Counting steps and miles was one of the leading activities during 3TTO’s five-day trip to Canterbury, the seaside towns of Eastbourne and Brighton, London of course, and on the way back a short visit to the typical English lovely old town of Rye.
Seriously now, of course counting steps was not the main activity, but especially during the days in Brighton and London there was in fact a lot of walking involved. Those were the longest days during this very successful 2017 trip, with in Brighton a guided tour through the town, a visit to the Royal Pavilion and the nearby Brighton museum, followed by a traditional fish and chips meal in The Regency, a seaside restaurant, and in the evening a visit to the Theatre Royal Brighton for the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. Of course there were assignments to be made by the students, amongst these a photo assignment in the museum and all through the trip the production of a video, eventually to be shown to curious parents during certificate ceremonies and open days.
London was another marathon event with a visit to the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, much admired by all students for its sheer size, splendor and height: steps could be climbed by the brave, all the way up to the ‘whispering gallery’. Afterwards another activity, especially for the students with a fear of heights (but survived by all!): a spin in the London Eye. The day ended in the area of London called Covent Garden, with many shops and places to eat.
A more relaxing day was a visit to an English school in Lancing, the Sir Robert Woodards Academy. Students attended a variety of classes and enjoyed a warm luncheon, which is the custom in most English schools. Another tradition is the wearing of uniforms. We understood from the teachers that most English students do not particularly like their uniforms, but the idea behind it is to emphasize unity (no distinction between rich and poor) and loyalty to the school. In this way it becomes clear where you belong, the teachers explained. The way to distinguish yourself is by showing your talent in music, acting or good results in other subjects.
A visit to the small town of Rye provided a welcome break during the bus ride from Eastbourne to Dover on the way back home. The weather was lovely, the trees in full bloom, the cobbled streets and crooked tiny houses the perfect final view of England before boarding the ferry to Calais.
All 3TTO students stayed in small groups in host families, as much as possible together with their friends. They had breakfast and two evening meals there and met up every morning, divided into two large groups, to board the bus on their way to the various outings.
All back now, we are curiously awaiting their creative final products, a collage of pictures taken in the museum accompanied by written explanations and of course their videos.
Goodbye England, see you again next year.