Y9 WW1 Battlefields - June 2018
This year’s annual pilgrimage to the WW1 battlefields took place over three days in June. Myself and a team of 13 staff, with 144 students, had a hugely memorable tour of the Ypres and Somme, visiting the places where so many fought and died over 100 years ago.
The behaviour of the students was always appropriate - respectful and solemn when needed; enthusiastic and engaging with the guides, and effervescent when they were 'off duty' (some rather late into the night..!).
Both the guides and the coach drivers were very complimentary regarding the students - they did us proud, both as teachers and parents, representing their community very well. The Anglia Tours guides were, as ever, outstanding, delivering what can be a very difficult and daunting subject with an infectious level of knowledge, enthusiasm and humour. The three coach drivers were also brilliant and we owe them all a huge vote of thanks.
We were blessed with excellent weather – either dry or sunny, but never too hot or uncomfortable. Many students had the opportunity to visit the graves or memorials of their relatives, which was a hugely powerful and moving experience. It is immensely rewarding to see just how much the students get from the three days - though the significance of what they have seen and learnt may not immediately sink in for all - it can be something of a slow burner…
I must also point out that I could not do the trip without the support of many other staff, both prior to and during the trip, for which I am hugely grateful.
Mr P Edwards
Sharing just some of the feedback from the parents of the 144 Year 9 students who took part in this amazing experience :
‘Thanks to all the staff for bringing our boy back safe and in such good spirits, from somewhere so many didn't return!’
‘Thank you and the team for giving my daughter a fantastic experience and one she will never forget’
‘An important and fabulous trip. My daughter had a wonderful time and has made many memories’
‘Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip with your photos, posts and video footage; and thanks to all the teachers for looking after our son who can’t stop talking about and sharing his memories of the battlefields’
‘Hope you still run the trip in 2 years’ time as my daughter is now full of excitement at the prospect of going to Belgium!’
‘A big thanks from us to everyone involved, plus a special thanks to pass on from my father…. it was his uncle's grave that my son was able to visit on the trip, it meant a lot to him’
‘I’ve never been told so much about one trip as I have about this one. My son thoroughly enjoyed it and has been able to tell me lots about the history behind what he has learnt. Thank you again, to all of you involved, both before and during the trip’
‘My daughter loved it and hasn’t stopped talking about it all day. She was up early actually going through all of her photos with me. Well done to you all and she said if she had the chance, she would go again tomorrow. Thanks a million’
‘Thank you so much for all your hard work to make this trip such an amazing and enjoyable experience for all the children. Can you please arrange the same trip for the parents?!
A huge thank you to all the staff who organised and went on the Battlefields trip. My son had a great time. Thanks also for the updates/posts; especially the personal ones at graves as it really means a lot to our relatives’
‘An inspiring trip that every generation should learn from. My son had an amazing time, thank you for taking good care of them all’
‘Thank you so much for all you have done over the last 3 days and for giving our children this amazing experience. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed herself and we are now going to arrange a visit ourselves. Thanks again !’
‘Thanks so much. It’s been brilliant to see the pictures and live the trip with them’