Making friends by team building

At the start of every term, Elstree runs a team building session for its pupils in the Prep School. Split into year groups, boys and girls are tasked with exciting and imaginative challenges, that help break down barriers and make friends.  Blessed with the sunny weather, here’s what some of our Form Tutors and pupils had to say about this term’s team building experiences:

Year 3 

“Year 3 started with ‘blind walking’. Working in pairs, one of the couple had to close their eyes, while their partner guided them around the lawn. Some even managed to successfully navigate their way up a bank. Boys and girls were then asked to line up in height and alphabetical order. They needed good communication, cooperation and leadership skills for this. 

The final game was the royal march-by, which involved pupils smartening themselves up and getting in to their houses to march past the teachers and an imaginary royal family. Synchronicity and leadership was the key to the marching exercise, and South were the most impressive. It was a fun morning and great to be with such a spirited and delightful group of pupils.”

Year 4  

“Mr Attwood very kindly led our team building exercise of orienteering. We got to know the school grounds really well! Starting with various games on Bates, we then learnt about direction and the compass points. Working in teams of four, we navigated our way around the school using a map to identify various landmarks. This was an excellent introduction to this term’s Geography topic on Map Work.” 

“We did lots of running around the school, finding where the tags were placed and using the clickers,” Eva.

“I enjoyed finding the places on the map,” Dang Dang.

 “I enjoyed the north, south, east west games,” Otis.

Year 6 

“Year 6 had a very exciting morning starting with a game of Guard the Nest – 6CLP against 6EEG. The aim was to collect and deposit as many tennis balls as they could back at the team nest in a set time. After a lot of racing around Yard and much noise, it ended in a draw.  Afterwards, we had fun doing the ‘Drainpipe’ game where the two forms competed against each other to carry a tennis ball and a ping pong ball from the Bat Room, along the Pineapple Walk to the final destination on the golf tee. They were only allowed to use a couple of drainpipes, and the gradient, route and technique were all debated carefully. As the time progressed, it was very interesting to watch the teams improve their team building skills and apply more detailed tactics to transport their precious cargo. 

We then split the classes up into four smaller teams and embarked upon a rotation of mini team games which focused on working together. These were ‘Elstree favourites’  – Splat the Rat, Silent Order, Cup Flip and Newspaper Tower – all of which required different skill sets and qualities.  Our team building sessions enabled the children to meet others, to take risks, step up and step back, whilst being thoroughly engaging and great fun.”

 Year 7 

“Year 7 gathered in the Sports Hall for the ‘River of Death’. The floor became imaginary lava, and the teams had to cross it using only two crash mats and outstanding communication skills. The challenge: work at speed, chaperone blindfolded pupils or lose the right to speak.  We then moved to ‘Lower’ for a carousel of activities in mixed groups: the Three-Legged Water Race; Exotic Crisp Tasting; Human Connect Four; Suspended Rope Walking; a Blindfolded Rope Assault Course. Common themes around the challenges involved stepping up to lead, devising strategies quickly, and listening to everyone in the group. The year group showed great togetherness and the desire to listen to each other – plenty of promise for the year ahead.”

Year 8 

“Year 8 was set the task of building a raft that would ferry a small crew of brave souls around the island and back safely on dry land. Wood and barrels were acquired and assembled together with some questionable knots and lashings into a ‘raft’.  The initial dreams of proud ship-builders gently casting their creation on the treacherous Elstree waters, were dashed in mere seconds, when seemingly iron-strength lashings disintegrated and their brave sailors capsized into the chilly lake. All of this was met with great laughter from those on dry land. Whilst the rafts were shambolic, the teamwork and leadership on display was exceptional from this special group of Year 8. They have started their final year at Elstree with a bang and some happy childhood memories.”