I am starting to run out of superlatives. It was just another fun day for Year 8. Joyfully our journey to Cardiff was only an hour. The rafting was just fantastic. Gorge walking had always been my number one, but this topped it. Every run was different, exciting, unpredictable and scream-out-loud fun. There was also sit on kayaking, which turned into a festival of capsizing, boarding other people’s vessel and seeing how many people could get on an inflatable before it flipped. The sky in the welsh capital was filled with laughter and screams of delight. It was so lovely to watch, though teachers were not exempt from attack either! We were back to school in good time for another outdoor food feast from Siebert and A-G. On to the final day and a coach to Dolygaer. Please note an 1830 return, traffic permitting.
Another fantastic day in Wales. The coast path to Rhossili is just beautiful and the walk just challenging enough. Everyone had an invigorating swim at the beach on arrival. Evening food went well with one group at a pub on The Gower and another at an Italian restaurant on the seafront in Mumbles. Bellissimo! Rafting and kayaking in Cardiff tomorrow.
It was a long day, but a really super day. The children rose to the challenges posed by the gorge and the caves. The gorge was even more beautiful than I recalled and we had a hoot, jumping in the river and at one point crawling through a waterfall. Many in the caves were intrepid, happy to squeeze through small holes and to push themselves. Aberavon beach was lovely in between. The hotel is comfy and a big breakfast awaits before the glorious coastal walk to Rhossili today.
Year 8 spent a lovely day at Rest Bay in Porthcawl yesterday. The weather was very kind and we only hit the rain on our return journey as we passed Bristol. Sea conditions were great with plenty of waves to keep all amused. They were probably the best bunch of Year 8 surfers yet with plenty standing up by the end. We then had time for a play on the beach after lunch and a chance for an ice-cream. Journeys very easy on the coach with a film both ways. We returned to school in time for a BBQ cooked up by Mr Siebert and Mr A-G. Today we are off to the gorge, the caves and Aberavon beach.
We were extremely honoured and proud to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to officially open The Hoyland, our new teaching and learning centre, named after our former headmaster, Philip Hoyland and his wife Henrietta.
Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed by Headmaster, Neal Bailey and his wife Nicola, and Deputy Headmaster, Colin Acheson-Gray. They were also accompanied on the visit by the Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, and Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Brigadier Dennis Blease.
The weather could not dampen our spirits as the whole school waited to greet Their Royal Highnesses, as they made their way down to The Hoyland, where they were met by Mr and Mrs Hoyland. Once in The Hoyland, Their Royal Highnesses witnessed children in Middle School rehearsing for the afternoon’s poetry competition, and chatted to children and teachers in each of the classrooms.
Mr Hoyland thanked Their Royal Highnesses for very kindly agreeing to open The Hoyland, and after the unveiling of the plaque, he rang the new Middle School bell, much to everyone’s great delight!
Over a cup of tea in the Drawing Room, Their Royal Highnesses were introduced to the Chairman of Governors, Robin Badham-Thornhill; Vice-Chairman, Jim Campbell; architect, Ingrid Petit, and the school’s Senior Leadership Team.
Before leaving, the youngest child in the school presented a posy of flowers to The Duchess of Cornwall to thank Their Royal Highnesses for their visit.
This was an extremely special occasion and a great moment in the history of the school, and will be remembered by us all for a very long time.
Many congratulations to Cassian L, whose self-portrait has been selected for the Royal Academy of Art’s online Young Artists Summer Exhibition. There were over 33,000 entries in this very prestigious event, so this is an amazing achievement.
Cassian wrote about his portrait: “This is a mixed media self-portrait based on the RA ideas for lockdown art. During lockdown I have not only loved creating art, but also I have loved getting lost in a story. The red on my face portrays how intense and passionate I am about reading.”
From 11am on Friday to 11am on Saturday, the whole school (from Nursery to Year 8 and staff) ran a marathon relay, to raise funds for the Shonda Project. The younger members of the school did their bit on Friday and then the boarders took over during the night, being woken dorm by dorm to do their stint, and when the boarders were getting their well-earned sleep, the staff took over, with Mr Bailey and Mr Newcome clocking up full marathons each over the 24 hours!
The atmosphere was amazing, this will definitely be one of those Pinewood events the children will remember for years to come. Well done to everyone who took part, we are very proud of you all!
The aim was to raise money to buy much-needed books for our link school, St John’s in Shonda, Kenya, but we are so thrilled that this amount has been easily surpassed, enabling us also to pay a teacher’s salary and give support for other projects they desperately need help with. If you would like to support us and the Shonda Project, please click here for the link to our fundraising page. Thank you!