ETA: 6:10pm (please check twitter for updates during the journey)
Friday: What a week, we are looking forward to seeing you all very soon. The children are all taking part in team games and challenges on the pitches with the group leaders and instructors. Our bags are all out ready to load up once the coaches arrive. Most of the photos from Thursday are now on our gallery site.
Thursday: Today is our last full day on Travel Week. We have had a fantastic time this week, the children have been amazing. The impromptu cricket match last night went down well!
Pre-Prep groups (1-4) will be taking part in camp craft and beach activities. The Prep groups (5-8) have power boat driving, canoeing and raft building.
We have arranged for all of the children in Pre-Prep and Prep to have some time together on the beach at the end of the day as a treat for our last night.
Wednesday: Some incredible views this morning, the mist is rolling over Poole harbour, the children are enjoying breakfast and talking about their activities.
Morning Activities - Groups 1 and 2 are visiting with beach for power boat driving and canoeing. Groups 3 and 4 have archery and team games. Groups 5 and 6 have camp craft. Groups 7 and 8 have low ropes and high ropes.
Afternoon Activities - Groups 1 and 2 have archery and team games. Groups 3 and 4 have power boat driving and canoeing. Groups 5 and 6 have low ropes and high ropes. Groups 7 and 8 have camp craft.
Tuesday: Good morning, we are enjoying the cooler start to the day. The children are all awake and getting ready for breakfast, an exciting and busy day lies ahead.
Morning Activities - Groups 1-4 will be heading to Burnbake Ropes Course this morning to work their way around the low ropes course.
Groups 5-6 will be climbing and abseiling on sea cliffs this morning, and Groups 7-8 will be taking a ridge walk to Corfe Castle.
Afternoon Activities – Groups 1-4 will be taking on the high ropes course after their lunch. Groups 5-6 will be taking a ridge walk to Corfe Castle and groups 7-8 will be climbing and abseiling on sea cliffs.
Monday: We left The Grove at 9:30am this morning and began our journey to Brenscombe Outdoor Centre. We stopped for a short break and then again for lunch on our way.
There was a spot of traffic on the way down, but we have now arrived at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre (3:05pm).
We will unload our luggage and settle the children into their rooms. Once the centre have completed their safety talks and fire drill the children will be free to get to know the centre and staff. We will gather the children into their day groups for the group photos before dinner, these will be uploaded here.
What a beautiful part of the country, the views towards the closing stages of our journey have been incredible. The children are very excited, Travel Week is amazing!
Evening update: The children in Pre-Prep are in bed resting for their first full day of activities tomorrow. Prep are showering before bed. All of the children have had a great day today and we look forward to waking up bright and early tomorrow.
Photos from Monday have now been uploaded to our gallery site.
Beech and Holly had a wonderful trip to Whipsnade Zoo in the glorious sunshine. We were fortunate enough to arrive in time to watch the very cheeky lemurs eat their breakfast then made our way to the penguins. We spent a long time in the African Animals part of the zoo and were delighted to watch the giraffes being fed and the sleepy lions doing what they do best-sleeping! Then we made it up to the tigers before stopping for lunch and a little play. The next part of our adventure took us on the train where we spotted the beautiful elephants and the rhinos wallowing in the mud. After a stop for an ice cream we visited the petting zoo and got very friendly with the pygmy goats and finished our trip in the butterfly house. It was here that the children were complimented on their wonderful behaviour and we were told that we were the best school to have come through this part of the zoo that day. With lots more still to explore we sadly had to leave but the children were brimming with excitement about the amazing animals they had encountered that day and eager to return at the next available opportunity! Thank you Beech and Holly for a wonderful day, we were all incredibly proud of you and impressed with the knowledge and facts you had retained from our exciting day at the zoo.
On arrival, our tour leader, Stephen, commented that The Grove Independent children were likely to be the smartest children who had visited the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre! We began in a lecture theatre watching a slide show of photographs exploring historical images of Milton Keynes and London. Milton Keynes’ history can be traced back to the Stone Age! We studied huge maps and heard all about the great plans for Milton Keynes over 50 years ago. We then embarked on our field trip around Stony Stratford. Carrying clipboards, we stopped at a medieval inn, a Georgian house and some Victorian terraces to complete fact sheets. We were proud of how the children conducted themselves along Stony Stratford High Street showing their manners to all they passed. Next we visited a library and found out how books used to be borrowed. Finally, we practised our navigational skills back at the Discovery Centre. A wonderful fact-filled day!
The children thought Monet’s early work was attractive but when they saw the London mist pictures showing sunsets over the houses Parliament, the glowing Venetian reflection scenes and the textured and atmospheric Rouen cathedral studies they were quite awestruck and spent some time just taking in the quality of the work. Some excellent sketching was done and the carefully modelled colour effects were marvelled at! After lunch we went to the London Guildhall Art gallery near the Bank of England, to see a special travelling exhibition of the top Victorian ‘Arts & Crafts’ movement ceramicist William De Morgan entitled ‘Sublime Symmetry’. This set of work including tiles, plates and jug and vase forms, all intricately decorated with distinctive Gothic revival patterns often incorporating fantastical mythical beasts in stylised vegetation pattern backgrounds. Extensive sketching and notes were taken before we returned successfully within the allocated time.
Sycamore had good weather for the drive up to Birkenhead to the Lady Lever Gallery, and the Port Sunlight housing both gallery and the (originally) workers housing instituted by the Lever family- at that point very successful branded soap manufacturers! The children had an excellent guided tour and sketched prolifically looking at a wide variety of items starting with Chinese vases and small sculptures and moving on to portraits of Queen Victoria! We followed this by going to Liverpool via the very long Mersey tunnel to the Youth hostel and after a good cooked meal did an evening tour of the rejuvenated docklands area with sculptures and Merseyside views abounding.
On the Wednesday morning (after a full English cooked breakfast!) we walked to the Liverpool Anglican cathedral designed by the Victorian gothic revival architect Gilbert Scott, with immense arches in a gothic manner and spectacular stained glass windows. Following on from this we toured through the pedestrian centre of Liverpool and then went to the World museum to visit the Chinese terracotta warrior’s special exhibition. The staff commented that we were the best group they’d had with our children taking care over a series of carefully drawn studies of the warrior’s and accompanying artefacts. After lunch we had an informative interactive workshop about the first emperor of China and the culture of the time. After a quite smooth journey back to school we arrived well within the allocated time frame but with some quite tired but excited children following a successful visit to Liverpool.
The trip to the Natural History Museum was an opportunity for year six to visit the exhibit on the Earthquakes and Volcanoes that the museum is currently offering. This trip allowed the students to consolidate and develop their already existing knowledge on the subject exploring it in greater depth with interactive displays. The start of the trip traveled through the inside of the World allowing the students to see all of the Earth's tectonic plates and features linking it together. The students then moved into the main exhibit where they had the opportunity to interact with: World maps showing the location of Earthquakes and volcanoes; Fault lines and pressure build up/Examples of different rock and lava formations. Throughout the exhibit the students had to collect information, draw examples and study extra areas around the information that they'd studied before. This will work to expand and develop their ideas on the topic. Once the students reached the later stages of the exhibit they had the opportunity to experience an Earthquake albeit at a minor end of the scale. The simulator shows people what to expect at the beginning of an earthquake which delivered some very excited students.
The students really enjoyed the trip although there was definitely some tired faces on the journey home.
Within Geography this term we are looking at writing an extended project that includes an element of fieldwork. This project will be used by the students, should their secondary school require a project from themselves, for common entrance and it is also good practice for their G.C.S.E projects, that they will be completing in a few years time at secondary school.
During the trip they collected: Environmental quality surveys; Service quality maps; Service provision of the areas; sketch maps and land use in the different areas.
The group started by travelling into the central shopping district of Milton Keynes. During this time the group focused on collecting all of the information and noticed that it was a very busy site. At this site there was a high volume of traffic, however service provision was great with a range of retail and other consumer goods available for purchase by customers. The students found that this site was extensively developed in terms of urban planning. This site provided the students with a unique contrast to the other two sites looked at later in the day.
We then headed to Stony Stratford where we looked at the first of our contrasting areas. The students observed that Stony Stratford was a very traditional town with old fashioned and modern services combined in one area, where as Milton Keynes central was predominately modern services. Stony Stratford enabled the students to collect data that will be great to use when writing up a comparison of areas around Milton Keynes.
The final stop for the trip was in Old Stratford. The students observed that there were very little services provided on the outskirts of major urban developments and noted that it was mainly residential housing. This was in complete contrast to central Milton Keynes where the land use was based around consumer products, offices and a few areas of residential housing.
The students will all be writing up this fieldwork until half term to complete their projects. They all did really well collecting the information on the field day and have a vast range of information that they can write up.
At 4am on Sunday 1st April 47 Grove children, their families and staff set off for the Grove School Ski trip, this year to Prato Nevoso, Italy. We arrived at the resort in glorious sunshine and everyone was very excited to check into the hotel and collect our ski equipment ready for our first day of skiing.
On Monday morning we headed to the bottom of the slope to meet our ski instructors for the children’s lessons. For many of our skiers this was their first time skiing on a real mountain after lessons at the MK SnoZone and they were excited to get going. A few children were a little nervous being their fist time on the mountain but at the end of their first run Lilian Goodman and Alexander Briscoe could be heard shouting “Wow that was amazing!” and “Again! Again!”. For some of our Group 1 skiers Hector Simms and Jude Cronin-Webb this was their first ever time with skis on. All the children had a great first morning with Alice Alder, Sophie Hartley-Wiley, Jacob Millburn and Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio very enthusiastically telling everyone at lunchtime how they had skied their first ever black run! With the hotel being ski-in-ski-out our top two groups met their instructors at the hotel to ski for the afternoon. Following our first day of skiing we enjoyed an evening of ‘Bum boarding’ which the adults seemed to enjoy as much as the children.
Day two we woke to very cloudy skies and poor visibility but this didn’t put the children off, as they headed out for their 2nd day of skiing. For the afternoon session, the top two groups went to the snow park to attempt some jumps and a box! Our beginners group continued to work on their snowplough at the bottom of the slope where visibility was a little better. In the evening the children chose between swimming and watching a film, with a huge swimming pool all to ourselves the children thoroughly enjoyed racing each other hunting for dive sticks.
On day three, like day two, the skies were very overcast and we even experienced some rain and hail, this didn’t deter the tough Grove school skiers though as they continued to work on their skiing and a little more freestyle in the afternoon. Due to the poor weather we decided to postpone our outdoor activity and enjoy another evening of swimming and a film.
Day four saw the return of the amazing sunshine and it lifted everyone’s spirits following two cloudy days. We saw a lots of parents venture out onto the slopes, many of whom, like the children, were also skiing for the first time whilst some were very experienced skiers and snowboarders. With the much better conditions the children skied a little further away and tried some new slopes. During the afternoon, some of the parents took the opportunity to take their children out skiing themselves and the parents, who had named themselves “Group 4,” were really impressed with how well all their children skied. With the improved weather the children enjoyed an evening of Sno-tubes and inflatables before a well earned supper and an early night ahead of our final day of skiing.
On our final day the instructors arranged a race for the children, and any adults who wanted to join in. The group set off to warm up then skied through the gates to see the layout of the course before heading back up to the top of the slope for the race. With the race taking part on the slope in front of the hotel a small crowd of parents had gathered to watch and cheer on the racers. To show them how it’s done Miss Keates set off first, however as she is a super skier (and ski instructor!) to give the other adults a chance she skied the course on just 1 ski, a very impressive run from Miss Keates! The children then raced with the U6’s, Aron Sonander, Lilian Goodman, Alexander Briscoe, Frederick Lancaster and Timothy Lancaster going first. All skied brilliantly down the course. The U10s race followed with Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio, Ruesha Kaur and Jacob Millburn having their first go at racing followed by our experienced racers Alice Alder and Sophie Hartley-Wiley completing the under 10s race. With all the children successfully down the course the pressure was now on the parents. Mr Briscoe, Mrs Briscoe, Mr Lancaster, Miss Keates and our resort rep Davide all put in good performances but we’d have to wait until the evening for the final results. Just as we thought the race was over the group 1 skiers, Jude Cronin-Webb, Ruaridh McErlean-Watson, Hector Simms and Dylan Sonander, all just 3yrs old, joined the race from half way down the slope and all had a go at the bottom section of the course. A brilliant finish to the race watching them all ski, a huge achievement from our beginner skiers!
Following a final afternoon ski we all met up at the stage for the race results, having already discussed the race at length over lunch everyone was eagerly waiting to find out who had won, and more importantly had the children beaten the adults? The under 6s results came first with 3rd place going to Lilian Goodman, 2nd place to Aron Sonander and 1st place to Timothy Lancaster. In the under 10s Alice Alder was 3rd with Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio in 2nd and Sophie Hartley-Wiley in 1st place. The parents results were revealed last with Miss Keats in 3rd (amazing considering she completed the course on 1 ski), Mr Brisoce came 2nd and Mr Lancaster was in 1st place. The parents were just as pleased with their medals as the children. However, the most important result, Sophie Hartley-Wiley had beaten all the adults, well done Sophie!
We finished the week with a Pizza night at the top of the mountain and a mini disco for the children and adults. What a great way to finish a fabulous week of skiing which was thoroughly enjoyed by all the children, adults and Grove staff. Thank you to all the Grove staff for your hard work and to all the parents who helped make it a very successful week. We look forward to the next Grove School Ski Trip!
We heard it would be blue skies... we wished for blues skies... and that is exactly what we received! What a beautiful day for skiing! The morning involved plenty of coaching techniques for all the groups. A lot of the children took the opportunity to head off in the afternoon with their parents and staff for some free ski time. Sno Tubing and inflatables were the activities for the après ski, which was enjoyed by the children, parents and staff!
The weather didn’t improve from yesterday, and at times we had rain and hail on the slopes, but the children showed how much they had built up their confidence and skiing ability in such adverse weather conditions from yesterday into today! Unfortunatley due to the weather, the planned Aprés Ski has been postponed until tomorrow, so it has been swimming and watching a movie for the children. Well done everyone, I’m hearing It’s blue skies for tomorrow!
Today The Grove faced their toughest test with poor visibility throughout the day and the rain in the afternoon turning the snow to slush, but the children persevered and conquered the extreme weather conditions!
The children, as well as parents and staff, have had a fanstic first day on slopes. The sun was out shining on some brilliant skiing, with special mention to a couple of the children who are doing this for the first time! After our two sessions on the mountains, we had a really fun session of Bum Boarding, where the children enjoyed trying to crash in to the spectating adults! Lets hope the weather is just as good for tomorrows skiing!
Bonjour! We have landed safely in Nice, and have boarded our coach to the resort. Once there, we will be collecting our ski equipment and relaxing this evening, after a long day of travelling.
Walnut and Maple headed excitedly on the coach to Shuttleworth Transport Museum on Wednesday. We had a lovely sunny journey and were then warmly welcomed by the staff and volunteers at the museum. We split into two groups and eagerly headed off to explore what Shuttleworth had to offer. The children were delighted with the sheer size and the number of aeroplanes as we headed into the hangers.
We had a look at the gliders hanging from the ceilings and an ornithopter, which is an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings like a bird. We then put on some paper wings, tried to flap them and take off, but unfortunately we were unsuccessful.
We sat on a bench outside hanger 5 enjoying the sunshine, eating our snack and watching aircraft take off and land. It was all very exciting!
After lunch we were treated with a surprise journey. The staff had organised for the children to go on a beautiful Edwardian bus. We all climbed abroad and entertained the driver with a rendition of the Wheels on the Bus!
We saw a wonderful assortment of transportations and the children were thrilled to see such a variety of old vehicles. Shuttleworth were very hospitable and we were lucky to be looked after by such knowledgeable gentlemen.
During the morning session they attended an Internet Safety Workshop in which they increased their understanding of how to use the internet with safety and how to cope if they were ever a victim of cyber bullying. They understood the importance of using sites, when browsing the Internet, which are appropriate to their age due to the content they portray. The role-play activities offered, were well received and it became apparent that all the children developed a deeper understanding of the meaning of the word 'friends' when online. After a short video about the importance of 'privacy settings' on different electronic devices they may use, all children agreed that these needed to be checked regularly to maintain their safety when online. Also personal information should never be shared as their 'friends' are already familiar with it and only a stranger would inquire about it: A password is like a toothbrush...you would not share it with anyone!' Our children learnt to create a password which was, in its simplicity, quite difficult to identify by others, along with exploring how to act when a message, they may receive, would make them worried or confused. It was comforting to see their awareness of the steps to take in order to keep themselves safe in both instances.
Sycamore created an amazing 'rap' which depicted all the learning they enjoyed throughout the day with an effective choice of vocabulary and rhythm to captivate any child, this received the full approval of the Safety Centre Teacher who ran the session.
In the afternoon Sycamore Class ventured around Hazard Alley in small groups and dealt enthusiastically with a wide range of situations such as making a 999 call, due to spotting a fire in their home, or noticing someone having difficulty when in a lake as well as revisiting the Green Cross Code and safety in the car. These instances were very realistic as Hazard Alley represents a small area of a town, with crossing, railway, vehicles and houses. . Our children showed great team ship as they supported each other through these experiences and many a lesson were learnt today.
The trip has fulfilled all expectations and the most rewarding aspect of it was to witness all that our children returned to The Grove being better equipped when using the web and in particular social media.