‘Rite of passage’ castle stay for Berwick pupils

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To mark their final term of first school, children from Berwick Upon Tweed enjoyed a two-night stay in the mediaeval castle that hosted King James IV of Scotland on the eve of the Battle of Flodden.

Sixteen Year 4 pupils from St Cuthbert’s Catholic First School took part in the trip to Ford Castle, in what has become an annual event for the school, which is a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust.

“It is our Year 4 residential, which we have held every year for around eight years (except during Covid),” explained headteacher Clare McGregor.

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“As we are a first school, this is our final year before they move into middle school for Year 5.

St Cuthbert's Ford Castle ResidentialSt Cuthbert's Ford Castle Residential
St Cuthbert's Ford Castle Residential

“We attend with four other local, small schools, and it’s a great way for the children to get to know each other before they move to middle school.

“It’s an annual residential, but this is only our second year at Ford Castle (since PGL took it over).”

Sleeping in dormitories within the 13th-century, Grade I-listed castle on the River Till, the group participated in a host of different activities, which included fencing, sensory trails, zipwire, trapeze, archery, a silent disco, and a campfire.

“It is a really important event in the school calendar – almost a rite of passage for our leavers,” added Mrs McGregor. “We definitely see how it builds their resilience, confidence and friendships.”

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