Kirkham Grammar School
A Kirkham-based school has forged better relationships between form groups after a team-building day at the Anderton Centre in Chorley.
Kirkham Grammar School brought 95 pupils – the whole of year 10 – along to the activity centre after a shake-up of forms.
Simon Duncan, Head of Year 10 at Kirkham Grammar, said: “The pupils have been in the school for three years, but they are changing into smaller form groups. We wanted them to work together as a form, but also encourage a bit of friendly competition between the groups on the day. It worked really well.”
During the team building day, the six groups each took part in six land-based activities at the centre, ranging from the towering crate stack, climbing walls, archery and problem-solving activities, with scores allocated to each team.
Simon said: “The staff were all very friendly and approachable. Rather than a new staff member for each activity, we had a dedicated instructor who moved activities with us – and that worked really well.
“It was great to see the youngsters that you didn’t expect to get involved throw themselves into the activities, and to see the ones who were nervous beforehand flourish. The biggest positive from the day though was the relationship between the Anderton Centre staff and the pupils. They had a great manner with them.
“The teams have really gelled together and are working as much more of a team since the visit. Some have made new friends as a result of the day.”
Simon said the centre was less than an hour away from the school and the pricing was also competitive.
He added: “The centre sent us regular emails and details in the lead up to the day so we knew what to expect when we arrived.
“The whole day was really positive and very worthwhile. We have already booked again for next year.”
Castle Hill St Philip’s Primary School
A five-night residential trip to an activity centre has helped to build relationships and trust between pupils and staff at Castle Hill St Philip’s Primary School in Wigan.
For the last eight years pupils at the school have attended the Anderton Centre in Chorley at the start of Year 6 as an icebreaker and team building opportunity
Catherine Wilcock, Year 6 Class Teacher, said: “It’s a great opportunity to get to know each other and to bond. Year 6 has many challenges and the challenges they face at the activity centre really set them up for year 6.
“During the visit, you get to see how children cope when they are faced with challenges and learn how to support each individual.”
Each year between 20-30 pupils attend and the days are packed with activities such as orienteering, abseiling, canoeing, raft building, low ropes obstacle, crate stack, archery, leap of faith and team outdoor games.
Catherine said: “The programme is flexible and the range of activities is excellent. It develops lots of different skills.
“The best bit is watching the children overcome their fears and achieve goals they didn’t think were possible. They are like one big happy family by the end of the stay and they had amazing experience.
“The children also see the staff as ‘humans’ rather than just their scary teachers and this breaks down barriers and builds trust.”
The Anderton Centre’s staff were commended for the rapport they built with the pupils.
“The instructors are good at controlling groups of children. Their behaviour management is impeccable and they have a great sense of humour.
“The way they handle the children is incredible and nothing is a problem for them. They are excellent role models.”
Catherine added: “The Anderton Centre is wonderful value for money in terms of the choice of activities, and the fantastic food. The whole experience is fantastic.
“The rooms are spotless, the beds are warm and comfortable and it has everything you need.
“The centre has everything we need and the staff are amazing. We can’t fault them. They go above and beyond. There’s no other centre we would consider.