outside”

“I was good at persevering when making an elder whistle.”

“I loved making the mallet as there was a lot of teamwork required.”

 “I liked eating s’mores every day.”

“I loved whittling because it was really cool making things out of a solid bit of wood.”

“I learnt to make popcorn and toast sandwiches over the fire.”

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