I am writing this blog from France as I have accompanied our Threes ( Yr 6 ) on their full week trip to Chateau de la Baudonnaire in Normandy. This has been an annual event on the Windlesham calendar many years. As this is my 12th year at the helm of Windlesham. I thought it a good opportunity to gain first hand knowledge as to what the whole experience is like from both the children and staff’s perspective.
We set off in the very early hours of Sunday morning and arrived at the Portsmouth Ferry Terminal in good time for the 8.15am crossing . I was soon to find out that just because we were blessed with a lovely clear sunny morning it did not necessarily mean a smooth crossing. Whilst it wasn’t awful conditions it was nevertheless quite choppy and clearly the first challenge we had to overcome. Full credit goes to the children for coping so gallantly.
I have to say it is very good for me to be back at the grass root level supervising and engaging with this year group . Midway through the week’s adventure I have already learnt a lot more about them individually and it is fascinating to see how the dynamics change with each activity. It is a full on programme with a good deal of variety which in itself presents quite a challenge for the majority of this peer group.
If nothing else their listening skills should be markedly better as a result of this experience and one of course hopes their knowledge of French culture, cuisine and tradition should also be considerably advanced . I also have to say they will have learnt a lot more of the language which is not too hard in my case!!
It is always very strange to be away from the school for any length of time and this is no different. I am reassured on a daily basis that all is well back at Windlesham and I am reminded of what a strong Senior Leadership Team I have behind me.
I depart a day earlier than the rest of the party mainly in order for me to attend an alumni re-union in London on Friday evening. It is going to be fascinating seeing a large number of the top year group ( Yr 8s ) who were at Windlesham when we arrived in 2007. Their average age will be 25 and both Rachel and I really look forward to catching up with each one of them . For many this will be the first time we have seen each other since they were 13 years old!
Watch this space.