Hooke Court Residential Day One



Tonight, after a delicious dinner, some of us met a real Roman soldier! We walked down to the Aelfric Hall for our evening session and had a great opportunity to look at the stars - there aren't any street lights out here so we were able to spot the Big and Little Dippers. There were a LOT of stars! 

As we got going with the evening, we learnt about life in the Roman army. Did you know that, during the Roman times, soldiers signed up to a 25 year term?! The soldiers weren't allowed to marry during this time and were formidably trained, which made them highly effective and much better than the Celts. We learnt that, because of the highly organised training, the Roman army was one of the first 'professional' armies. We were very proud that we didn't fall into the trap that was set for us too! We were asked how many Roman soldiers made up a centurion. We were correct in our answer of 80 soldiers and were able to explain to our tutor that the remaining 20 men were auxiliary soldiers. Our knowledge is amazing! 

We practised being Roman soldiers and had lots of activities to help with this. We rolled ammonite balls into buckets, ran circuits whilst carrying sacks, practised our aim at a target and loaded Roman 'bricks'. All the sorts of activities that Roman soldiers did to train and that will (ideally) wear us out before we go to bed! 

The other half of the group made Roman mosaics this evening, using glass tiles and glue. Once we'd mastered the art of mosaic making, we did a very good job and we're pretty proud of our efforts! 

We chilled out in front of a couple of DVDs for the evening and now we're trying to go to sleep! It'll be quiet pretty soon as we are all fairly tired! 

The photos from our evening activities should have uploaded into the album at the bottom :-) Sleep well all!



It's brilliantly sunny here and only a little bit chilly. Miss Millar wishes she'd brought her sunglasses and all of us are glad that we brought lots of layers!

Our first activities have been about building good teams; this actually began with helping each other up the stairs with our suitcases and then making our beds! There was much 'heave ho-ing' and a lot of laughter sorting our the duvets; some of us are whizzes at this and some need extra 'homework'! But, after working together and a few demonstrations from staff, everyone has a cosy bed to sleep in tonight! 

Something funny for you all though ... one of the girls was heard to say "I can't make beds. I'm going to make my husband do that!" 

Team building is something we work on at school and we have impressed the staff here with what we know about collaborating, empathy, resilience, perseverance and how our body language communicates a message. These have all been skills that we've needed in order to be a successful team. We've had to arrange ourselves in alphabetical order without stepping off a plank of wood and then reorganise ourselves into a birth date order without stepping off the plank AND without talking! Gosh, that was tricky  - but we got there! 

Others have been using hoops and getting the whole team to wriggle through, one after the other, without breaking the link of hands and using parts of a guttering tube to roll a tennis ball into the bucket. There was a HUGE cheer when the first team was successful, it absolutely echoed around the campus! All of these activities, completed with Helen and Simon, have been absolutely brilliant at getting us to work  together and support each other - skills that will be good for us to practise in the next few days together. 

We have a packed few days here but we will do our best to update the website with the things that we get up to. Hopefully, if we have a quiet evening (?!?!) and a good internet connection, (It's very slow for uploading pics) we might squeeze another update in about our evening activities. Don't worry about us though, we are all absolutely fine. (As soon as photos are uploaded they'll be available here!)