Our return to Heywood after two days of the sports tour with the Year 4 children couldn’t have been better… firstly, I was greeted by smiling parents who were glad to have their tired and slightly grubby children back and secondly I was greeted by Mrs Mitchell, who, after a long week of inspection had received the email above from the Headmistress at Exeter Junior School before our return; I think she was pleased!
I wrote a couple of pieces last year about the benefits of school trips and how they benefit the children, enable them to build friendships, to problem solve for themselves and to spend time away from home comforts.
Our school values of Determination, Respect and Curiosity were well and truly practiced and developed during these two days away. The determination we saw on both the rugby and hockey pitches was excellent and led to some fine results over the tour, with our rugby A-team narrowly losing in the final of the ISA South West Competition and then us winning all our fixtures against Exeter School on Friday. It took a certain amount of determination too to climb up to the top of Haytor, some 430m above sea level in the wind, drizzle and on minimal sleep! As demonstrated by the email above, the children were respectful of our opposition and made an impression on Exeter School. The children were clearly excited on Thursday morning and were curious to find out where they were sleeping, what time bedtime was, who they were sharing with and what the opposition were going to be like.
This trip is one which deliberately takes children out of their comfort zones within a safe environment with staff that they know well; the accommodation is basic, the schedule jam-packed, children share rooms with children they would not normally share with, the food is simple but nutritious (I cooked it!) and the kit list is minimal. All of our children coped with the trip immensely well; of course, a few children woke up ever so slightly too early (2.30am, 3.40am, 5.00am…) but they all had a fantastic time. You only have to hear them talking about the fun that they had to know that it has benefitted them, new friendships were made and life skills of tolerance and acceptance were developed.
I am very proud of the children for their behaviour and successes on this trip and am looking forward to the Year 5 & 6 sports tour to Holland next term!