Wednesday must have been a particularly quiet day at Gateway with Years 3, 5 and 6 all out on trips! I was fortunate enough to accompany Year 6 on their visit to the Houses of Parliament. A whistle stop tour of the House of Lords, Westminster Hall, the last remaining part of the original Palace, and Central Lobby, at the very heart of the Parliamentary Estate was followed by a fascinating workshop about how laws are made, which involved some heated and confident debates initiated by the children; we certainly have some budding politicians in Year 6! I received a wonderful comment from one of the children I spoke to who was enthused by the visit: ‘I really want to be an MP. In fact, I think I’d like to be PM’. Watch this space!
As this, and all the trips offered at Gateway demonstrate, while it is possible to learn basic concepts in class, there is no substitute for real experience in the wider world. School trips provide a great opportunity for pupils to gain such experience and face a range of challenges that can contribute significantly to their personal development. Trips and visits make a major contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills. Studies of the natural and man-made world, the present and past, science and art, language and music can all be enhanced outside the classroom. Adventure activity and sports skills, such as those on the Year 6 residential trip to France, can form the foundation of life-long interests.
Year 5 have enjoyed an action packed three-day residential trip in Ironbridge this week, and I’m sure they’ll come home with plenty of stories to share and memories to treasure. Residential trips are a fantastic way for children to forge bonds with their peers and adults alike - they may feel that they know their classmates and teachers well from day-to-day contact in school, but the experience of living with them in a residential community can add a completely new dimension. It raises the whole area of interpersonal skills, including leadership, team work, trust and respect and boosts self esteem and self confidence.
I do hope the wonderful weather we have experienced this week continues and wish you a good weekend.
Rebecca Izard, Head of Staff