It has been a spookily quiet week at school this week without our lively Year 6 pupils! The lucky cohort are away with six of our senior teaching staff staying at a beautiful Chateau in Northern France. This trip comes close on the heels of the ever popular Year 5 trip to Ironbridge just before half term.
Residential trips are a lot of work in the planning and organisation, but we're glad to organise them each year because we see how much your children gain during their time away. Ask any of our senior pupils, or ex-pupils, about their highlights from Gateway School and without exception, the trips to France, and Ironbridge will feature strongly in their list.
A lot of personal growth takes place during the time away. For some children, this is the first time they have been outside of the UK - on more than one occasion the first time that a child has used a passport, and it is an honour that the first trip that they take is with school. They rise to challenges and feel more confident about trying food or activities that would usually be out of their comfort zone. They have to take care of their possessions and ensure that they are ready for activities by a given time (albeit with a watchful eye over them!) It also gives them an opportunity to shine in different ways from those in school. Friendships are strengthened and also built: one of the great points about these experiences, is seeing children appreciate each other in a new way - recognising that the reflective child is actually a fantastic problem solver; or gaining a new respect for one of their classmates as they see them grow and excel at new activities.
For those of you reading this whose children have not yet had the opportunity to go away with school or any other organisation, I cannot recommend it enough. As Gateway seeks to develop the whole child and nurture their growth, we see residential experiences as a valuable means of developing their independence and resilience.
We are all looking forward to welcoming the tired Year 6 team back this evening and no doubt we will hear many tales of challenges conquered and experiences enjoyed!
Mrs La Farge