Lower School Ski Trip
The Staff Version!
Five teachers and forty-two children from years 4-7 attended the Lower School ski trip this year. We chose to fly by silver bird and so it was that, at a very unfriendly hour, we left school for Gatwick airport. The flight went well and we all welcomed yet another turkey meal but the landing was too frolicsome for some.
After a long and winding transfer, involving lots of sick, we arrived at the beautiful village of Claviere. It is a cosy village with some of the best snow in the extensive Milky Way ski area.
Our hotel had a very modest, rustic charm. The food was basic and totally unspoilt by any unnecessary refinement.
The following day we were grouped according to our experience and ability. The instructors were friendly and their expertise and patience helped us all to improve dramatically as the week progressed. On the Sunday morning the beginners struggled to put on their skis without falling over yet, by Wednesday afternoon, they were all flying down the red slopes. Throughout the week we were blessed with plenty of fresh snow – lovely and soft to fall on! Despite the cold we all enjoyed the beauty of the mountains.
Early on in the trip it was agreed that anyone who said or did anything particularly daft would have to wear a pink hat for the duration of supper. Please find listed below those who wore the hat:
Mr George for trying to speak Italian when we were in France.
Alex Regan for asking what colour Egypt is.
Kean Gannaway-Roberts for falling backwards into the trees and being unable to get out.
James Mooney for his unrelenting misfortune on the chairlifts.
Matthew Roberts for almost killing Mr George.
A mild form of the home-sickness virus affected some of the children but it was soon calmed by the potent Italian ice-cream antidote. Children found that it was most effective when taken orally up to four times a day.
The week was not entirely without its problems. Mrs Nowak was constantly harassed by a naughty little shoe fairy who hid her trainers whenever she left the boot room. The identity of the spicy sprite remains a mystery to this day.
Evening entertainments were a highlight of our trip. Hosted in what was once an underground dance bar our Karaoke night was a huge success. Miss Hawkings and Mrs Nowak made memorable contributions.
The hotel above the bar says it is receiving far fewer complaints now that they’ve gone. Most of the children sang a song and all were commended by the rep for their involvement. Thomas’s club version of The Beatles’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ was especially catchy whilst Poppy entertained us all with her fabulous rendition of ‘Rock DJ’. Mr Barwell revealed a sensitive side to his nature as he crooned his way through ‘Mack the Knife’.
The same venue hosted an equally successful cinema night. We all enjoyed ‘Monsters versus Aliens’ on the big screen and teeth were once again assaulted by a variety of fizzy drinks. Ever conscious of his own teeth Mr Watts wisely stuck to the whiskey.
On another night, in near total darkness, we decided it would be a great idea for the children to go bumboarding. Issy Gibbings proved herself to be especially quick down the mountain. Search and Rescue found her some time later in Montgenevre.
Our Miss Claviere competition was enjoyed by all. Keiran was a worryingly good impersonator and won the event easily. All of the ‘girls’ are to be applauded for their pluck. It’s probably best that we don’t publish the photos on our website.
The last day ushered in the slalom competition. All of the pupils were brave enough to give it a go. Once again it was a one and two for the turbo twins, Megan and Keiran Long. Megan set the fastest time of the season so far. Remarkably, another set of siblings, Jack and Freja Gunningham, completed the course in exactly the same time of 17.74 seconds, proving that lightning can strike twice.
Our return journey was eventful and not a little arduous but all coped admirably. The coach arrived at the Colston’s main gates just as the closing credits to Mama Mia were rolling. To most it was probably then a case of,
‘O bed! O bed! Delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.’
Throughout our time away the staff were impressed with the behaviour of the children. All showed great bravery and determination in their skiing and, away from the slopes, were polite, helpful and humorous. We all have fond memories of a wonderful time away and look forward to future adventures on the piste.
A Pupil’s Perspective!
When we arrived at Claviere I had never seen so much snow in my life.
I had not been skiing before and when I put my skis on I felt frightened at first because my legs felt strange. Our instructor was called Dario and he taught us how to stay upright! He also taught us how to do snow ploughs so that we didn’t go down the slopes at tremendous speed. I soon got the hang of skiing but then it was time to get on the chairlift. On my first attempt I lost my poles and the second time I ended up under it and it hit my head.
Skiing was amazing fun and I had the time of my life.
On our last day of skiing we had a slalom timed race and we found out who the winners were at the award ceremony that evening. I was very proud of my time because I came third and took the bronze medal in my group. I wore my medal to bed so I wouldn’t lose it!
We had great entertainment every night but my favourite was Miss Claviere. Some of the boys dressed up as girls; it was really funny!
Thank you Mr Barwell, Mr George, Mr Watts, Mrs Nowak and Miss Hawkings for a great holiday!