[youtube height=”360″ width=”640″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnERQvJ1Tqs[/youtube]
“I had the good fortune to accompany the Year 9 trip to the Great War Grave yards, Flanders Fields and ceremonies at the Menin Gate (http://www.greatwar.co.uk/events/menin-gate-last-post-ceremony.htm) in July.
I am a School Governor and university lecturer, not a teacher and went along in my capacity as a governor to support the trip. Well, what an eye opener. Forty four children, organised by the History dept. coaches, accommodation and numerous trips and expert guides (http://www.westernfrontassociation.com). Being France there was a lot of cheese along with good pack lunches (made fresh each morning at 8am by the kids) and good facilities generally. The staff were outstanding; the combination of teaching, counselling, managing interpersonal issues, support and listening made me tired just to watch it all, and when I did my early morning duty (with Mr Wilson and Stuart the Techie), the kids were polite, well organised and yes, highly efficient in their getting up and getting sorted.
Matthew Lucas, the guide from the Western Front Assoc. (totally worth a Google), said the questions from our children were amongst the most thoughtful and intelligent had he ever encountered and the feedback from the coach drivers and the staff at the residence was equally outstanding.
The battlefields and the trenches and the sheer loss of life the children encountered on this trip was very moving. Children found names of long lost relatives, sent texts to parents with information, wrote their thoughts down and even the most uncertain of them were clearly affected by what is after all the greatest loss of life before the Nazis came to power.
Would I go again on other trips? Yes straight away. I made friends, learnt a lot and above all saw how clever, interested and committed to learning the young people at Tavistock College are.”