This year, as in other years, the trip to UK was well received. Despite our journey to London being somewhat curtailed – the free time and shopping has been taken off the programme – there were plenty of other activities in the capital city to occupy our keen young travellers.
Shakespeares Globe is now a tradition on the programme and again the workshops and the tour of the theatre were both creative and informative. T3 enthusiastically joined in the workshop and were curious and interested in the unusual construction of the theatre.
Our next stop was Greenwich. We were lucky with the weather: warm sunshine and blue skies. This made the boat trip on the Thames down to our next port of call all the more enjoyable.
A first on our programme this year was the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Full of everything nautical depicting famous sea battles of the past and our hero the Admiral Nelson to the story of trade and commerce overseas with Asia and the strong ties with VOC. Here T3 had some tasks to carry out by way of leading them round the museum. Afterwards, a short walk up the hill to the Royal Observatory gave us a panoramic view of central London and its skyline. On a bright sunny day – and it was! – a marvellous sight!
We also took in the London Eye which enables the visitor to take in famous landmarks in a radius of 360 degrees. Also a first for many of our pupils!
Rochester University for the Creative Arts was on the programme again after two years and we were received warmly with a fantastic hands-on workshop making our own photograms. This is a photographic image made without a camera using objects placed on special photo paper which is then exposed to light for a few seconds. The result is a sort of negative image: light where the paper has been covered by the objects and black where the paper has been left empty. Our pupils showed how creative they could be by using various textures and translucent objects to produce some stunning effects. We were also given a tour of the college with information on the courses held there. This university has given some of our pupils fresh inspiration for their own further education after secondary school.
Our visit to Cambridge was a high point of the trip to UK. Although T3 were given some tasks to do here, they also had plenty of free time to wander through the ancient streets and discover Cambridge for themselves. Punting on the Cam is now part of the tradition of this visit and together with warm sunshine, Spring colours, it couldn’t have been better!
Another first on our itinery was the Duxford War Museum just outside Cambridge. The aerodrome is still in use for private planes and for flying lessons and there is a fascinating and comprehensive collection of fighter planes dating back to the first world war. And again T3 could let off steam here as there is plenty of opportunity to run about.
Ofcourse our guest families were running true to form: unedible packed lunches and pizza and chips in the evening, not a vegetable or piece of fruit in sight. However their hearts are in the right place and that’s what counts!
Since the trip the pupils have filled in a questionnaire with which they can rate the excursion and offer improvement points. The group leaders accompanying the trip have also met to analyse the programme and take the pupils’ comments into account. No trip is ever without its hitches and there are moments when snap decisions have to be made which may mean altering the programme slightly. We hope to keep improving and tweaking our itinery and learning from mistakes so that we can continue to offer a varied and interesting programme.
For pictures click here.