How Hill – February 2023 


Upon our arrival at HowHill, the children unpacked their bags,made up their bedrooms and then headed down to the classroom to find out what activities lay ahead for the rest of the day. Lizzie, one of the HowHill leaders, explained that we were going to split into two groups and head off for a nature walk through the wet and dry woodland. 

The children really enjoyed the visit to the bird hide on Cromes Broad, identifying the bird life through binoculars and putting mud marks on their faces. After a quick snack and drink we went dyke dipping. The children loved working out which creatures they had captured in their nets.

After a hearty tea we enjoyed weaving before it was time to head to bed.


After a good night’s sleep the children awoke to a beautiful frosty morning overlooking the river Ant. Having eaten a hearty breakfast we took a peaceful boat trip to Barton Broad, again trying to identify the wildlife, with help from our HowHill leaders. One group were even lucky enough to see a kingfisher fly across the river.

After our river trip we headed to the classroom to create a HowHill inspired clay tile.

In the afternoon we became environmental scientists and investigated the quality of the water in the dykes around HowHill, compared to the water in  nearby Barton Broad. This involved measuring the depth of the mud and water in the dykes, recording the vegetation found on the edges, in and under the water, working out the turbidity, and identifying vertebrates. We also had to collect a water sample to use back at the classroom to work out the acidity of the water.

We concluded that the water in the dykes was of a better quality than that of Barton Broad.

After another busy day we enjoyed a relaxing evening playing board games, cards and weaving before it was time to head to bed.

Day 3

After another good night’s sleep another busy lay ahead.

In the morning we visited Toad Hole Cottage to see what life would be like for a Victorian marshman and his family, We found out how they stored and preserved their food, how they cooked and heated their home and looked at the different tools the marshman needed to carry out his work.We then headed in to the woods to build dens. Some amazing shelters were created.

After lunch, we headed back outside and learnt how to thatch a roof using traditional tools. We were then shown how to make reed candles around the fire-pit and finished the afternoon by painting our clay tiles.

After a delicious roast dinner it was time for Miss Murray’s Famous HowHill Quiz. Five rounds of fun including Disney film music, school facts and history. It was a close run quiz  with Team Slytherin being the outright winners.

Year 6 Hautbois Camp June 2022

Sunshine and smiles were in abundance at our Year 6 Summer Camp. This was the first time we made use of the activity centre at Hautbois, and it was a resounding success. Several of our children had never camped before so sleeping under canvas was an exciting new experience – even if it did make for a late night and early morning! Our days were filled with activities including: bushcraft (fire making), climbing, archery, paddleboarding and raft building to name a few. The children showed amazing resilience and encouragement towards one another as some challenged themselves with activities outside their usual comfort zone.  Our two rules for camp were ‘have fun and be kind’ – it’s safe to say that we more than achieved this. A big thanks goes to all at Hautbois for helping our children to have such a fantastic time.

How Hill – Day 2

We started the day in cold, but glorious sunshine! After having a hearty breakfast, we took a boat trip along the broads, towards the village of Irstead. Along the way we saw some amazing sights such as swans, otters and marsh harriers. Although along the way, the rain poured down and we all got soaked (thank goodness for waterproofs)!  

We learnt all about the ecology of the broads, then spent time dyke dipping, identifying all the invertebrates that we could find. After a break for lunch, we spent the afternoon being scientists and testing the quality of the water. 

After a few thunderstorms we’ve all gotten used to the rain now and no longer mind if the rest of the week is rain or shine! 

How Hill – Day 1

We’ve had a great start to our trip, even though it seems that we have brought the rain with us! Despite the drizzle we all went on a nature trail around the grounds, looking at different habitats and the animals we may see there. When in the bird hide, we spotted a coot and ducks, even some very large dragonflies. 

Later we dissected owl pellets and found a variety of bones and skulls! We have also learnt to weave and everyone has started a very successful project!

The rain looks like it might be sticking around tomorrow, but that isn’t going to stop us making the most of our trip! 

How Hill Day Three

Wow! What a busy and brilliant day we’ve had! The children (and teachers) have learnt how to thatch a roof, studied the environment of the Broads through some Ecology research and even found out what the local Barn Owls have been eating by dissecting pellets! We even managed to fit in a little time to use watercolours to capture the breathtaking views.

After such an eventful day we settled down after a lovely dinner to watch the footage from the wildlife cameras we had set (the fur from Chinese Water Deer had been discovered earlier), and are about to listen to a story whilst sipping hot chocolates.

How Hill Day Two

We have had a wonderful day and enjoyed relaxing time before dinner thinking of everything we have experienced and learnt today.

Room inspections took place this morning during a very hearty breakfast (a lot of toast was consumed!!!) Some rooms achieved 10/10 for tidiness. Wonderful results! We then got layered up and went out on the broads to enjoy a boat trip. It was wonderful to travel along the river and see the Barton Broads. We saw incredible wildlife including an otter, a kingfisher and beautiful birds of prey etc. We learnt about some of the experiments scientists are doing along the broads to protect the ecosystem.

Hot chocolate was then enjoyed and of course biscuits were gobbled!! We then went to Toad Cottage which was an old thatchers cottage about 200 years old. The children were so excited to explore this cottage. We learnt about the past and how the lives of the inhabitants differed from our lives now.

We then had a wonderful afternoon crafting our own animals, from habitats we had encountered, out of clay. There were some incredible creations. We then played the hawks and blackberries game and learnt about food chains along the marshes.

Tea was absolutely delicious and the children are now relaxing before a Book quiz!! We enjoyed watching some footage of an otter in the boathouse!!

All in all a wonderful day. We say thanks to Mrs Robinson and Mrs Hooker for all their help and amazing support and welcome Miss Reid and Miss Murray to join Mr Cooper and Mrs McCaig.  

How Hill Day One

The coach journey was great and we have all arrived safely and quickly found our rooms.  The children have really enjoyed setting out their rooms and getting to know the beautiful building and surrounding gardens.  The children were hungry already so lunch was a great success and most remembered what sandwich fillings they had ordered!! We went through the How Hill rules and then we were layering up ready for our first activities. 

We went for a walk through the marsh which was wonderful and looked for animal tracks and signs of habitation.  We saw an otter slide and investigated some deer footprints. We also installed a trail camera so we will look at the footage tomorrow night to see what animals we have captured on camera! 

We then went to a bird hide and saw cormorants and other birds it was so lovely to see one of the broads called Crome Broad.  We also learnt about floating woodland and the different types of ecosystem and species that live in harmony in the marshland and forests. 

We looked at leaf identification and also played the ‘hugging a tree’ game… Super fun!! We then had a well-earned drink and biscuit and then went dyke digging. Amazing results the children found so many incredible fish and aquatic invertebrates. So much fun. The children were amazing and impressed us with their identification skills and safe handling of all the creatures. 

We are now having a weaving lesson as each child has a loom for the week to weave their magic. 

All the children have been amazing and we have loved seeing their smiling faces and can do attitude.  Roll on an amazing evening and bright morning tomorrow.