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Isle of Wight 2018

Isle of Wight 2018

 

 

Day Four

 

The end is in sight…

 

As the penultimate day comes to a close this will be my last full update from what has been the most amazing week away!

 

The day started for me at 5am when I was rudely awoken by residents in the street putting their bins out as it was ‘Bin Day’. Obviously people on the Isle of Wight don’t know about putting their bins out the night before! As a result of a lack of sleep already I opened the window -  I just had to say something. The lady next door was making as much noise as possible so I called to her and said to her, ‘Do you realise what the time is?’ and her response was, ‘No I was hoping you could help me with that?’ – Clearly even she has heard about my new role! (I have no idea what the time is- the lack of sleep is getting to me)

 

The children were up at 7.30am and we even had to wake children in one of the rooms up – another first for a school residential! Before I forget – the Guiness Book of World Records have been in touch to inform me that we have not broken a world record. Apparently a private school in Dorset holds the record with all children showered with clean teeth by 6pm – I am beginning to think the showering and brushing of teeth may prevent us from holding any record.

 

Once all the children were awake we reminded them, as we do every day, to have a shower, brush their teeth and change their clothes. Unfortunately this seems to be a set of instructions hardly any of the children seem to follow. I wonder if the parents have the same battle at home…

 

Everyone enjoyed breakfast, another popular meal of bacon rolls, croissants, cereal, fruit and toast. The children were very quiet at the dinner table and this is probably due to the fact that they are so tired!

 

It was then time to get ready for a fossil hunt on the beach. The children rushed back to their rooms and got everything packed ready to go. I did my usual checks with everyone and made sure Mrs Rowland was happy to leave the hotel with or without the extra child. It was at the moment I said let’s go that I realised I had left my sunglasses in my room. I had to make an important decision here as I make a real big issue out of people forgetting things and now it was my turn – what do I do? I discretely crept into the hotel and did my best James Bond impression as I hid behind things so that no-one could see me. I grabbed the sun glasses, rushed down the stairs and flew out the door only to be greeted by 4 extremely happy members of staff who were more than happy to make it quite clear that they knew I had forgotten something. It’s game over for me!!!

 

Once at St Catherine’s point we got off the coach and was looking forward to meeting our guide Trevor. Upon arrival we had two guides and neither of them were called Trevor! One was called Steve and one was called Alex. The whole name issue clearly caused me some confusion as I introduced them to the children as Stewart and Alan. I have no idea why but clearly shows how tired I must be! We then had a very long walk to the beech and once there the fossil hunt commenced. The children enjoyed trying to find the fossils and asking Alex/Steve/Alan/Stewart/Trevor if it was a fossil and what it was called. The children found lots of fantastic fossils and I was so pleased with just how many they found. I told the children that they could take them home with them. It was at this point that they then decided to all find the biggest rock they could find and stuff it in their bag to take home as their fossil. Needless to say that the walk back took twice as long as each child was carrying double their body weight in rocks in their bag! I just can’t wait to see what the parents do with them when they get home! I didn't have as much luck on my search as the only fossil I found was Mrs Rowland but I couldn't fit her in my bag...

 

Our next stop was to Dinosaur Isle which was about a 30 minute drive away. We arrived just in time for lunch and it was time to carry out the most challenging task of all – handing out the sandwiches! However, Myself and Miss Stoten think we found the best method for this and it was the quickest hand ou  to date – it is just a shame it has taken us a week to sort and we go home tomorrow.

 

At the Dinosaur Isle the children took part in a fossil talk led by a member of staff – I didn’t quite catch his name but it didn’t matter as I would have got it wrong anyway. After this we took part in a tour around the museum and then it was time for the bit everyone had been waiting for – the shop!!! 7 hours later, each child had spent all of their money and your house will soon be filled with a range of wonderful surprises that you will take care of and cherish forever (or until it gets ‘lost’).

 

Before we knew it we needed to head back to the hotel in order to pack and get ready for dinner and then the highlight of the week – the disco!!!

 

Packing up was an interesting activity and is likely to continue tomorrow morning as the children are struggling to identify their own clothes and squash everything into their suitcase. I think we will have a lot of lost property next week…

 

Dinner time was welcomed by everyone after another long and tiring day and the children all enjoyed pasta bolognese or quiche with salad. This was followed by apple pie or a Cornetto. Yet again the children have all been fantastic when it comes to eating their food and I have been so impressed with those children who have tried new things for the first time. After everyone had eaten it was time for the children to get ready for the disco…

 

At the disco the children had a fantastic time dancing the night away to the various different songs – I think I recognised two of the songs which is an improvement for me. Lots of the children were teaching me lots of dance moves including the ‘Floss’! Needless to say, they soon gave up once they realised I had no rhythm at all. I gave it my best shot…

 

The disco finished at 9pm and it was time for the children to get ready for bed. All children were then in bed and asleep by 9.45pm (I am hoping the children have a sleep on the coach)

 

The highlight of my day came as the IOW Daily News got in contact with me through Twitter as they wanted to use my daily update in their Daily News article. Fame at last…

 

I find it hard to believe that we only have one day left on this trip and that we are coming home tomorrow. I always enjoying writing the update as it is a fantastic reminder of what we have done throughout the day and highlights the wonderful experiences the children have gained.

 

The children have been brilliant throughout the entire trip and they have done themselves and their families proud. I could not have asked for a better group of children to spend an entire week with even if they don’t like showering and brushing their teeth. They have enjoyed some fantastic opportunities that I am sure they will treasure for a lifetime. The memories they have made have been priceless and I am honoured to have been able to share it with them.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the staff for all their hardwork throughout the week. Without them none of this would have happened and the children have managed to get out of the experience as a result of able, hardworking and committed staff. This includes Miss Reeve who organised everything in the lead up to the trip.

 

Another great day and I am so sad to see it come to an end!

 

I will end with one final thought/question – ‘What time is it?’

 

Thank you for letting your child experience this fantastic trip and I hope you look forward to hearing all the stories.

 

Mr. Bryant

 

 

 

 

Day Three (Please tell me it is Friday tomorrow…)

Apologies in advance for any spelling or grammar mistakes but I am struggling to keep my eyes open…

I was rudely awoken at 5am by a few seagulls who decided that it would be a good idea to sit outside my window and make as much noise as possible. I looked out of the window and gave them my ‘Teacher’ stare but it had no effect whatsoever. After 10 minutes of listening to their noise I just had to open the window to ask them politely to be quiet…the biggest seagull turned to me and replied ‘We just wanted to know the time!’ It is going to be one of those days!!!

My shower this morning was too hot! Yes there is just no pleasing some people!!!

The children were next up at 6.50am! They had time to shower and prepare themselves for an action packed day with what was going to be a very sunny day. However, showering is still not the most popular activity at present. When I asked one group of boys about showering they were very confident in telling me that Mrs Calder had told them that there wasn’t enough time to shower so they were going to postpone the ‘chore’ until later in the evening. However, what Mrs Calder had actually told them was that they had to be quick in the showers before breakfast. A classic case of hearing what you want to hear – it is a man thing!

The first piece of news I heard this morning was about a fight. Of course I was very concerned and disappointed to hear such news so I went to investigate further. After some in depth questioning and lots of clarifying the story in turns out that the guilty party was Mrs Thatcher as she had a disagreement with the soap dish in her shower which caused all sorts of problems! Panic over butat least she has showered – unlike the boys!

Breakfast was next on the agenda and the children enjoyed sausage rolls, croissants, toast and cereal. Another good meal and everyone started the day with a full stomach! It was then time to head back to the rooms to tidy. Yes, you guessed it the girls worked their socks off to make their rooms immaculate and the boys, well I don’t know what they did but it certainly wasn’t tidying!

It was then time to set off on the coach for a short trip to Godshill to explore the model village. I am a huge fan of Model Villages so I knew the children were in for a treat. As the children walked around the village they had to complete a quiz about the village and this was fantastic at keeping them focused. Lots of the children had never been to something like this before and it was clear they really enjoyed it. The treat at the end was to spend some time and all of their money in the gift shop! As ever, the children spent a good 20 minutes looking at ways of spending every single penny on things you can’t wait to see when you get home. I love it when the children say, ‘Mr. Bryant do you think my mum will like this?’ Regardless of the gift my answer is always yes – apologies in advance!

Once everyone had spent 30 minutes in the model village and then 2 hours in the shop it was time to head back to the coach. I asked everyone 50 times if they had everything and I am pleased to report that nothing was left behind. Even Mrs Rowland managed to remember everything – including the extra child she was counting on Monday!

On the coach a child needed some medicine (nothing to worry about) so I asked Mrs Thatcher if she could carry out this simple task. This was probably the biggest mistake I made all day because she decided to shake the bottle AFTER she had taken the lid off. As you can imagine, this led to pandemonium! Several baby wipes later she had cleaned the mess she had made on the coach and we somehow managed to keep it from the driver (Unfortunately he will be reading this e-mail in the morning – looks like we are doing lots of walking tomorrow!) The child eventually received the medicine they required along with two of the chairs on the coach and Mrs Thatcher’s arm.

We then drove to Osborne House to have lunch and visit the famous holiday home that belonged to Queen Victoria. Before going in we sat and had lunch in a lovely picnic area. We were also the only ones there which was fantastic. There was also the most amazing park which the children had sole use of – it was so lovely once again to see them having a fantastic time with not a care in the world. Before we knew it, it was time to go into the house. However, Mrs Rowland and Mrs Thatcher had other ideas as they were keen to have a go on the zip line. It was one of the funniest things I have seen for a while and I took the opportunity to video it as I thought I could possibly get £250 out of it…

Once in Osborne house the children enjoyed walking around the most amazing house and they learnt a lot of information – and so did I. When the children discovered that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had nine children they were trying to imagine what that would be like. My very short response was – probably like taking 42 children to the Isle of Wight! We also had time to explore the Swiss Cottage, which was built for the children, and explore the secret garden. However, it wasn’t very secret as we all found it!

At this point my fitbit informed me that we had walked over 20,000 steps and the message read ‘are you feeling ok?’ – but we had more walking to do and it was time to head back to the coach to head home for dinner.

Once on the coach it wasn’t long before 4 people were asleep – yes – Mrs Rowland, Mrs Thatcher, Miss Stoten and Mrs Calder were all fast asleep within seconds. It’s ok – leave me to do all the work! I soon woke them up when the children requested me to sing some of the songs from singing assembly. Well, I think they requested…

We were back at the hotel in no time and before we knew it dinner was ready. The children enjoyed chicken pie, potatoes and vegetables or macaroni cheese. Followed by chocolate gateaux or a choc ice. I know you are probably all saying that my child won’t eat that but believe me when I tell you they are eating everything! We have no fussy eaters and they clearly need the energy! During the meal I spent a lot of time informing the children that a spoon is not for balancing on the tip of your nose. After saying this 224 times I turned around to see a table of responsible adults doing the exact same thing! The job as the talking clock is looking more appealing day by day… (It is 11.13pm)

After dinner it was time for the 2018 Arthur Bugler Sand Art Championship!!! This involved walking down to the beach and the children working in teams to create something in the sand as a team. They were just told to be creative as possible and they certainly were! There are some pictures on the Facebook page and the winners will be announced tomorrow…

After spending lots of time on the beach it was time to head back to the hotel and have a drink before going to bed. The children were quick to finish their drink and then went upstairs to get ready for bed and brush their teeth before lights out. A few of the children are still in search of their toothbrush – I just hope they are not sharing.

Whilst the children were getting ready for bed I couldn’t help myself to listen to some of the conversations coming from the bedrooms. My favourites were:

‘I’m just going to wet my towel under the tap so that Mr Bryant thinks I have had a shower’

‘We need to open the window to get rid of that awful smell’

‘Is anyone wearing the same pants that they were wearing on Monday’

Now normally I wouldn’t have minded but this was coming from the teacher’s room!!!

Moving swiftly on… the children were in bed and asleep by 9.05pm!!!!!!!! I have been in contact with the Guiness Book of Records as I am positive this will be a new World Record. I am just waiting for them to get back to me.

I must admit I have spent a lot of time after the children went to bed trying to get a good wifi signal to put the photos onto Social Media which involved lots of moving for one room to the other. The only positive is that I have managed another 5,000 steps in the process.

Once again, it has been another amazing day and the children and staff have loved every minute of it. Behaviour continues to be excellent and I am proud to be associated with this wonderful group of children. We have 42 very tired children and 5 totally exhausted staff but I can’t wait to do it all over again tomorrow…

Mr Bryant

 

 

Day Two (It actually feels like day 35!!!)

6.15am and time to get up and shower before the children. This was a good idea at the time but no-one told me that it takes a long time for the water to warm up – 20 minutes in fact! As a result Mrs Rowland and I spent some time moaning about this to the other staff members who were then more than happy to inform us that they did not have the same problem. The children did not experience the lack of hot water either. I am beginning to think this was deliberate!!!

The children were up at 6.50am and it was time for them to shower. The staff spent some time persuading the children of the benefits of showering and I strongly believe most of the children had a shower despite some towels being bone dry! Let’s hope they we can convince them by the end of the week otherwise there will be some interesting smells…

By 7.15am I had told the time over 48 times and my job of the talking clock continues. I am beginning to seriously think of a career change. For your information it is 11.05pm!!!

Breakfast was served promptly at 8am and the children enjoyed cereals, a selection of pastries and beans on toast. Everyone ate well and it was compliments to the chef once again.

The children then had time to go to their rooms and tidy ready for the room inspections. The girls worked hard as a team to ensure that their rooms were clean and tidy in order to win the award for the first day. The boys sat on their beds and chatted…

Once everyone was ready to leave we walked to the coach and took a short drive to Brading to visit the Roman Villa. We were all looking forward to an action packed day at the Villa and were greeted with the words… ‘We were not expecting you today!’ Parents, please do not worry – we have this trip all under control and everything is well organised. We do know what we are doing!!! This wasn’t an issue and they were able to accommodate us. The children were put into four groups and had the opportunity to take part in a tour of the Villa, a mosaic activity, an archaeological dig and a chance to explore the outside grounds. The children thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities but I was very impressed with the Villa tour led by an enthusiastic man called Spencer. The children and staff listened very carefully and learnt a lot about Villas amongst many other things. I was extremely proud of the children’s knowledge as they answered some quite challenging questions and contributed to the discussions. During this tour the children also gave some very entertaining answers…

Tour Guide: Has anyone been to a Villa before?

Child: Yes, one in Spain but it had a swimming pool unlike this one…

Tour Guide: What is another word for chicken?

Child: Turkey…

Tour Guide: What word beginning with ‘ch’ do you not like being called?

Child: Chicken…

Tour Guide: Can you name a dessert starting with ‘Tri’?

Child: Lasagne…

As they say, never work with animals or children!!!

The archaeological dig was also very entertaining. Once the children had found something from the Roman times in the sand they were required to draw it. Miss Stoten was drawn to a child who was spending some time drawing his artefact very accurately. As she approached the child she asked what they were drawing, it dawned her that they were drawing the dustpan and brush that was supposed to be used at the end to tidy up. I don’t know maybe it is an artefact but it was clear that this child had never seen a dustpan and brush before. That’s one for the parents to work on at home I think…

Lunch time was an interesting event as we were required to hand out 42 sandwiches that the children ordered 4 weeks ago!!! 3 hours later everyone had eaten and Mrs Thatcher was a little less stressed out. Tomorrow should be easier…

After lunch we continued with the activities and the children could go to the gift shop. A teacher’s worst nightmare… all I am going to say is that the children have bought some lovely present – I just hope you all like pebbles!!!

It was time to leave Brading and after asking the children 400 times ‘Have you got everything?’, I was confident that we could leave. It was only 2 minutes later that I heard someone say, ‘I have forgotten something?’, I calmly turned around ready to say that I had said so many times to check, when I realised it was Mrs Rowland who had left all of the gifts in the café! Yes, the staff are worse than the children…

I then had a great idea – why don’t we go and visit the lighthouse at St Catherine’s Point? I asked the driver and he was happy so we set off. Another 20 minutes in the coach and a 10 minute walk and we were there. I spoke to the tour guide (Frank) and persuaded him to let us all in by telling him that the only reason Miss Stoten came on the trip was because she wanted to see this Lighthouse and if she doesn’t see it she will never talk to me again. He could clearly see my concern over this and he was more than happy to let us all in and give us a quick talk about the Lighthouse. The children were so engaged and once again we all learnt a lot about the history of the lighthouse and about how Satellite Navigation is the key method for ships and boats nowadays which means that foghorns are not used anymore. I told a joke about Foghorn Leghorn but no one got it! That seems to be the theme for the week…

After the educational talk I spotted a wonderful coastal walk that the children would enjoy – well I would enjoy it anyway! The views were stunning and the sun was shinning. We then stumbled across a little café, it was basically a shed, selling refreshments. As a result of the children’s excellent behaviour and for going to bed very early I decided to treat them all to an ice cream. This was the most expensive round of ice creams I had ever purchased and it now looks like Mrs Bryant is not going out to that expensive restaurant she likes for her birthday. I am sure McDonalds will be keep her happy… We sat and ate our ice creams taking in the views before heading back to the coach. I had another good idea to take a short cut which included climbing some very steep steps that the children thoroughly enjoyed. The staff on the other hand didn’t and I think Mrs Calder is still half way up the steps now. We will go and get her in the morning! Moral of the story – don’t let Mr Bryant have any ‘Good ideas’.

Back on the coach and time to head back to the hotel and write in our diaries about the day’s events. Before we knew it, it was dinner and the children enjoyed chicken burger and chips or a jacket potato with cheese and/or beans followed by a chocolate mousse or jam roly poly with custard. Lots of empty plates and happy children!

It had already been an action packed day and the children then had the chance to go to the beach for some free time. The children made sandcastles, ran around in the sand and lots enjoyed a short game of football – they even let me play!

It was then time to come back to the hotel to write a postcard home that is likely to arrive after the children are back, have a drink and then go to bed. Everyone was asleep by 9.30am and I think it is fair to say that they all need their sleep. Especially me!!!

Overall, it has been another fantastic day. We have been so lucky with the weather and the children are making memories that will last a life time. I am off to bed myself and I am looking forward to another action packed day. Even though this e-mail seems very detailed I am sure I only capture about 50% of exactly everything that goes on. The children are doing you all proud and I just know tomorrow will be just as entertaining, eventful, hectic and full of stories to tell for years to come!

I may even put my shower on now – it may be warm by the morning…

Mr. Bryant

 

 

 

Day One

 So here we are – The Year 5 Residential to the Isle Wight has officially started and don’t we know it!!!

Unfortunately I decided to stay up to see which school my daughter had been offered last night, so my lack of sleep has already started before the trip…wish me luck!

 Bags packed and loaded onto the coach it was time to get the children in and ready to leave. We met our coach driver Tony and I warned him to keep an eye on Mrs Thatcher as she is the one that is going to cause me the most trouble on the trip. He made a note and made her sit where he could keep an eye on her!

 We were on the road, the children laughing and joking and I decided to ask the staff which members of staff snore as I didn’t fancy being kept up all night. As I turned to ask Mrs Rowland my question was answered as she was already fast asleep keeping us all up making some interesting noises…

 A good run on the road and we decided to stop at Cobham Services for the children to use the toilet and for staff to get a much needed coffee. This was very quickly split by Mrs Thatcher and Mrs Rowland – they are worse than the kids and some staff were deprived of much needed caffeine! I have to also mention that we did spend some time counting the children as Mrs Rowland was convinced she had 10 in her group when she should have only have had 9. After counting several times she finally realised that she was counting herself – as a result she will be taking part in some Maths lessons this week. It was at this point I realised it was going to be a longggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg week!

 So back on the coach... It was during the journey from Cobham Services to the Historic Dockyard that I realised my main role on this trip was to tell everyone the time. On over 800 occasions the children asked me for the time. I have never felt so much like the talking clock in all my life. Can I please request that you all buy your children a watch for Christmas. I am able to negotiate a group discount so please let me know (For your information – it is 9.58pm!!!) I still don't know why they wanted to know the time either...

 We finally arrived in Portsmouth and we were in search of the Historic Dockyard. I knew this was going to be an interesting task when we first arrived at the Navy Base! We managed to get in but soon realised we were in the wrong place when we asked where the Mary Rose was… a quick turn around and back on the road as we were clearly in the wrong place. We then thought we saw a sign for the car park and Mrs Rowland shouted, ‘There it is’, but unfortunately it definitely wasn’t the correct turning. We then found ourselves stuck down a road that was a dead-end! As we stopped the traffic behind us was building up. I jumped out the coach and redirected the traffic as Portsmouth came to a standstill. Luckily enough no adults were harmed during this event and we eventually arrived at the Historic Dockyard.

 Upon arrival to the Dockyard the groups went to HMS Victory or the Mary Rose. The adults were enthusiastic in educating the children about the amazing sites before our eyes. This was soon brought to a halt when one child said to Mrs Calder – ‘The problem is Miss, we are just not really into boats.’ So moving on… The Mary Rose was fascinating and enjoyed – mainly by the adults. We then spent a lot of time telling the children that the HMS Victory was not a Pirate Ship and that Nelson died on the boat. This then led to the children looking for the exact point that he died for the entire tour of the ship. Needless to say, despite some very clear instructions from the Tour Guide, they all walked straight passed it and headed for the gift shop!

 Lunch was then enjoyed Al Fresco style and we were joined by a number of seagulls and pigeons. Before we knew it, it was time to jump on the bus to get on the Ferry. As a result of making good time we got onto the earlier ferry! The children enjoyed the short tripto the Isle of Wight and sat down for the entire journey. This was mainly because I told them that they couldn’t get up until the seat belt sign came off. No one mentioned that they didn’t have a seatbelt on!

 We arrived at the hotel at roughly 2pm and the children went to their rooms to check out the facilities. After they looked at the bed, wardrobes and en-suite they were ready to leave the room after 30 seconds. It was then time to go for a walk along the beach and the views were stunning. The children loved every minute of running around on the beach and splashing in the water. One of the children then noticed a park so we headed there to dry off! After another 30 minutes of running around it was time to walk back to the hotel for preparation for dinner. It was an uneventful walk back apart from Mrs Rowland losing a shoe - don't ask! We also spent some time waving to the Mayor of the Isle of Wight – I don’t think it was the Mayor but the children seemed happy enough with the news and waved encouragingly!

 Dinner time was welcomed by all – especially the staff! Roast Chicken, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and vegetables. Followed by apple crumble or a choc-ice. The children all ate well and enjoyed a good meal to give them the energy for the evening walk to the beach. A quick change and we headed off for a long walk to tire the children before bed – I mean show them the sites of the Shanklin! It was so lovely to see the children walking together, laughing, joking and looking at the wonderful sites this beautiful island has to offer and not be sat in front of a computer screen, iPad or TV.

 Once back to the hotel it was time for a hot chocolate and then time for the bed. I heard several children talking about a planned midnight feast which I was quite looking forward to, however, I doubt these will happen as all of the children were in bed and asleep by 9.20pm! A new Arthur Bugler record for getting the children to sleep on the first night! I am hoping that an executive decision was made to postpone the feast to tomorrow as I didn’t pack as many snacks as I had hoped!!!

 The children have been amazing. They are a credit to you all and despite it being a very long day they have listened to everything we have said to them and as a result are making memories that will last a lifetime. I am sure that tomorrow will be just as positive and eventful…

 Speak soon

 Mr. Bryant

  

 Monday 16th April 2018

 

Good afternoon,

 

We have arrived at the hotel and the children are now in their rooms getting ready for this afternoon's activitiy.

 

The journey went really well and the sun is shining!!!

 

I hope to send tonight's update by 10pm - it just depends on how early your children go to bed...

 

Mr Bryant

 

We have arrived!