Team building challenge

What a fun morning everyone had at this term’s team building session, despite the unexpected downpour!

The girls and boys were split into year groups led by a number of staff.  Whilst the activities were aimed to challenge and excite, they were also included to help break down barriers after a long summer holiday, and encourage new friendships at the start of the academic year.

 Here is a summary from our form tutors and pupils about the morning:

 Year 3 – based on the Games Fields

It was lovely to witness the Year 3s going outdoors for some team building games, designed to help them get acquainted with each other and for them to have some fun in the process.  .

We were joined this year by Mrs Sanford who introduced a couple of new and exciting games to the children. One of them involved getting their team across the shark-infested waters using hoops and plenty of teamwork, communication and cooperation!  They then had to pass the hoop around their circle without breaking the link. Another challenge we gave the children, was to make up a simple dance routine in their Houses. The dance routine from Iris, McKenzie and Luca (South) was particularly spectacular.

There were lots of smiles and laughs and it was evident that this is a very kind, friendly and switched-on year group.

 Year 4 – Based around Bates

Year 4 did Orienteering around the school with Mr Attwood, Miss Boyd and Mrs Lavoipierre. Their main checkpoint was down on Bates and the students had to run to checkpoints all around the school such as Hewitt Pavilion, the Sports Hall and the Gruffalo Bridge. They learnt about compass points and directions and they had to use a map to identify various landmarks around the school.  They all had a good run around the school grounds and there were lots of laughs and smiles from everyone despite the weather.

Year 5 – Based by Low Ropes Course

Year 5 battled the rain to work together in three different challenges. The aim of the first challenge was to run a ball along two pieces of guttering continually for 400 yards without dropping the ball along the way. The two classes worked well together and discovered that golf balls were far trickier to use than tennis balls! For their second challenge, the children had to create a newspaper cradle for an egg followed by transporting the egg safely around the low ropes course. Each team member was only allowed to take two steps before passing the egg on. A few brave souls attempted to crawl along the dark, wet and muddy tunnel with their precious egg. Overall, their favourite challenge was the last one which involved the children attempting to tap a balloon around the obstacle course without popping it. All of Year 5 were super sports and they all thoroughly enjoyed their morning.

 Year 6 – based around Yard/front Garden

Year 6 enjoyed a range of challenges as a Form, a House and in mixed groups. Mr McKendrick (Gapper) did the opening with the “feet off the ground” challenge which required us doing some press ups! Mr Morris led the “Form order” challenge with various tasks including birthdate, third letter in our surname and peg numbers order in total silence, believe it or not we did just this and it worked! For Mr Williams’ “shrinking ship” challenge, the pupils worked very well together as a whole year group and shared ideas to ensure they got their strategies right. Remaining calm was key and most importantly listening to each other!

The pupils were then ready for their next stage “the minefield challenge”, full of obstacles as you can imagine and yes,  the children were blindfolded and then guided through by a peer following their instructions to avoid touching obstacles. It required a lot of patience and eventually the instructions got clearer. Once they had their first run through, Mr Morris and Mr Williams did the challenge too guided by one of of the pupils. The children were without a doubt “equally as brilliant as each other” which led us to win 15 points for their respective House. 

Later on, the pupils moved onto Madame Simonin’s challenge.  They were allocated to mixed groups and given different French sentences between 6 to 8 words.  They then had to agree on how to say it, practise, perform and translate. This then led to the Wool shape challenge, ranging from shapes to writing words;  it required some thinking and agreement to how best to create them. Finally, they did a relay carrying an envelope which contained a quiz question. The Year group did very well getting into the spirit so well despite the rainy start.  

 Year 7 – based in the Sports Hall/Lower

Year 7 gathered in the Sports Hall for the River of Death… The floor is lava – cross it with two crash mats and a Form Group for a team. The challenge: work at speed, even chaperoning blindfolded pupils or losing the right to speak! The forms had to collaborate with a variety of communication styles.

The pupils then moved to Lower for a carousel of activities in mixed groups: the Three-Legged Water Race; Exotic Crisp Tasting; Human Connect Four; 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 desire to listen to each other – plenty of promise for the year ahead!

Year 8 – based in Park

The Year 8 team building was a great spectacle to behold! The challenge was, in teams, to create a way of transporting safely some precious cargo (three raw eggs) from point A to B.  As they were based in Park, the materials available to the pupils included sticks, leaves and foliage as well as a limited supply of string and tape. There were certain rules in place, such as keeping the eggs 2ft from the carriers and not being allowed to touch the eggs or use clothing which curtailed their designs. The contraptions ranged from complex to the inspired and simple. After the construction period, the timed race was on. Teams set off at intervals and had to complete the course without incurring penalties. Winners will be announced and justly rewarded in the next Assembly!  The pupils did themselves proud and it was enormous fun to do and watch – well done Year 8!

What did the children think?

My favourite task was the minefield one as it was all about trusting your team mate and following their instructions. Mila 

I enjoyed the “feet off the ground challenge” as you needed to keep still when someone holds you although you wobble at times. Casper 

The shrinking ship challenge with the rope tested our communication and we helped each other a lot, which was very nice. Kate  

I really liked the wool activity as it was very challenging –  we had to work together and speak to one another. The French sentence task was great to test your knowledge and we worked together for the pronunciation and the meaning. Isla 

Today challenged our brain.  It made us share our ideas with other people to decide what we want to do and to be more helpful to the team. Czedale 

I enjoyed the minefield activity when we were blindfolded and also helping other people.  Harry C 

I enjoyed the “form order” challenge because it made you think –  and the silent one was really challenging.  Sophie 

The minefield challenge was great as you had to rely on other pupils to let you through it and trust them to not hit obstacles.  Seb B 

A huge thank you to everyone involved in running the team building morning.  There were certainly lots of tired but happy children at lunchtime!