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Sonning Common Primary School


Longer versions of the articles in the December 2023-January 2024 magazine

Woodlands is a school trip that Sonning Common Primary School organises for children in their final year at the school. The top of the year gets super excited to spend an adventurous week away from home. This year I was lucky enough to go and I had the best time.

When we got there, we made our beds ourselves (which was not my favourite part), but it was about independence. Then we went into are groups on the first day and we did games.

The next day we were all ready to start the first activity. Before that we had breakfast and there were so many options from amazing cereal to delicious pancakes. Then it was time to start the first activity. My group explored the cave first. It’s a long walk but so worth it. There are spiders, moths, and if you are lucky, bats. Unless you turn your head torches on, it’s pitch black. Overall, the cave was an amazing experience.

After, I did canoe which was much fun. It did take a bit of time to get the hang of. Some people’s canoes capsized (including mine), but we got wet at the end anyway.

Next, we did high ropes, which also included a climbing wall. The high ropes were very high up in the tree, so it was a bit scary. There was even a mini zip line in the middle of the high ropes course. The climbing wall in my opinion was better than the high ropes. When you abseil down it is a lot of fun and it feels like you are flying.

Finally, I did mountain climbing, which I only had half a day to do. The walk hurt your legs but when you get up high the view is beautiful. Sliding down on your knees is so much fun.

After all I’ve explained, you can tell Woodlands is an adventurous, fun place.

You can learn loads of new skills you never knew you needed.

by Elsa

After a fun but tedious coach trip we finally made it to woodlands. The main house was big enough to accommodate 20,000 penguins inside and the garden could probably fit 3 times the penguins! The staff were exhausted by the time they got there but they carried on with a great attitude for the rest of the day. We did some teamwork activities in our activity groups and then we had some dinner. After a delicious dinner we did some photo orienteering in the grounds to get to know the place. After a long day we all went up to our dorms and had some beauty sleep.

Every morning, lunch and dinner, the food was something different. Our personal favourites were the American pancakes, a tuna mayo roll, and for dinner the chicken curry, which was a tiny bit spicy.

Over the next few days, we did caving, canoeing and high ropes. We loved all the activities, but our favourite was caving. On the last day we had only until 14:30 to do our activity so most of the groups did a mountain walk and came back earlier than planned so we could load the van with all of our bags, let out the last of our energy (which wasn’t much at that point), and have one last snack which was a Penguin, sausage roll and a bag of mini cheddars. When the last group got back from their activity, we all got on the coach and headed back home.

When we got into Reading, everyone cheered and when we got into Sonning Common everyone cheered even louder and the bus driver told us to keep the noise down so he could focus!

When we got back everyone was very tired and went home with their families and had some rest.

by Elsie and Sophie

As I got off the coach, I carried my suitcase up the long back stairs. Then we met our instructor, Mark. We ate our packed lunches and worked on our teamwork. We jumped across tyres and even transported bolts to a tub. In the evening we did orienteering.

On Tuesday, we went to the dark vicious caves. As we were wandering through the caves, we came up to a narrow dark hole. Our instructor told us to go through. It was as small as an atom. We also went through a cheese grater. Then we went back to the Woodlands site.

On Wednesday, we did ‘careful’ canoeing. We carried all six canoes to the mooring site. We got in the boats and we went down the river for about an hour. We had lunch and then it was time to go back to the Woodlands site.

Thursday was climbing. I climbed the high ropes course with ease, then it was time for the zipline! As I flew through the air, Mark took a photo of me. Then we did rock climbing and I got to the top.

Friday, we did mountain walking. We climbed to the top of the mountain and took a photo. Then we got to slide down the mountain. After that, we got the coach back to England. I was home.

by Oli

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