Sholing Junior School

Achieving Together

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Stubbington 2023 (Year 4)

Stubbington Pt II – The Final Countdown


Children were in bed last night and tucked up for 9pm. You can only imagine the smug Sholing staff’s faces, hearing the other school’s tales of woe, still encouraging their participants to go to sleep at 10.30! Not us. We were all showered, brushed, well-watered (not too well-watered) and ready to re-energise for the final push!


Talking of brushes, it was great to see number of the boys purchase a comb and accompanying Stubbington comb sheath from the shop. These would be drawn out at varying points throughout the day for some much needed hair sculpting and preening – most noticeably during the earthquake activity. Very John Travolta!!


This morning, the children were up first, bright eyed and bushy tailed. The other schools? Not so much! We had a birthday boy in our midst! Tyler woke up to banners, a lovely card and some balloons. It wasn’t long however before the balloons became all the the equipment required for a recreation of the World Cup Final, but don’t panic. We were there to blow the whistle on that!!!!


Following the room inspections, we all made our way to the animal hotels we had left the night before. On the way, children were telling me it was a mix of emotions for them. Excited to be going home but sad to leave such a fun place. Three children already were discussing their expectation of being a part of next year’s Year 5 Wales residential!! One thing at a time please!


A mixed response from the hotel visitors. Obviously due to the spiralling cost of living and the above inflation rise in the cost of package holidays, many of the mice had chosen to stay home - although a couple enjoyed a night away. We actually found a couple of beautiful little long tailed mice. After studying them carefully, looking at their special adaptations and measuring their body and tail length, we carefully put them back in their habitats – exactly where we had acquired them. It was really interesting to look at these animals so close up. A great experience for the children.


This afternoon it is fossil hunting. We cannot wait for that! The budding Mary Annings are all hopeful for some rich rewards – I’m just hoping that the tide gives up the plentiful hunting grounds.


Well, it’s been a blast. The kids of course have been a delight and they are a credit to you all. There will be one more photo drop later, but this is Sholing Mission Control singing off. We’ll see you all tomorrow afternoon.


So fire up those washing machines and prepare the decontamination chambers for the socks….WE’RE COMING HOME!

Over and out!

Stubbington Pt II – The Quest For Wildlife

Before bed yesterday, the children enjoyed a fantastic presentation from a local wildlife photographer. The room was awash with ‘AHHHHHS’ and ‘OOOOOOHs’ as they enjoyed a whole catalogue of the cutest animals photographed in the local area.


We all slept well last night. The children, not as excited as the first night, settled down very well and the sound of snoring was heard well before the proposed sleep deadline – and that was just Mrs Rickards. It was hardly surprising that the children were so exhausted. Non-stop action and adventure with a hot meal hidden behind every corner!


The children unbelievably bettered their room scores from yesterday, with some of the Sholing children heading the top scores for the whole centre. What brilliant work!


The activities today are heavily weighted to finding out more about the local wildlife with a few random earthquakes in between. Not the fish fingers again – a simulated rescue situation where the children have to perform a number of tasks to safe stricken residents of Stubbington. Sadly, a few children were lost in the ‘Lava Leap’ but as luck would have it, this week the lava had been replaced with ice cold water.

The children also spent time, investigating evidence of wildlife in the nearby forest. It was lovely to see them making their way across bridges, through the field and nearby thickets, looking for clues as to what the eco system might look like when they are not around.


Armed with the knowledge, they are currently constructing animal hotels – some were palatial...mine more a Travelodge - which they hope to catch said wildlife for inspection tomorrow. All mice/voles/gorillas are released into the wild unharmed after our study so don’t panic.


Another great day. Super behaviour and brilliant Sholing Junior School children!

Stubbington pt II – The Quest For Sleep


After an excitable night’s sleep, all runners and riders were up early awaiting the breakfast bell. A significant celebration of the gorging season followed with toast, cereal and yes you guessed it! A FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST!


After that, we took part in perhaps the most rigorous room inspection seen in the history of room inspections. Needless to say, the Sholing children came up trumps with folded clothes, well positioned shoes and finely pressed pyjamas. They assured the centre manager this was a feature of their own bedrooms back at home. Mr Hutchinson wasn’t so sure! 


The morning was spent taking part in a variety of team building activities. Some were experiencing an earth walk, others completed a very difficult orienteering course and some completed an egg throwing competition where two out of the three eggs survived. Sadly one was dropped prior to launch so, like the Apollo 13 mission, it was destined to fail. Eggstremely disappointing if you ask me.


The bell rang, we all salivated, then lunch!!

This afternoon, the egg challenge was taken by group 2. For group 1, ‘Earthquake’ awaited. As Churchill so rightly said, ‘Never in the course of human history, has so much been done, by so few, in such a short space of time.’


Teamwork has been the name of the game this afternoon and the children have worked together really well. They have been quite brilliant and we are all very proud of them.

Stubbington Trip Part II - The Quest For Truth

Well, what a busy week today has been! It has been absolutely non-stop. After a very short journey to Stubbington, we were greeted by the centre manager and his staff. Everything is arranged to military precision and within minutes the children were quickly allocated their dorms. After unpacking and carefully arranging their daily clothing labelled bags, the children were ready for action.

The bell was rung almost straight after that and all children gathered, ready for a hearty lunch. Classical conditioning at its very best! It was either jacket potato or fish fingers for the children and all displayed the best table manners!

We ventured down to the beach this afternoon which was absolutely beautiful. The sun was shining and there was a very light wind – probably the fish fingers. The children spent time looking for all manner of shells, fossils and interesting looking stones. The plan is that we return later on in the week to look for fossils!

ANOTHER meal was followed by a quick classroom session where we all celebrated the children’s achievements before the first of this week’s wildlife presentation at 7pm. If that wasn’t enough, it’s Sholing’s chance to go into the hide later on. I think that we all will sleep well tonight!

Interesting conversation of the day: Two children who were asked who was the best cook in their house. Both said mum, but strangely, both said that their dads were the best at ordering in food!


Stubbington Residential Trip WB 30th January 2023


The children have arrived safely at Stubbington and have had their tour and orientation. They will then be heading to the Snuffle Hole for their first taste of the lovely Stubbington food!


We will be adding updates daily, but please bear in mind that these might not be until later in the evening as the days are quite busy for the children and the staff too of course. We are hoping for the current lovely weather to continue.

Daily Update

Monday 16th January 2023

We saw sea shells on the seashore...

After a slow start this morning, with the coach delayed by flooding, the children got off to a flying start at Stubbington! They had a wonderful time on the seashore walk, discovering a range of seashell types and learning about the seashore ecosystem. Harry H joined a legendary and very exclusive club as a finder of an impressive fossilised shark’s tooth.

The children have also sampled the lovely food on offer in the Snuffle Hole, taken part in some house team games and have started to learn their songs for the S-Factor song contest on Thursday. Most importantly, they have represented the school brilliantly. Tonight, they are having a wildlife talk before supper and then the bedtime routine.

Jack and Isabella are our resident bird spotters. Our weather watchers this week are Henry and Mya G while the eco-monitors are Lola and Harry H.

Some of the letters parents have sent from home have started to arrive and we will be giving these out tomorrow. I am sure the children will be really excited to hear from home but we are going to let them settle in first!

Tomorrow we are looking forward to a super-busy day with Earth Walks – getting to know the natural world in a different way – and investigating the animals that live at Stubbington by investigating their tracks and signs. All of this will follow a hearty breakfast! 

Update Tuesday 17th January 2023

Earthwalks, Maps and Mammal Hotels.

Everyone managed a good night’s sleep on Monday night (in the end!) and actually had to be woken up by the teachers this morning as they were all snoring so soundly.

Despite a chilly start to the day, the children wrapped up warm and headed out into the Stubbington grounds to explore and develop their mapping skills. They then followed this by using mirrors and blindfolds to pretend to be different types of animals that rely on a range of senses. The dry and sunny weather has really helped the children to enjoy the conditions. Wellington boots are coming in very handy still though.

In the house competition, the Kestrels are currently in the lead, mainly due to a very neat and tidy girls’ dorm, which even included a book display! However, the Badgers are hot on their heels with some great singers preparing for the competition on Thursday. The boys just need to work on two things now: getting to sleep and picking up socks from the floor.

This afternoon,

Some quotes from the children:

Evie said her favourite thing so far was, ‘Everything!’

Alena said, ‘All the activities.’

Antosh said, ‘The tuckshop.’

Henry said, ‘Sleeping!

Apologies for the late updates daily but our days are rather packed. The children have had a talk from a renowned wildlife photographer and are just off to see if they can spot any wildlife at the hide! Fingers crossed we will spot some animals…

Update Wednesday 18th January 2023

Welcome guests at the mammal hotels….

The children had a really good night’s sleep on Tuesday night and many of them had to be woken up for the second morning in a row, which the teachers were very thankful for!

After breakfast, the children headed out into the woods to locate their cosy mammal hotels and 7 out of 10 had signs of habitation. In the end, only 4 actually had guests staying overnight: two long-tailed field mice and two bank voles. Jay came up with the superb name of Squeaker for one of them. The children studied them in detail and identified which gender the animals were before naming them and then releasing them back into the wild. All the children were excited to find out what they had found, with Vinny looking super proud to have been successful with this.

In the afternoon, we were so fortunate to have another beautiful, sunny and crisp winter afternoon down at the beach at Lee-on-the Solent. The children created mini-rockpools and collected living creatures to place in them including oysters, mussels, whelks, limpets and winkles. They then created some dragon-based seashore designs to match their current reading book. Unbelievably, Harry H found ANOTHER fossilised shark’s tooth! (I have been looking for one for about 20 years - without any luck). 

In the evening, the children helped to find out the piratical culprit who stole the Stubbington treasure during the wide games. Daisy spotted that the accused hook-handed pirate could not have possibly used left-handed scissors as he claimed and this helped to solve the crime. 

As I type, Felix, Indy, Autumn, Maisie, Isabella, Kim, Mya Z, Reggie, Mya G, Evie, Lily, Emily, Ettie and Alena are having a lovely sing and dance practice with Mrs Graham in the shared area. Henry, Antosh, Vinny, Harlow and Daisy are all playing or watching a game of chess. Gilly has built a mini-den out of cushions (while also singing along with the rest of the mini choir) and the others are all busy showering or getting ready for bed and relaxing in their dorms.

Tomorrow will be another busy day but we are so proud of the way the children are dealing with new experiences and representing the school. 

Just as a note: we had one more letter arrive today and if you have sent one, the children are aware that the postal strikes might be delaying these. Likewise, the postcards, only completed by the children today, will probably reach you long after they have come home! Also, the wi-fi here is not good at loading up big pictures, so these are taking a little longer to add than hoped. 

Update: Thursday 19th January 2023

An eggstremely good day.

Today started with some tricky problem-solving challenges. By completing these, the children could collect tokens to exchange for equipment which they could then use to protect a raw egg that was launched from a mini-trebuchet! Most of the eggs survived the trip and there were many cracking puns throughout the morning.

Later on, the children took on the Earthquake assault course. Marnie was a really supportive team player and Luke helped team to find solutions to some difficult problems. All the children worked really well as teams to negotiate some tricky obstacles and all the children had the opportunity to swing across the treacherous lava leap. Alfie was really committed to helping his team succeed. Thankfully, no-one fell in!

Tonight the children have just finished the ‘S-factor’ song contest, which Kestrels won with a lovely performance. All the children performed their songs bravely and had great fun!

We are looking forward to a final morning of activities tomorrow and then the added fun of tidying up and packing. Parents and carers, you may want to start getting your washing machines warmed up, although the weather has been absolutely glorious all week so there isn’t too much mud to remove.

Koby, William and Stanley deserve a mention for their sportiness this week and for being friendly to the children from the other schools that they met during play times.

The children have overcome many challenges and have really grown in independence in many ways but we are all looking forward to our own beds!

See you all soon…

For 2023 our residential trip for Year 4 will be at Stubbington Study Centre which is situated on the Hampshire Coast.


184 Stubbington Lane


PO14 2ND


The Planned Dates for 2023 are:


Monday 16th January - Friday 20th January *

Monday 30th January - Friday 3rd February *

*these are provisional bookings and costs are yet to be confirmed as we are waiting on coach costs.






The itinerary of activities is still in the planning stage, but below are examples of what we have asked to be included.  This is to be confirmed.

Earth Quake

Earth Walks - Exploring our Environment


Mini Beasts