Welcome to Class 4
Please note all photographs are added to the gallery at the bottom of this page.
Class 4 (and their trip to Costa Del Barnby)
Picturesque beaches, tranquil seas and lazy afternoons were all that was promised to us... Mr Armstrong lied.
Well, we have arrived! Following a short bus journey to our home away from home for the next three days, we unloaded the bus and prepared for our first activity - canoeing down the River Esk. We were allocated our waterproofs, packed our lunches and set off in high spirits to the launch site. After unloading the canoes from the trailers and having a quick 'paddle tutorial', we launched off on our adventure. Previously, the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -89 Degrees Celsius in Antarctica, 1983...that was nothing compared to the temperature of the River Esk, in Whitby, 8th May 2019. When Mr Armstrong had finished laughing at the canoes paddling backwards, around in circles or crashing into the trees and bushes along the river bank, a convoy of canoes set off, against the tide!
It would take more than 100mph gales and horizontal rain to stop this rowdy group of novice 'canoers' from exploring the scenery and learning how to work as a team (to get the canoes to go forward)! Before long, we thought we had reached the end of the river following a fairly non-eventful journey...but we were wrong. Our first obstacle was the weir. As we paddled towards the edge, Mr Armstrong warned his crew of the dangers ahead; he passed on the message to the canoes around him. Emily J laughed in the face of danger at the thought of another possible exaggeration from her leader… but her face quickly changed when he showed her the path ahead. She looked at Lexi, who was sharing the front of the conjoined canoes, and they both froze, awaiting their fate…(although both later laughed at watching Mr Armstrong go down it)!
With, what must have been a 100m drop (it was probably around 5-10m but Mr Armstrong occasionally exaggerates...), the 'Duck Whisperer' (Alexus A who seems to have become ‘at one with the ducks' on our adventure), Feral Cerys (just the usual Cerys of Class 4, but now with an enhanced need to jump into the river at any one time or swim with any fish that she sees) and Pocahontas (Kira, Queen of the paddle... she is simply amazing at canoeing) all prepared their boat, along with Mr Armstrong, Alice L, and Sian to make this gigantic leap of faith. 3...2...1 *cue the loudest scream ever recorded by a human (Alexus)* SPLASH! We crashed down into the water and cheered. One by one, all of the canoes made this death-defying jump (even Emily J and Lexi, who almost matched Alexus’s scream of excitement) and we paddled down the river a little further to have our lunch on a small island in the middle of the water. After Alexus (Duck Whisperer) had called her new friends to the island to eat the crumbs we had generously left, we decided to leave them in peace. Paddling through the dangerous waves and the endlessly deep water (it was maybe 2 feet deep at this stage) we pulled up to the shore to discuss the features of the river that we had learnt about in class.
With the mist rising and the light beginning to fade, Mr Armstrong could taste the sweet taste of victory and so ordered his team to head off, into the sunset, to reap the rewards of glory (and the warmth of the mini bus). However, never one to be beaten, Rex spotted this and paddled like he had never paddled before, leading his team into a close battle of wills against, the now very competitive, Mr Armstrong. After probably all of 15 seconds of hard fought paddling, with the lead regularly changing, Rex and his team pulled away and just pipped Mr Armstrong’s canoe to the finishing line of the pier (by around 100m). Following a 3 hour journey, the remaining gallant explorers battled the incoming tide and raced to the pier and packed up for the journey home.
During the journey home, our intrepid explorers fantasied about the rest they would gain after their long, hard fought day on the open waters, whilst Alexus sang ‘The Water Cycle’ song…on repeat…for the whole journey…despite Will’s obvious disliking…
The valiant adventurers stepped off their buses, breathed in the fresh air, inhaled two gallons of rain each and breathed a sigh of relief – they were back to safety (and Alexus’s singing was over)! But, to their shock, their adventure had only just begun as now was the time for their most challenging task to date… the Battle of ‘Man vs. Duvet’. This is where many-a-man has failed in the past, but they were determined to not be defeated…
Freddy: (Innocently) Mr Armstrong… Rex and Alex have gone to the Games Room.
Mr A: (A little confused/irritated) Why? They were told not to go until everyone had made their beds and all clothing was in the Drying Room!
Freddy: (Even more innocently) But… we have all made our beds…
Mr Armstrong: (In complete disbelief) What? 8 boys have tidied their room and made their beds? On the first time of asking? With no support? Let me come and check.
Freddy: (Walking into the dormitory to show Mr Armstrong that the 8 boys had defeated the ‘Duvet Beast’ at the first time of asking) The room isn’t tidy, but the beds are made!
Mr Armstrong: Right, go and get Rex and Alex. (They enter) Boys, no one was to leave until all beds were made.
Richard: (Genuinely serious) Yes. But they are all made…
Mr Armstrong: (Shaking his head in disbelief) No, what you have all done is rolled out the duvets and put a pillow at the end of your beds… no pillow cases, sheets or duvet covers are even in this room, they are still in the hallway, in the laundry bag…!
James: (Confused) So… these aren’t made?
A long (and hilarious) 35 minutes followed as the battle of ‘Man vs Duvet’ continued, with only the sweet sound of the ‘Dinner Bell’ allowing our soldiers to take a break from this never ending battle. (We almost lost Harry after being found, genuinely stuck inside a duvet cover. Alex hasn’t been seen since…)
Mr Armstrong and Mrs Ward had worked hard on the river and so deserved a hearty meal. They decided to share their well-earned prize with their fellow adventurers. Spoilt. Spoilt is the only way to describe our first meal.
Dinner – 8th May
A choice of Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas or Spaghetti Bolognaise and Garlic Bread! All served with salad, bread rolls, coleslaw and sauce. To be followed with sponge cake and custard or fruit. We did our best, but could not eat all that was offered.
After finally defeating the duvets (apart from Alex who may never be seen again) and as the rain continued to thrash down, we decided to take shelter in a nearby games room! Armed with £12 each, we tackled the tuck shop and gift shop. After boosting the local economy by approximately £1million on water bottles, buffs, teddies and Haribo, a relaxing night of twister, monopoly and some kind of ‘Jenga’ was to follow. At approximately 8.15pm we drank the drink of champions (hot chocolate and 7 marshmallows each; kindly and efficiently counted out by our resident chef, Liberty) and the food of heroes (a single custard cream each). We then settled down in our rooms to rest for whatever may challenge us all tomorrow.
Quotes of the day:
Rex - It has been cold and wet but fun. We have had an amazing time. I really enjoyed the canoes... I loved beating Mr Armstrong's canoe by a mile (apparently).
Freddy - We have had fun. It has been a cold time so far but my favourite part was attempting to make my bed (you heard it here first) because I managed it in less than two hours...
James - It has been a great day, except for the rain pouring in our canoes.
Richard - It has been an amazing experience, going down a river in a canoe. I think I could go down a river in a canoe by myself now.
Kaiden - It has been a really fun day.
Geoffrey - It has been a really exciting day for me. I have become very tired after the exhausting experience of rowing the canoe.
Harry - It has been a fun day. My hands were cold but I didn't care because I have really enjoyed my experience so far!
Alex - I am now very tired after rowing down the river and lifting the canoes on and off the trailers.
And so the adventure in Costa Del Barnby continues...
As dawn broke and the cockerel cried, our brave and valiant explorers awoke to search for what problems may lie before them today. Whilst Mr Armstrong battled with the 'Legend of the intermittent WIFI' and Mrs Ward fought with the taming of hair in the girls' dormitory, this plucky young group, along with Mr Crocker, braced themselves for breakfast.
Breakfast - 9th May
A plethora of cereal, mixed fresh fruit, toast, sausages, mushrooms, beans and hash browns. Again, we were defeated by the amount on offer to us all.
Following the largest breakfast any of us had ever consumed...we prepared for the day! With the temperature at a tropical -63 Degrees Celsius, the wind howling, the leaves tumbling and the rain at an unconvincing 45 degree angle, compared with yesterday's fully horizontal rain; we broke up into our groups and met our guides for the day. Simon, Tom and Aidy were the brave souls to lead us to our fate today. We discussed the days quest and were warned of the hazards that lay ahead. Nervous, yet excited, many questioned followed of what may happen upon our arrival, but non of our guides were willing to share the tales of the previous horrors that had gone on before us. Nutter Pugh (Kaiden) was adamant he could take on the myth that was 'Falling Foss' armed only with his shorts but the group managed to convince him that this was no time for heroic behaviour when compared to the potential risks ahead. He nobly backed down and wore his suit of red waterproofs for the much needed protection of the day.
The tiredness of the day before was beginning to take its toll on some of the group now, with Alice Attenborough (Alice L... a tale that will be told later) was over come with exhaustion and was completely baffled on how to ride upon our stallions into battle - she couldn't open the mini bus door! After galloping through the wilderness, we arrived at the entrance of our next pursuit... Falling Foss! Will-Bear-Grylls-Dale-Wood took the lead here, trekking down the steepest of hills, over streams and along slippery edges with 100m drops (...again a little exaggerated). Wallace Earnshaw-Abbot (Oliver spent the entire morning with his trousers inside out and back to front) supported Bear Grylls in his quest to search for shelter in the hammering rain and hail.
The rumble of the jungle tried to warn these forest explorers of the dangers ahead, but none would listen. With the rain hammering and the trees swaying from side to side, the tribe came together to build shelters! After Mr Armstrong was made to wear the 'bow tie of shame' for forgetting his gloves, branches were carried aloft, moss was added for waterproofing and some questionable interior designing ensured the next hour was filled with excitement, laughter and teamwork. Whilst these brave men and women fought against nature to protect each other, Mr Armstrong and Mrs Ward took photos to prove how wet they each were and Mr Crocker made the tea! Hot chocolate was made (although no marshmallows were offered so chef Liberty did not know what to do with herself) and the teams came together as one to discuss their plan of action whilst Kate Moss (Poppy) asked the question no other dared...could we have some kind of fashion show in the woods? The troll of Falling Foss proved no match for this team of merry men and women and so we rode back to base for warmth and sandwiches.
After the feast for our heroes was consumed, we gathered our things to explore the new world... Runswick Bay. After the longest 7 minute drive ever endured by this band of warriors, we set off on foot to explore. Intriguing new worlds and habitats were uncovered, animals never seen by humans before were discovered and artifacts of the past marine life were scattered across this, otherwise desolate, landscape. The sound of waves crashing into the rocks in front of us, desperate to drag us into their reaches did nothing to deter these warriors. The wind tried, but failed, to breathe its deadly gusts to knock us down and the clouds began to part, allowing our team to take a well earned break. Alice Attenborough seemed to have some kind of special, unknown bond with the crabs on the beach, magnetised to each one within a three mile radius. Feral Cerys, Duck Whisperer and Alice Attenborough quickly found a new team mascot - Jeremy the crab! Later, Tobey and Harry rock scrambled and Sian went looking for a pet hermit crab - I can make no promises this was left on the beach! With Harry claiming this to be the best place in the world we longed to stay a little while, however with Alexus threatening to start singing 'The Water Cycle' again, we moved to the cliff side to search for fossils. With Emily S, Emilia and Emily J collecting about 3 tonnes of fossils each, this proved to be a very successful afternoon.
After around 3 hours in this new, magical land, we decided to leave Runswick Bay for showers, fresh clothes and a friendly game of football on the field or table tennis in the games room. Dinner was served.
Dinner - 9th May
Roast gammon, greens, Yorkshire pudding and gravy or chicken curry and naan bread...or a mix of both if you were Mrs Ward. Along with coleslaw, bread buns and fruit. With a generous serving of chocolate crunch and custard for dessert.
Not satisfied with the challenges of the day, our bold adventurers felt the need to write back to their homeland to inform their Lords, Ladies, families and others of their daring and fearless journeys. The wrote of tales of woodland shelters, hot chocolate, dangerous rivers and of the souls lost to the duvet beast (Alex). Following this humbling act of kindness to those back at home, these explorers were ready for one more challenge before bed... the mysterious night walk!
Armed with A5 maps, a handful of torches and the odd hi-vis jacket, the group all pulled together for this last challenge of the day. Mr Crocker took the lead with the aid of a small group of navigators, to guide the group to safety. With the path planned out, our resident environment expert (Richard W), ensured every possible question was answered! With facts about the countryside, the types of crops being grown in the fields and a clear understanding of rivers, no question was a match for this mastermind of nature this evening - he was on a roll, guiding his group through Mr Crocker's challenges; fearlessly taking the lead where others fell at the final hurdle! Fording rivers with untold dangers beneath the water, crossing valleys and high jumping stiles; the energy and enthusiasm of the tribe (along with the approximately 15,678 questions asked) ensured they smashed this dangerous and perilous one hour walk in a record time of 2 hours and 15 minutes!
As the terrified staff at East Barnby had feared the worst of our valiant warriors, the entrance gate was locked to protect the innocent souls inside, so we had to climb through the fence to make it back to safety! The valleys roared in anger and the clouds gathered in the sky, vexed and irritated at how, against all odds, our brave soldiers had made it home, with not a scratch to their face (although due to the amount of times some of them fell, tripped and stumbled, mud was literally every where).
They marched into the canteen, sat down proudly with the knowledge that they had beaten whatever had been thrown at them so far and that victory was in their sights tomorrow. Hot chocolate and birthday cake were offered to all of those with the energy for food and an eerie silence filled the room as they all reflected on their time Costa Del Barnby. Some had come close to breaking point on their journeys so far, others will never speak of the horrors they have seen over the last 48 hours and Alex... had been lost to the Duvet Beast for all of eternity. What could possibly be forced upon them tomorrow?
Quotes of the day:
Chloe - It has been really fun and today I liked going to the beach to find all of the sea creatures. I found lots of fossils on the beach too!
Kira - Today has been a very fun day because we went fossil hunting and found lots of sea creatures.
Emily J - So far it has been a really fun time because first we went canoeing, then shelter building and this afternoon we went to go and find amazing fossils that were animals that had once been alive.
Emilia - Today has been the best day ever because I really enjoyed building our shelters and I enjoyed searching for fossils and sea creatures.
Cerys - Today has been really exciting because we got to go searching for fossils and its not every day you get to go looking for them.
Liberty - Today has been really exciting. I found lots of different fossils, many of these were 'swirly' in shape and I really enjoyed the shelter building in Falling Foss.
Tobey - Today has been good because we had lunch at East Barnby and tea was amazing. Breakfast was great too! We went to Falling Foss and built shelters.
Charlie L - It has been a hectic day because we went to the beach and found fossils and went rock pooling. We also built shelters at Falling Foss.
Charlie T - I really liked yesterday because we got to splash the water when we went canoeing. We got very tired.
Will - The food has been really good (much better than the food we have at home)! I really enjoyed rock pooling, finding lots of crabs, but it was very slippery.
Sian - I have found a hermit crab today in the rock pools and called him 'Seaweed'.
Some believe it as truth. Many claim it is a lost, local legend. Others deny it ever occurred at all. Believe what you will but... our story continues.
Before I inform you of the testing trials of today, I must update you on the fate of two of our most beloved characters. Wallace (Oliver) continues his journey with the correct trousers on, the correct way round and not inside out - therefore losing his well earned nickname...a new one is given however... In addition, we eventually found Alex, a little shaken after his ordeal with the Duvet Monster, nonetheless, we found him and the crew end their journey as a united front.
As the morning before, the cockerel cried and Mr Armstrong, Mr Crocker and Mrs Ward awoke with their usual skip in their step with excitement, enthusiasm and energy (as well as exaggerate, Mr Armstrong can also be a little sarcastic in his tired state), but to their shock their warriors made not a peep. We thought the worst... Costa Del Barnby had attacked at night, but no! A spell of sheer exhaustion had been cast over the tribe! In shock and fear, the remaining three broke down the fortress doors and tried to awaken them from this trance. With the flickering of lights and the secret, curse-breaking words 'Breakfast is served in 15 minutes', our weary soldiers prepared (although a little slower than the previous day) for what was ahead of them!
Breakfast - 10th May
A plethora of cereal, mixed fresh fruit, croissants, bagels, porridge, boiled eggs and teacakes. As the spell was still wearing off, our warriors were defeated for a 4th time in the main canteen - a battle they were never going to win! It may have been the spell wearing off, it may have been the delirium settling in, it may even be the way of the future, however after watching Oliver tackle a bagel with a blunt knife, Emily S thought she would single handily fight these monsters on her own. Slicing the bagel in half with little effort, she then attacked again with the butter. Neatly spreading this across the top of the bagel then placing the bagel back together. So... an empty bagel with butter across the top... many may wonder the need to slice the bagel in half in the first place, but she had her reasons and went with it!
Things seemed to be going all too well; small chatter was buzzing around the canteen; food was being eaten and plans for sleep were being whispered around our noble knights... alas this was not to last for the ugly Duvet Beast had been awoken, only this time it needed to be ended once and for all; forced into a place no duvet ever wishes to be... the laundry basket! Alex couldn't believe his luck, however he battled on and after a mere 25 minutes all duvets were finally put to rest! Hopefully Costa Del Barnby will never be affected by these beasts again!
Our gallant warriors prepared for their carriage ride home, packing all that they could carry! Before saying farewell to their fortresses that had kept them so safe during their crusades. The end was in sight and victory was for the taking!
Attack! Two sleeping dragons had awoken whilst our defences were down! We would need to split into two groups to have any chance of defeating, what we hoped would be the final hurdle. Costa Del Barnby's ski resort and the dreaded...climbing wall! There was no way we could let these beasts win so dividing the group in two was decided as the best method of attack. The brave Mr Armstrong led the ski resort formation, with Mrs Ward guiding her noble warriors to the 300 feet wall of doom (again... it was maybe 10m tall but after 2 nights away battling the WIFI, Mr Armstrong gave bigger exaggerations than ever before).
Mrs Ward gives little detail of the horrors she saw but informs all fought with courage and honour. Running against their fears our warriors battled and climbed their way to the wall's weakest points, slaying any sign of life from their unruly beast! They climbed and leaped across deep ravines with no support and held to the wall by a cocktail of fear and hope!
The command of Mr Armstrong and his platoon of noble knights did not fair as well! Training was brief and some felt a little ill-informed of the task before they charged into battle with Gravity (Oliver's new name, as he spent so much time collapsing to the floor) leading the attack, things did not start well. His first fall cost him 5 minutes trying to climb the slope as he slowly clawed his way to the top. Calamity Charlie (Charlie T) tried to reinforce and cover his friend, but after losing control of his legs on numerous occasions, crashing into buckets and often falling himself, this was more of a hindrance than support for Gravity. Bear Grylls tried his best to ensure the attack continued with Eddie the Eagle (Charlie L), who seemed to dance around the slope with elegance and Slayer of the Slopes (Tobey) aiding the group triumphantly scoring heavy blows to the beast with bean bags. Baked Alaska (Harry) tried with all his might to keep up and was often successful in his attempts, however as fatigue set in, the beast had him pinned to the floor on all too many occasions. Mr Armstrong could offer no support due to being bent over in hysterics...when he did try to help the young, helpless warriors he could but only crash into them at the bottom of the slope. Lottie was last seen in a pile on the floor, on top of Sian. We wanted to help, but the beast was too strong for the weakening warriors.
RETREAT! was the order and we called for back up! Skis and boots were thrown to the storage room as we awaited Mrs Ward to offer back up. She offered her entire army and we attacked again... this time... with sledges! After an hour of relentless attacks on individual and double sledges and body boards, the beast began to falter. Mr Armstrong and Mrs Ward took a giant sweep at the beast and helped to finally slay the beast as Mr Crocker stood, Ipad in hand, to witness our attack. Finally, we had won!
We took off our armour for one final time, headed back to the picnic benches for our banquet and awaited the carriages to take us to our next crusade!
There has been talk of these warriors from far away lands for many years now. Some still doubt such a small group could ever have been so successful against all that was thrown at them; many wonder if Alex will ever truly be the same again after his ordeal with the Duvet Beast; few wonder if the Duck Whisperer ever did set up a duck sanctuary with Pocahontas and Feral Cerys; I for one sometimes think about whether or not Sian did bring 'Seaweed' the hermit crab back with her. All I can say for sure is these warriors will live as legends in Whitby for many years to come.
They came. They saw. They conquered. They went as 28 individual warriors and returned... as a team!
Quotes of the day:
Poppy - The thing I enjoyed most was spending time away from home, with my friends, and being so independent for the last 3 days.
Lottie - I really enjoyed going to Falling Foss yesterday and building the dens in my group.
Emily S - Everything was simply AMAZING!
Alexus - I really enjoyed everything at East Barnby but my favourite part was becoming a duck whisperer and talking to the ducks all of the time we were away.
Lexi - I really enjoyed the night walk last night, especially watching Alexus fall over every 3 steps.
Connie - I am proud of my canoeing on Wednesday. I had really great fun!
Alice M - I am proud of my climbing. I managed to reach the highest point of the climbing wall!
Alice L - I really liked being at the beach on Thursday, I kept finding all of the crabs and I scared Mr Armstrong with them!
Oliver - I really enjoyed the skiing today. It was hard but great fun even though I kept falling over... a lot!
A huge well done to every member of Class 4 on their time at East Barnby. You were a credit to the school!
Thank you from Mr Crocker, Mr Armstrong and Mrs Ward.