Chair of Governor’s blog from North Wales…

Wow, what an experience so far! It’s all go. Blist Hill, Snowdon, Caernarfon Castle. Your child will be telling you all about the fantastic time they are having, on their return, but here are some of my experiences of my first year 6 school journey.

Blist Hill is a truly superb educational venue. The children had the opportunity to learn so much and even sample the delights of the local bakery. It also provided the added benefit of breaking up the journey.

Our Snowdonia Ranger, Mr Williams, took us up to the second lake on Snowdon on Monday. Trips in previous years had seen the party reach slightly further up the mountain, but he was concerned with the forecast and the potential for storms later in the day. And how the weather changed! Sitting around the lake eating lunch in T shirts at 1pm, to walking the last 15 mins down the mountain to the car park in torrential rain at 3.00pm. His concern and change of plans were vindicated. The children’s safety always at the forefront of his mind – the proof that the arrangements made by Mrs Wheat/ Mrs Driver in having an experienced guide to lead the party were essential.

During the walk Mr Williams demonstrated numerous things. Ask your child about Sphagnum and its medical powers! Mrs Massey and I now have the most smoothest of hands…..

The tour guides who showed us around Caernarfon castle today were excellent, interacting with the children. A quiz set around the town in the afternoon, ended with an ice cream for all (and no rain today)!

This is no 8.45am to 3.20pm school day. The educational content continues after dinner, using the onsite theatre room. At 7.30pm yesterday we had an hours presentation about the Snowdonia National Park. Did you know that only 26,000 people actually live in the National Park but it receives over 10,000,000 visitors a year? Ask your child about the Snowdon Lily.

And this evening a fantastic talk and demonstration about Birds of Prey. The speakers brought with them a Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon and an Owl. Did you know that some Owls are crepuscular?

On four occasions, so far, members of the public have approached Mrs Driver/Mrs Wheat and complimented them on the high standard of behaviour of the pupils. For example, in Caernarfon today, a recently retired primary school teacher, commented on the smartness of the pupils in their hoodies and red caps and also on their excellent behaviour. The catering staff at the Plas, after only two days, have said what a pleasure it is to have the children stay – “they are so polite”.

Not only does the school journey offer the opportunity to broaden educational knowledge, but also the chance to improve or hone real life skills. Looking after themselves, following complex instructions, or being responsible for serving food to their friends and fellow pupils (the art of dividing a large trifle into 9 can be quite a challenge!!)

Hopefully, we will continue to blog and tweet when we can (weather, internet connection and time permitting). These are long days for all the WR staff. There is so much going on and not enough hours in the day. Staff are up by 7am for our morning meeting to go through plans for the day. The day concludes, by reviewing each pupil’s Effort and Enthusiasm for that day and giving points, finishing last night at 12.15am, although Mrs Driver did then sit and publish her blog at 1am!

The year 6 school journey certainly offers a truly outstanding outdoor classroom experience for all.