School spies opportunity for a code cracking adventure

The name’s View, Oak View.

Pupils from the Winsford primary school are ready for the secret service after spending three days learning spy skills in the Peak District.

The budding Bonds cracked codes, abseiled from bridges and scaled rock faces as part of an education residential stay in the Buxton countryside.

And Teacher Amy Richardson said they were stirred, not shaken, by the exhilarating experience.

It was fantastic, and really captured their imaginations,” she said.

The children got into the roles with such enthusiasm and I was very proud of what they achieved.

Some of the tasks were really difficult but it was brilliant for their confidence and they all really pushed themselves.”

The venue was Ravenstor, a National Trust country house, and the aim was to teach the excited children a new range of skills while enjoying the opportunity to get outdoors and active.

The Year 5 pupils were called upon to navigate their way across challenging terrain in a pitch-black orienteering adventure, use teamwork to build rafts and sail on the chilly waters.

Headteacher Fiona Rimmer says it’s important the school is able to open up new experiences and opportunities to children in addition to the regular curriculum.

She added: “As well as getting the results in the classroom we’re able to provide other ways of delivering our vision of opening children’s eyes to a world of possibility.

By approaching learning in this holistic way we see them flourish in confidence and ability in all areas and, ultimately, improve their life chances in the future.”

The Whitby’s Lane school is part of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), and shares resources and experience with several other schools including Delamere Academy, near Northwich, and St Martin’s Academy, at Chester.

This, along with help from a bursary fund from the Timpson Foundation has seen it go from strength-to-strength since joining the Trust in 2014.

Part of the reason behind Oak View’s success is an 8.30am start time for lessons, and a wide range of new activities for children at the end of the school day.

After-school clubs include everything from yoga – to help children to relax and meditate – through to a variety sports and a ‘thinking club’ – aimed at broadening children’s awareness of the world.