Year 5 undertook their annual pilgrimage to Northumberland last week, which directly promotes the school’s distinctiveness as a Church of England school. They followed in the footsteps of St. Cuthbert, making meaningful links, connections, and experiences that promote the Christian vision and values of the school. There is a lot of hard work that goes into planning this residential with it being self-led but the children made all of this hard work completely worthwhile as they were excellent and full of knowledge! I have already begun to book next years!!!

A huge thank you to the staff that supported this residential. It couldn’t happen without this commitment and dedication to our children.

A little bit of magic at Alnwick Castle/Hogwarts kicked off the journey for Y5 on Wednesday before they followed in the footsteps of St. Cuthbert. They also passed their broomstick flying training and enjoyed visiting Harry Potter filming locations.

On the first evening, the children set sail on their sunset cruise. They explored the Farne Islands where St. Cuthbert became a hermit, living on one of the Islands for about eight years. The Farne Islands are now preserved as bird sanctuaries but the children were on the look out for the physical remains from Cuthbert’s time as well as wildlife such as seals and puffins. They were very excited to have dolphins swimming alongside the boat. A rare occurrence that the children loved!!! 🐬

The next day (following an early morning run for some…) the children travelled to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne but this year they didn’t drive across the causeway to the island. Instead they walked part of the Pilgrim’s Way. The road was not constructed until 1954 and until then the vertical poles were the only indicators of the safe route between the mainland and island. The sight of the poles stretching across the sand and mud is one of the most iconic views in Northumberland and to walk the route away from the road and follow in the footsteps of our medieval ancestors was a wonderful experience and actually turned out to be a tough challenge which everyone achieved – well done!

Before exploring Holy Island, the children achieved another challenge… Reaching St. Cuthbert Island. As the tide rises, it becomes completely separated from Holy Island. The legend is that St Cuthbert used to escape here when he wanted to retreat away from the monks in the abbey. The children were invited to share in the school prayer.

After visiting Holy Island, enjoying an ice cream and recovering from the energy exerted, the children then visited Bamburgh beach for some fun on the sand and in the sea.

Our final day took the children to the awe-inspiring Durham Cathedral. The perfect way to round off their Northumberland residential. The children explored the history and importance of Durham Cathedral, St. Cuthbert’s legacy and final resting place. They also completed drama activities related to stories of St. Cuthbert.

There are many more photos available on our Facebook page.