Category Archives: Pinewood Adventure

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 5


We split into two groups, with one half having another chance to go white-water rafting and the other half preparing their Pinewood Fine Dining dishes. After a lovely lunch – the staff were unfortunate enough to have to sit outside! – the groups swapped over. Children are now preparing their curtain call performances and writing in their diaries. Tomorrow we head home…

We woke up (obviously) and had a stroll up to the top of the hill. Most of us picked a one euro pain au chocolat or croissant and after breakfast we headed up to our second time of whitewater rafting. As we all boarded the raft we knew how stupendously fun this could be, which it was. But this time, we had extra stops for swimming and jumps. After a great lunch, as per usual, we headed up to la fromagerie (smelly shop) and le supermarché (lots-of-food shop). We made a basic, but delicious (not) supper. Then in the afternoon heat we headed up to our swimming spot up-river. The sweltering heat left as the cool flow of the Salat river hit us! This trip simply sums up Pinewood – not over the top, but UNFORGETTABLE!

Ed Hartley

I woke up later than usual after a long, beautiful day yesterday. I then did yoga to loosen up my tense muscles after the walk up the mountain. After a refreshing yoga session, it was time to do the last sport of the trip: whitewater rafting. I was in a group with different people and a different instructor. We went into the freezing water – even colder than last time, as the intense heat was melting the snow from the mountain. Our instructor (David) made the trip such fun as he made us do activities, such as headstands, running around the edge of the boat and then capsizing it. Then it was time for the weir – the water was too shallow to go over on the boat, so we had to jump off it and it was the highlight of my journey. After whitewater rafting, it was time for cooking. Our group, Davidoff, was to make a starter and a pudding. Mason, Kenny, Oscar and I were to make the starter and I thought that, personally, ours was the best and definitely the most neatly presented! (we’ll wait and see – SD) After that, it was time for the last dip in the river. After a refreshing dip in the river it was time for curtain call practice. Then we gave thanks to the amazing people who looked after us and provided amazing food. This trip has been unforgettable and a blast, it also sums up Pinewood – amazing, daring, pushing and most definitely unforgettable!

Charlotte Hannon

For more photos from Day 5 and the whole trip, please go to the Photo Galleries.

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 4


Today was the day of the big walk!

Today was a little different. As normal, wake up was at 7.30, followed by a cold, yet refreshing walk in the village. Today, I bought a pain au chocolat for breakfast, homemade and very, very delicious. I don’t know how the French can make such wonderful pastries, but I sure can’t. After that good start, we travelled on the bus for half an hour to start the walk. We were to walk 25km up the mountains and down to the hostel without the bus! For the first three hours the walk was fairly enjoyable, in fact I enjoyed every second of it. The bees buzzed and the trees hummed with the breeze and everything was absolutely stunning and wonderful at the same time! We stopped by an enchanting crystal blue lake, which was extraordinarily hypnotic. The fish were very happy to have such a lovely home. After our well-made packed lunch, there was a two hour brutal climb, that was very challenging. At times I couldn’t breathe amongst the sweat and dirt in my throat, but, at last, we reached the top – not in my entire life have I ever been so happy to sit down! Also, the view from the mountain was better than the snowy Alps! It was true beauty… 3 hours later, I am sitting here writing this; the walk down was nearly as hard as the walk up. My feet killed and my groin rubbed and my legs itched with a rash. However, this was an awesome day, full of pain and beauty. I will never forget this.

Max Moseley

Today was the day of the much anticipated 25km walk. We woke up full of dread and went for a short intro walk to test out our boots. After the walk, we walked down from the hill and bought a sweet treat from the boulangerie. We ate a huge breakfast, which was very much needed and then we were off. We started the walk at about 10 and eventually arrived back at 6pm! I have to say that the only thing that kept me going up those leg-killing hills was the scenery, which was beautiful! A couple of hours later we ate lunch at a lake that looked so nice that I wanted to jump in it! We started walking and after another hour it was time for the descent. Three hours later we were back at the hostel; soon after, we ate a huge dinner and went to bed.

Sebbie Kimber

We woke up bright and early to a lovely morning.  We went to the bakery to buy croissants for breakfast. Then we came back from breakfast and before we knew it we were packed and hopped onto the coach. We were off for a 25km walk up and down the mountain! The first 10 minutes were good, but then the heat and steepness got up and our legs started to hurt! It started to get hard for everyone, but we all stayed strong! The views were incredible – I have never seen anything like it! Everyone managed to do it and when we got back, everyone had smiles on their faces! Everyone was glad to get back and all in all, it was a great day!

Olivia Redman

For more photos from the day, please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 3


Today, the group split into two again, with one half doing the High Ropes course, whilst the other half did rock climbing. At lunch, they swapped over.

High Ropes

Today we went about 30 minutes away from the hostel to the place where the high ropes were. We had to do about a 1km walk to get to the route and the first thing we did was get on our kit and get briefed about how to clip on and other safety information. We went up to the zip wire. At first, I was really nervous about going on the zip wire, because I’m scared of heights, but I conquered it and went for it and it was really fun! We then did a higher zip wire and some bridges. After we had done the bridges, we began to ascend to the highest one. The ascent was scary enough, but the zip line was a thin metal wire running between two mountains. I was not scared this time as I had conquered my fear of heights. When I was on the zip wire, I saw the river running under me and I saw a beautiful view of the forest and the snow-peaked Pyrenees mountains. The high wires was one of my best experiences of my life so far!

Jonathan Cowie

Rock climbing

I was very nervous that I would let people down in the belaying and climbing, so I was grateful for all the support I got while climbing. also, I was very thankful to Gregor when he did not get cross at me even though I was really bad at belaying! The most terrifying bit is when you abseil, having to put all your trust in your partner! Also, I loved the people who taught us how to climb; they were very nice! It was a great day and I can’t wait till the next!

Billy Tulloch

This evening, the children had a bit of a chance to explore the town again. We are just sitting down for dinner having prepared ourselves for the 27km hike tomorrow!


For more photos from the day please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 2

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Today, the year split into two groups for a day of rafting and team challenges. The weather was cloudy, but warm and the sun did appear in the afternoon. Here are a couple of reports from the Year 8s:


After feasting on lasagne at lunch, we went Orienteering around the village which was fun, confusing and educational. We met many folk including a couple who gave us many answers to our questions, (we did ask them in French!). They were lovely and we hope to meet more people like them. After arriving back at our checkpoint, (we were talking too long and got lost!), we did the boulder challenge; the challenge consisted of a large boulder that we had to climb around in the shortest time we could. J’adore Team finished 6 minutes before any other team who had done the challenge already! Before heading for a swim, we stopped by the sports hall. Henry Woods and I did a maths challenge, while the others did blindfold trusting and a minefield negotiation. They were great activities which encouraged excitement, teamwork and social skills.

Max Moseley


One of our activities for the day was whitewater rafting. It was awesome and probably my favourite activity. Luckily, I managed not to fall in because the water was freezing. We then parked up the boats and walked upstream, where we jumped into the water and let it carry us down to the boats. It was so cool and fun! Near the end of the activity, we came to a slight barrier which was a kind of waterfall. As we got closer, we realised that we needed to pick up speed and go over, but we all landed safely, (but Fraser fell in!).

Tom Gardener

After the two main activities, a group went up river for a swim, whilst others wrote diaries and sorted out kit. We’ve just had a bit of time in the village, visiting the cafe and trying out some French on the locals. Tomorrow’s adventure includes the High Ropes and Rock Climbing.

For more photos from Day 2 please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 1


The journey went very well and despite a short delay we arrived at Seix just before 7pm local time. After finding rooms, we went for a lovely walk up into the hill behind Seix and were given a talk through the town and some of its features. We returned to the hostel for a lovely dinner – I think a lot of us were quite hungry by now – followed by a delicious birthday cake for Ned’s birthday. A quick movie in the cinema followed, and then the children were all tucked up in bed ready for the day ahead!

More photos from Day 1 can be viewed in the Photo Gallery.


Pinewood Ski Trip to Courmayeur

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About 40 pupils and 7 staff headed for Courmayeur on this year’s school ski trip. We arrived in the sunshine at midday and unpacked at our hotel, “The Bosco”. Later on we went up the mountain to get our ski gear. The hotel was amazing; the staff were very friendly and the food was superb. Everyone was pleased with the warm, homely atmosphere.

Monday was our first day of skiing. There were seven groups, each had their own instructor who stayed with them throughout the week; the staff rotated round and skied with a different group each day. The weather was perfect for skiing; sunny but not too hot. The skiing instructors were brilliant and we all improved massively.

Each afternoon after skiing we did an après ski activity. They were all very well organised and lots of fun. First was bowling, Miss Gye unexpectedly topping the leader boards. There was also sledging in which we raced in teams as well as on our own. Whilst sledging, a snowball fight started, of course by Mr King. We went to town twice and spent all our money on sweets. On one of the nights we went to a karaoke bar and sang all night long, Tom leading the way. There was also a pizza night at a restaurant in town, including chocolate pizzas to celebrate a special birthday! On the last day it was presentation evening, where each ski instructor gave out awards to their groups. We then said our thank yous, including showcasing our “ski team theme tune” to them and the staff and gave them thank you presents for all of the great fun we had had that week.

On Saturday we skied in onesies and had a day of total fun. We left Courmayeur that evening and made our way home.

Thank you to Miss Wise, Mr Fuller, Mr Caird, Mr King, Miss Gye, Mr Fogden and Miss Parris for such an enjoyable and well organised trip.

Max Owen

For many more photos from the trip please go to the Photo Gallery.

Pinewood Sports Tour to Holland

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Pinewood set out in their orange hoodies “looking like baked beans”. With eighteen rugby boys and twelve hockey girls, the coach was filled with excitement as we set off on an exciting adventure to Holland. The coach journey was smooth and we were quickly passing by Windsor Castle and arriving at Heathrow. With the opportunity to explore a few shops and grab some lunch, Pinewood were easily spotted in the airport by Holland bound parents and supporters. On arrival, Alfred, our driver for the next five days, greeted us in Amsterdam to take us to our first match.

The next few days were a whirlwind of practices, matches, trips to stadia, canal boat trips, pancakes, bowling, mini golf, premier league hockey and swimming! We were made to feel very welcome at the accommodating hostel as well as by all the hosting teams who could all speak impeccable English!

Here are some comments from the children on the tour:

“We got off the plane and we were all very excited as we hadn’t been to a foreign country before without our parents. We were also nervous because it was the first sports tour for Pinewood.”

“Feeling tired from the journey we walked into the changing rooms before our first match and then we saw the first team kit and all the emotions changed!”

“We went to visit the PSV football stadium which was amazing! We all wanted to become professional football players.”

“On Sunday we went on a canal trip, given that Holland is known or its canals. For lunch, we went to the ‘Best Pancake House in the World’. There were so many combinations to choose from, but we voted bacon and maple the syrup to be the best.”

“We watched a premier league hockey match where we all got our hoodies signed by international players.”

“When we played glow in the dark mini golf everyone was really competitive, especially the teachers, who would give us two shot penalties for the most random of things. The ball went anywhere except the place you wanted it to go!”

“The swimming pool was amazing. I loved the rapids and we all went on it loads of times. I have a lot of memories from it.”

“The best thing about Holland was playing with different people and learning how to save goals better. I enjoyed playing in a quick game and watching hockey.”

“Now I have done a sports tour, I have learnt that I can go away by myself to another country and I can eat two pancakes bigger than me! My hockey has also improved!”

“I had the best experience and I have some amazing memories. I would love to do it all again!”

“I am proud that I was able to communicate with Dutch people and I could play alongside them.”


The girls learnt a great deal from playing games in Holland. We played matches against Eindhoven, H.O.D. in Valkenswaad, and HOCCO in Oisterwijk. The girls had the opportunity to play both 8-a-side and 11-a-side hockey on a full size astro. During the 8-a-side games, Pinewood dominated play and demonstrated their experience and familiarity of playing as a team. Playing 11-a-side was a first for most of the girls in the squad and yet they demonstrated a superb flexibility and deeper understanding of the game as they adapted quickly. Whilst some of the oppositions were a little younger than our touring side, they still showed immense quality in their skills and perseverance. When we came up against players of the same age, Pinewood were challenged by the pace and skill level of the opposition and realised what they could be aspiring to as they further progress in their hockey careers. We watched some senior women train and we noted the intensity that every member of the team gave during their training sessions and the self-discipline to improve on each part of the skill.



Well, they do say that “travel broadens the mind”, and so it did on this occasion! From the point of departure, Pinewood excitedly undertook their inaugural rugby foray in the foreign climes of the Netherlands. With the first fixture due to take place under floodlights on the first evening, Pinewood tentatively cruised around the vast array of duty free shops and food outlets like a heard of cautious springbok before a lion’s evening supper. It’s worth noting at this point that prior to departure the coach had filled the inquisitive boys’ minds with stories of old, regarding the hard and uncompromising physical nature of Dutch rugby, that the game would be a brutal, tough affair and that the best advice would be to eat sensibly.

Upon landing in Schiphol airport or, as Messrs Barry and Tom ‘Thumb’ Fogden likened it, arriving in the ‘Land of the Giants’, we introduced ourselves to our 6ft 7″ guide and driver Alfred. Under his excellent stewardship, he calmly piloted us to our evening fixture in Eindhoven. The boys warmed up in a very professional manner. Even with the change in playing format and the possibility of encountering giant 13 year old boys, they demonstrated excellent maturity and skill to eclipse the opposition by quite a few scores to none. The highlight of the evening’s fixture was witnessing Pinewood enthusiastically joining in with the rugby club’s ‘Oktoberfest’ celebrations. Before complaints flood in, no, the boys weren’t chinking steins of beer, but tucking into copious quantities of Frankfurters, while watching the opposition sing songs, whilst dressed in lederhosen.

On the following morning, Pinewood travelled over to Dukes City Den Bosch RFC. Upon arrival Pinewood were greeted with the unexpected site of a brand new state of the art club house and 4g pitch facilities. Those who understand the term (4g) will identify that only Saracens RFC in the English Premiership can boast this kind of facility. The team (along with the staff) were keen to test their credentials on an unknown playing surface! Once again the team played outstandingly well. The sublime off-loading and support play prevented the physical and enthusiastic Dutch team from getting their hands on the ball. The added bonus of clean kit at the end of the match meant that it was not just the coaches who were happy, but also Miss Parris!

After the fixture, both teams traded pleasantries in a huddle before the opposition burst out and serenaded Pinewood in their club song. Not wanting to be outdone, it was chief baritone Ed Hartley and falsetto Robinson who responded in the only way they knew best by cajoling the team into a rendition of the Pinewood School Hymn ‘Teach me to…!’ With a cautious acknowledgement from the opposition and few raised eyebrows from teachers Fogden and Barry, the team headed for the club house to eat, drink and discuss rugby with their opposition counterparts.

On the penultimate day of the tour Pinewood were hosted by Oisterwijk RFC in the evening. In front of a sell-out crowd of around 200 adults and children, Pinewood put on their best performance. After all the bluster of winding up the team into a frenzy regarding the opposition’s strength and size, Pinewood actually encountered their toughest challenge. Oisterwijk were a better drilled outfit. The patriotic support fuelled them along in the first 5-10 minutes and Pinewood started to look vulnerable in the tight areas of the game. The scrum creaked and the line out grumbled. After a few home truths and adjustments, Pinewood roared into life and blitzed the opposition in an exemplary and skilful manner. With the game in full control it was decided amongst the coaches that in true touring spirit a mixed match between the two teams would be best served. The suggestion of “Let’s swap the back lines over!” was music to every Pinewood forwards’ ears. In the final 10 minutes of the fixture it was the Oisterwijk backs and Pinewood forwards who took the spoils with a break away Tulloch score from deep within his own half. After the fixture the team were superbly hosted by Oisterwijk RFC. They generously prepared food and drink for us, for which we were duly appreciative before we said our goodbyes.

Although the rugby on tour wasn’t the most challenging, the experiences and friendships made off the field will assist and develop the boys for later in life. It has been a pleasure to tour the Netherlands and witness such genuine friendship and hospitality with complete strangers. That is the real beauty of sports tours!


For more photos from the tour please go to the Photo Gallery.

Year 3 Camp

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Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed their first experience of Pinewood Adventure with a night under canvas.  On Friday 19th June, a very excited group of children, ably assisted by their parents, set up their tents and made their beds (more glamping than camping!) ready for the Year 3 camp.  Under the watchful eye of Mrs Smyth, Mrs Harrison and Mr Cooper, the children had a wonderful time eating hot dogs, swimming, hunting for treasure, roasting marshmallows and singing songs round the camp fire.  Here are some of their memories from a fantastic evening ……


‘First at Year 3 camp night we built our tents.  It was hard work but in the end we did it.  After that we had a really fun play on Treetops.  We toasted marshmallows and they were yummy.  We also did Pinewood’s Got Talent which was very impressive!’

Fred Doherty

‘We made our tent as cosy as we could.  After that we were all really hungry and couldn’t wait for camp tea.  We had hot dogs and delicious chocolate muffins and then had an awesome session of swimming and Treetops. ‘

Eli Benbow

‘When me, Tom and Elliot got the tent it was rather easy to plan.  It was one of the first tents up.  Finally when every tent was up we got to played ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’.  After that we had hot dogs which were delicious.  My favourite bit was the treasure hunt.’

George Campling

‘Suddenly we were going to have a Treasure Hunt!  We had to find letters to make up the word ‘FRIENDSHIP’.  It was a lot of fun!  I learnt about teamwork and encouraging each other.’

Amelie Jadhav

‘Camp night was the best night of my life!’

Charlie Till

‘We did a bit of singing around the camp fire – my favourite song was Baby Shark!  I really enjoyed our camp out – it was really fun.  I am sad that it is over!’

Sienna Lawson


Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 5


We were woken up, excited to see what the day had in store. We were all called down and did some pre-breakfast activities. Some ran, some did yoga, most did football, and a few did boules. After that, we were called in for an urgent notice. We were told that, after a lot of overnight rain in the mountains, the river had risen too high and we couldn’t go whitewater rafting.  The group which was meant to be whitewater rafting went and played some sports on the local hard courts. Meanwhile the other group prepared puddings and starters for that night. We bought some ingredients and made the best uncooked puddings and starters that we could think of. At supper, they will be judged for presentation and taste. The activities came to an end and we came to regroup at the hostel to have lunch. We only had a main course for lunch today due to us making starters and puddings for tonight. Due to the large dinner that was to come, we were given fish and chips and an ice cream for pudding. The two groups then switched activities and the group that did sports prepared their meals, and the group that prepared the meals did sports.

Tonight, we will watch a film after we have packed and then if there is any time, we will visit the cafe for the last time. Finally, after that, we will have our supper and do “Pinewood’s Not Got Talent”.

Felix and Alessandro

Year 8 Leavers’ Trip Blog Day 4


Today was the big walk. We were dropped off by coach after an hour’s drive and walked up to Col de la Core (1395m). All the children did brilliantly and made it back very safely. For this blog, I have selected some diary entries that reflect the challenge of the day.

‘Today we did the eight hour walk, which was very tiring, but great exercise! We stopped for lunch by a huge lake and I ate lots of crisps and a gammon sandwich which was great. On the walk we talked a lot, but we worked hard and we tried to make it fun and it was! We all made great conversation and we ate lots and drank lots from our bags. Mr A-G said that the walk would be very rewarding when you finished and at first I didn’t believe him, but now I realise it’s true. I am tired, but I feel as though today will pay off later on! It was a great experience! I am about to go and have a hot chocolate now at the cafe, but I cannot go inside in case I get killed by Paddy (in the Game)!’


‘We went on a “joyous, fun” walk. It was 27km up and down in rain, wind and the cold! My mind was full of thinking that my legs might fall off like a lizard’s tail, but now I am alright, stiff and very tired, but really chuffed that I have completed 27km.’


‘When we woke up this morning, I was already nervous about the walk. We took the bus 27km in the opposite direction. The first trek was really steep and everyone was longing for a break. However, after the first bit, it was a lot flatter. At the lake, which had been fantasised about, it began to rain. Gradually, it got heavier and heavier, to a constant downpour. Now, it was the tough bit and I don’t think I’ve ever been so anxious, nervous or scared in all my life. When we all reached the incline, I realised why it was so dreaded – it was so steep! Without Mr Siebert’s amazing imitations and everyone’s great singing, I don’t think I could have done it. Today was probably one of the hardest days of my life and I don’t think I will ever do something like that again, but we walked 27km in total and reached a height of 1395m!’


For more photos from Day 4 please go to the Photo Gallery