A fantastic few days was spent in Bristol, at Grittleton House which is set in idyllic surroundings of country lanes and verdant farmland. The house itself has extensive gardens for the pupils to explore, and the warm sunny evenings were spent outside playing football, Capture the Flag, Man-hunt and other games. There was plenty of space inside in the house as well, and the majority enjoyed huge rooms with lovely views across the gardens. All rose to the challenge of keeping the tidiest rooms. Some rooms were amazingly tidy, whereas some others (not mentioning any names!) were slightly dubious!!! However, all children did genuinely try really hard and in the second half of the week we had 5 winning rooms!
Very little time was actually spent in their rooms however. Our first/last visit out (depending on which half of the week you went) was to the Historic Roman Baths, where geothermally heated water, bubbles to the surface. The Romans took advantage of this naturally heated water, and created a complex of baths with varying temperatures, exercise areas and shrines to worship the goddess Sulis Minerva. All have been restored with excellent film displays and models for the children to view. The children were intrigued and loved the audio guides which gave them a mixture of facts and perspectives of Romans from the past.
Day 2 for both groups was spent at the Science Museum at Bristol, which is definitely worth a visit. With many hands on exhibits and loads of interactive displays children were totally engaged to the point where the bus driver had to be phoned to arrange a later pick up time. We visited a couple of the shows provided by the Museum: a fantastic interactive show, where we learnt that there are actually many more than 5 senses. The children were kept on their toes with several different interactive demonstrations to prove this. The second show explored developments in space exploration, and the children had to complete a series of excellent experiments which culminated in the building of mini rockets, which we tested at the end of the session. Obviously the shop was the highlight at the end of the day, and the museum needed to restock with magic putty after we left!
The final part of the visit was at the SS Great Britain, build be Isambard Kingdom Brunell in 1845. A 19th century passenger ship and the first ship to sail across the Atlantic Ocean, which now rests in a dry dock in Bristol. The plush interiors have been lovingly restored and the children loved exploring the different decks and imagining what life on board would have been like.
Taking children away on a residential visit is always such a rewarding experience and gives us as staff the opportunities to really get to know our students outside of the classroom. The highlight for the staff was definitely the final night where the children performed in a ‘Bristol’s Got Talent’ competition. We saw hidden talents we had no idea the children had: amazing dancers and performers, children with beautiful singing voices and children who were confident comedians, who had us all in stitches!
It is always an honour to have the time out of school, to really get to know the children we teach and this year was no exception. The children made us proud with their excellent behaviour and a good time was had by all!