10th November 2015
'I write on behalf of all the staff who were on the London trip. For many of our pupils this visit was a first time away from home. We thank parents for trusting us and allowing us take the children on an adventure to learn in such a different and exciting way.
We are always immensely proud of our pupils wherever they go and regularly receive positive comments from the public about behaviour, manners and conduct. However, this year we were astounded to see some other things we have never witnessed before; things which have made us sure that the approach we take in the classroom is reaping magnificent rewards.
• Our pupils were quiet, calm, self-assured and resilient. They were sensibly cautious and made just the right choices in their behaviour. Lots of people were complimenting us on their conduct and maturity.
• They were holding doors open for each other, taking turns patiently, saying thank you to everyone who did something for them (even the toilet cleaner at the Tower of London!), thinking of others before themselves and checking that everyone was included.
• They cared for the coach, kept litter off the floor, remained seated and were polite to the drivers. They thought our pupils were the most wonderful behaved and ‘decent’ that they had come across.
• The youth hostel commented on how responsive our children were to situations. For example, they politely chose their food, took appropriate portions, found somewhere to sit and made no fuss, ate nicely, cleared away after them and thanked the catering staff.
• They made good decisions about where to stand, were mindful of others and let others go before them. Lots of people smiled at them after seeing their behaviour.
• When we went to the shop our children were amazing. They carefully looked at items, made their choices and simply went to pay. Staff observed them do this without fuss, saying thank you when served and most importantly, not worrying about taking some change home.
• They loved Matilda! Our children were fully engaged and sat mesmerised by the whole performance.
• Derek Thomas was very impressed with our pupils and how they conducted themselves in the Houses of Parliament. The question and answer session was handled so well by the children who asked some very challenging questions!
• In the museum, children were interested in absolutely everything and entered into lengthy discussion about displays. We saw learning everywhere just the same as we do in the classroom. Interestingly, no one rushed through the exhibitions, they clearly valued the experience as an opportunity to explore and learn. We saw all of the learning skills we witness every day in the classroom.
• When we asked the children to pack many said they had done it already. We showed some how to strip the bedding and that was it… the rooms were left immaculate.
• When any children found themselves out of their comfort zone they were so much resilient than I have previously witnessed. I don’t recall a single tear. That doesn’t mean they haven’t missed their parents. It means they were empowered to be away from home and be independent and strong.
• Their sense of right and wrong, their decision making and their wisdom and resilience is all from themselves. Staff said they have seen independence like never before. They really were a ‘good boss of themselves.’
Quotes from the children about their experience…
“It’s been a really big experience in my life.”
“I’m glad I went and was brave enough to go.” “
“We did learning - Cogs, locks and moving bits were in Matilda and the London Eye.”
“I wasn’t sure I want to go, but I am SO glad I did.”
“London is different to Cornwall. There are people and buildings everywhere – it’s exciting to be there even if you are on your own. I do like where I live though and I know now why people come to visit Cornwall.”
Executive Head Teacher
Garras & Sithney Schools