On Thursday 15th September a rather excited Cedar and Birch headed down the M1 to RAF Hendon. There was a great buzz on the mini buses as Barnaby from Birch Room had been on the telephone that morning telling Chris Evans from Radio Two where he was off to! We arrived in sweltering heat and after a group photograph in our blazers and hats we took them off and headed into the museum. Our first hour was spent looking at the huge and amazing planes that had flown during World War II. We saw an American Curtiss Hawk, German Messerschmitt, and an English Avro Lancaster to name but a few. Our tour ended with a group session where it was announced that because Barnaby had spoken with Chris Evans this morning the museum were going to very kindly donate to the school a gift of having the schools name painted onto one of the red arrows! Could today get any more exciting?
After this we split into two groups and had the opportunity to dress up in some RAF uniforms that were worn during the war, we all looked very smart! After some photographs we went upstairs to meet one of the blackout wardens from wartime. He took us back in time to during World War II, and he explained all about The Blitz and the need for blackouts in houses and on car and street lights. He was very impressed with our knowledge when answering his questions. After lunch we went off to The Battle of Britain Hall. Here we saw lots of planes, tanks, cars and bombs that all played their part during this battle. After this it was time to leave to come back to school. We had all had a fabulous day and learnt lots of new things about the RAF and the great part that they played in World War II.
Summer 2016 Activity Week Timetables. Our activity weeks run from 18th July to Friday 12th August 2016 we close at 4pm on Friday 12th August. This Summer there are four exciting and full activity weeks for each department. There are also special bookable activities which were sent out to parents earlier in the term.
Timing: Core hours for Activity Weeks are 10am – 3pm
Please ensure you arrive by 10am each day that you are attending, during the activity weeks you may collect from 3pm at the earliest.
If you need to collect earlier than 3pm for a special occasion, please ensure our staff and the office are aware in advance.
If you are coming in for a special activity, such as pre-season training and you would like to stay for the day after the session is complete, we would ask that you arrive by 10am, this enables us to have a clearer picture of attendance numbers for the afternoon.
Please be mindful that our building work has commenced, all parents and visitors should report to the main car park not the small car park at the front of The Grove.
Current ETA: 5:45 PM
5:30 PM - updated ETA to 5:45 PM
4:05 PM - Following a quick toilet stop at Thetford we are now back on the road.
1:55 PM - We have left Hilltop and are on our way back to The Grove.
Friday: A memorable week with challenging and exciting activities is drawing to an end. We are slowly waking up to the sound of bags being wheeled along the paths as we empty our rooms. Once we have all eaten and finished packing, we will start our last activities for Travel Week 2016. We have The Journey, 3D Maze, Team Tasks, High Ropes, Big Zipper and Rockpools.
We will keep you updated with our ETA as we travel this afternoon. Follow us on twitter for travel updates or visit this page. I would like to take this opportunity to say that the children have all been fantastic this week. The Hilltop staff have been amazing and so have The Grove staff, what a great Travel Week. We look forward to seeing you all soon and sharing our Travel Week stories with you. We will of course continue to upload some more photos for you before we depart.
Scroll down for the Twitter feed and a selection of photos or visit our gallery website to take a look at our large selection of photos from the week.
Thursday Evening:We have all had an action packed day. As a treat for the children we will all be going to the beach after our supper. We will upload the photos from today once we return from the beach.
Thursday: The groups are fed and prepared for their last full day at Hilltop. This morning we have another group heading out for their Coastal Erosion session, we have more Super Swing which was a very popular activity yesterday, Tree Top Trail, Big Zipper, High Ropes, Climbing, Power Fan, Vertical Challenge and the list goes on! The middle groups are going to see the Seals this afternoon and if the weather remains good we might have a chance to take all of the children to the beach later on today.
Wednesday: It is another clear and sunny morning at Hilltop. The children are enjoying their breakfast before we meet for our activities. The children in Beech, Holly, Larch and Rowan will be visiting the Dinosaur Park for a day trip. Some of the groups are taking part in Coastal Erosion today, an educational and entertaining activity at the beach. We also have: 3D Maze, The Journey, Super Swing, Crates, Archery, Assault Course, Low Ropes & Low Bridges, Ponds & Woodlands.
Tuesday: We have had a busy start to the day at Hilltop. A range of activities have been taking place, Archery, Crate Stack, The Journey, Bikes, Big Zipper, Ponds and Woodlands to name but a few. We have offloaded the photos from this morning and the cameras are back out for the afternoon activities. We are currently preparing the morning photos for uploading. All of the photos from Tuesday morning, afternoon and evening are online.
Monday: We arrived at Hilltop at 1:05pm just in time for our lunch. After their lunch the children were shown to their accommodation and unpacked their bags. We then got the children into their day groups and the Hilltops staff introduced themselves to us before going through safety procedures and discussing how each day will run. The staff were all very helpful and welcoming.
This afternoon the groups have taken part in a range of introduction activities including Mad Hatters, Swimming and Team Activities. Following their supper, the children in Foundation, Larch and Rowan had a relax and play in the games room. They have now gone to bed to rest before our first full day tomorrow. The older children are returning from their evening activities and will soon be in bed too.
We will be relying on 4G for our photo uploads and our photos from today will be online later this evening. We will be taking the day group photos tomorrow morning. We look forward to a fantastic #TravelWeek
We have left The Grove and have begun our journey to Hilltop Outdoor Centre in Norfolk. Hilltop is a fantastic centre, the staff and children are very excited. We will be stopping for our lunch on the way.
Well done to the entire cast and all those who helped backstage, what an amazing show. The audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation, what an experience for the performers, thank you to the audience for your participation and for treating us to your wonderful singing voices towards the end. Here are a few photos from the last night of the show and we will let you know when the Blu-ray and DVD copies are available.
This morning Art Contracts visited us with Ivor Goodsite for a presentation about construction site safety. Art Contracts will be on site when we return from Travel Week to begin construction of our new building. Our new building will be providing exciting new facilities for our Art Department, Mr Slater is very excited about the new space and our new gas fired kiln. The building also includes new classrooms, changing facilities for our Sports Department and a new Library and Performance Space. We will also be landscaping the woodchips area adjacent to our new building and the Saucer area.
Peter from Art Contracts ran a questions and answers session for the children at the end of the assembly, he shared some very interesting project facts. Did you know that 1500 tonnes of earth will be excavated which would be enough to fill the school hall almost three times? He also explained what will be happening in the coming weeks, what kind of machines will be visiting The Grove and described a large crane which will be occupying our admin car park for part of the construction. Popular questions included “When will you finish”, the project is due to take 45 weeks completing on Whitsun week. “Do you have lots of breaks?” Peter said not personally he doesn’t take breaks and is the hardest working person at Art Contracts.
We look forward to welcome Art Contracts on site when we return from Travel Week.
Walnut and Maple have been visiting Blenheim Palace today, they have been able to send us some photos which we have uploaded below, including some photos of them boarding the train. We look forward to hearing all about your day once you return to The Grove.
We are on our way back to The Grove, ETA 5:00pm.
Wednesday: Today we were able to really take in our surroundings with time to discover more about Barcelona and its history. Following breakfast we began our day in style, we took the Barcelona Bus Turistic open top tour of Barcelona. With our headphones and cameras ready, we began our journey culminating with a teasing view outside of the Sagrada Famlia. When we entered Sagrada Familia we were stunned by the light and colours which flooded through the stained glass. It is simply one of those places which photos and words cannot describe, you have to walk in and experience it, incredible. We were all in awe of this ongoing Gaudi masterpiece. When we left the Sagrada Familia we stopped for lunch before walking to Museu Picasso. We saw many of Picasso’s pieces, providing a detailed insight into his journey and transformations of his style. The pupils are now resting again before our final full day in Barcelona.
Tuesday: Our day began early this morning followed by delays with our flight. After we landed in Barcelona the pilot informed us that the delay was caused by strike action in France. Our groups spirits remained high and we had a fantastic first day in Barcelona. Once we arrived at our accommodation we settled into our rooms and then went for lunch. We walked to the Art Nouveau Concert Hall which was a fine example of the very interesting architecture on offer in Barcelona. In the late afternoon we walked to the port, the pupils were amazed by some of the yachts which were moored up. We then took them to the beach where they all had a wonderful time. They have now had their dinner back at our accommodation and the pupils are relaxing in the common room before bedtime, everyone is looking forward to an early night. We will publish some photos on this page later tonight.
Monday Evening: Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we will be flying Spruce and Juniper to Barcelona. They have finished their dinner at the hotel and have just received the news that breakfast is at 4am!
We will publish photos to this page throughout the tour when opportunities arise to do so. We will also keep you posted via our social media feeds. Follow us on twitter for a tweet when we land in Barcelona. We have embedded our #Barcelona tweets on this page, so if you don’t have twitter you can still see our tweets about Barcelona. Keep an eye on Facebook for occasional photos too. General updates will be published each day in the evening once we return to our accommodation.
Cedar and Birch were so excited to get to go and see a real castle after studying all about castles and knights in their lessons at school. We were enchanted by the views of the castle as soon as we arrived and it was good to put the children, and some of the teachers, in the stocks for a photo. We headed down to the old mill and engine house where the old waterwheel was and found a magical spot looking over the river with beautiful plants and flowers and tumbling water.
Then we were straight into the workshop where the children really enjoyed listening to a story about princesses and dragons and they made some great noises for the characters. This really sowed the seeds for them to paint their own shields with their own ideas from the story.
From there we headed to the birds of prey show where we managed to have our lunch waiting for the show to start. The children were amazed at the size at some of the birds we saw. These included some huge eagles and even larger Lammergeyer vultures. The birds flew down really low over our heads and performed well for the crowd. It was wonderful to see them flying up to the top of the castle towers and down again.
We headed down the fill to get a spectacular view of the massive Trebuchet on the lawn. From there it was a short walk up to the Princess Tower where there was reputed to be a ghost walking around after the owner of the castle had been stabbed for his meanness.
We then walked into the main castle courtyard lawn which was an awe inspiring place. We looked round the visual display called the Time Tower which showed the history of the making of the castle and the many battles over the years. A trip round The Great Hall showed the children some fine furniture, four-poster beds and plenty of exciting pieces of armour and weaponry. There were some peculiarly lifelike wax-work dummies which really brought the place to life.
To finish off a wonderful day we had playtime on the lawn and the children had an ice lolly before we headed back to the buses. What a great day.
On Thursday 28th April Spruce and Juniper, accompanied by Mr Plowright and myself, travelled to Woburn Safari Park to help with their adaptations and conservation topics in Biology. We arrived as the park opened and started with a drive round tour seeing animals such as white rhinos, Amur tigers and black bears. We were fortunate in our timings as many of the young animals born last year were just starting to roam about with their parent’s and so we saw tiger and bear cubs as well as young macaques.
After the drive around the pupils had a lesson on the conservation work done by the park to help endangered species around the world. This was followed by lunch and then a walk around the rest of the park seeing animals such as the Humboldt penguins, Californian sea lions and close encounters with wallabies, rheas, squirrel monkeys, parrots, lemurs and Asian elephants. The children came away with some lovely memories and experiences as well as a better understanding of the topics we had set out to cover. *
With a spring in their step Spruce and Juniper walked to St Mary's Church to enrich their understanding of Christianity. They were greeted by the churchwarden and three members of the congregation who shared a wealth of information about this ancient church built originally in 900 CE. The church of St Mary was originally built during the Norman times, after several centuries different areas like the sacristy have been added. Spruce and Juniper listened attentively to a short talk which explained the different functions the church serves nowadays and they had the opportunity, in smaller groups, to explore all different areas like Her lady's Chapel, the Altar and the Baptism Font as well as reading the Gospel of Saint John from a Bible which dates back to 1800. Spruce and Juniper enjoyed exploring the engraving on the tombstones in the churchyard and the pulpit, from which a sermon is read during a service, proved very popular!
Everyone agreed that this practical experience further enhanced the learning of Christianity which has been taking place in school. We are grateful to the adults who guided us during this visit for their kind hospitality and time.