Following on from the recent contribution to this newsletter about our visit to Ironbridge, I wanted to share with you something of the adventure we had there with your children.
It wasn’t just about learning History or Geography but it was a complete break from school routine. Here, in this beautiful part of Shropshire, the children blossomed. At first slightly apprehensive, they began to gain confidence, understood how it was important to work as a team, think independently and use a variety of skills.
Overwhelmingly there was a wonderful feeling of happiness. This increased throughout our time together and whilst guidance had to be provided, the children responded well.
And their rooms! Yes, you would have been so impressed by their diligence to organise and arrange their little dorms! We all smiled when creative, hand written signs appeared - some quite detailed and demanding passwords to enter or illustrating personal responsibility as well as ‘Enter at your peril!’ or ‘No siblings allowed!’.
More than anything it was fun! We worked together and shared dressing up as Victorians, engaged in school life and pretended to be members of the Darby family, who played an important role in the Industrial Revolution.
We laughed – both as a staff and with the children. In the evening the relaxation, playing and taking stock of the day, was hugely important. It allowed for decision making, building friendships and team building. I think it also permitted the children an opportunity to know who they really are.
And the warm rays of the sun, shone down as we explored the Victorian town where history comes alive.
Our pupils grew closer together, they were a unified ‘group’ and as such took pride in their identity. When an unruly bunch of pupils from another school, were let ‘loose’ at Blists Hill, our children looked on with dismay, protective to one another and proud of Gateway and how they should behave.
The days were ‘action packed’ with Enginuity once again proving to be popular and despite the famous bridge being covered for repairs, it did not diminish the lovely time we all had.
It was simply a very special time.