S. Anselm's

A full boarding and day school for boys and girls from Nursery to 16

Harvest and Camping at Grove Farm

Harvest and Camping at Grove Farm

It has been a very productive and interesting week. Some of the pupils went over to Sheffield University for their Open Science Evening. The boarders came back full of stories about matter and percentages of the universe, clearly loving their evening out.

On Wednesday after games had finished a few headed out to Buxton at Cold Springs for an evening of Clay Pigeon Shooting. Despite the wind the children did remarkably well and it was good practice ahead of the IAPS Shooting and indeed the Northern Clay Shoot in Durham. Do not worry if you missed this opportunity, it was an informal gathering and there will be plenty more opportunity. Mr Backhouse, who joined us in September shared his travels with some of the boarders on his duty evening. His photography is so impressive that he has his own page on the National Geographic Website and he interacted with the pupils on the animals he had come across. Something very special and the boarders loved it.

 This weekend has become very special and it is all thanks to Mr Bonsall. To celebrate the Harvest Festival the boarders got together their camping kit and warm clothes before heading over to Grove Farm after games on Saturday. John B was on great form as he showed off his maneuvering skills on all sorts of tractors, cars and forklifts as we cleared the barn, which we could call home for the next couple of evenings. With the forecast giving torrential rain we hurried to erect the tents and make sure out bags were all inside before the downpour. The teepee was put outside next to the barn and this was where the Year 8 girls slept for the evening. Fortunately we had the tents up, the BBQ on and the fire set up ready for a lovely evening before the rain came. In the end the sky was clear until just after midnight and it made for a perfect evening for Mr Watt to show some of the boarders his photography skills, some of the photos you can see below.


I must thank the kitchen ladies for the delicious burgers, sausages and indeed bacon for breakfast, which kept us all going. We were also plied with mars bars and hundreds of marshmallows and sticks which kept us busy in the evening. I would also like to say thank you to Mrs Sheldon, Miss Walker and Mrs Seddon not just for their help in the boarding but for the work they do in the laundry, especially after we return from adventures caked in mud.

In the boarding Freaky Fridays has moved up a step as the boys and girls are really enjoying scaring themselves with a few ghost stories. Mrs Brailich, Goodluck O, Kyle C, Will D and Tilly G all told their own ghost stories, which set the mood as the fire really started to build its heat as the temperature began to cool. The nights are certainly starting to draw in early and the boys and girls, completely oblivious of the time, started to head off to bed. They all behaved superbly and it was great to see them having such a good time by the fire.

 The clock struck 5am and the first rustles began. It was a very crisp winter morning and it had clearly rained heavily during the night, however the fire still had some red embers. For the early risers the first job was to get the fire going so we could all warm up as we watched the sun rise up over the picturesque Derbyshire hills. ‘Morning Mallows’ (marshmallows) were issued as we caught up with each other about the night’s sleep and antics. After a bacon sandwich we went to visit the Boarders’ Barn, a project the boarders have been doing with Mr Bonsall. We have a project for the winter to make it fit for glamping in the summer. Some timber doors need to be made and possibly a few raised beds and a fire pit outside. It was such fabulous scenery to wake up to and we enjoyed the walk.

On return Mr Bonsall had been busy making the ‘It’s a knockout’ course. We split into three teams and took it in turns to get as many from our team from one set of hay bales over to the other set of bales about 20 meters apart. The team had to use a wrapped hay bale to get the team over to their safe haven. Different tactics were used, some crawled, some ran as if it were a log in water and others tried to slide. The downside to sliding was the bale started to collect cow pats each trip and so team 3, Mr Wood’s team, were prepared to get very mucky. It was great fun! Team Wood came first followed by Team Watt and in third and final place came Team Bonsall.

Such fun and thank you again to the Bonsalls for a great weekend. A restful Sunday with a film and free time was had and an enjoyable Harp Workshop at 5pm before the ever perfect end to our Sundays - the family Sunday Roast Supper.