Ad­ven­tures Far East

School trips have far reach­ing ben­e­fits for chil­dren – and not just in the class­room

EDP Norfolk - - Education -

A GROUP of year 11 stu­dents from Notre Dame High School in Nor­wich em­barked on an adventure of a life­time to Ja­pan ear­lier this year – boost­ing their stud­ies and giv­ing pupils an enor­mous range of ex­pe­ri­ences which they will never for­get.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble trip, but the ob­vi­ous ben­e­fit was the lan­guage, par­tic­u­larly as it was just be­fore their oral exam for their GCSE,” said Tom Pritchard, en­rich­ment co-or­di­na­tor and Ja­pan trip leader at Notre Dame.

“Learn­ing Ja­panese or Chi­nese is be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar with stu­dents and Ja­panese is now very much part of our modern lan­guages cur­ricu­lum here. There are 13 chil­dren in Year 11 and 23 in Year 10 do­ing the GCSE.”

He said that while such trips could be ex­pen­sive, there were ways to make sure they were ac­ces­si­ble to all – and that schools trips, whether lo­cal or in­ter­na­tional, were an es­sen­tial part of chil­dren’s en­rich­ment.

“Many pupils will never have ex­pe­ri­enced any­thing like it; some won’t have been abroad be­fore. Fund­ing in schools is a big is­sue at the mo­ment, but school trips are a very im­por­tant part of a child’s ed­u­ca­tion and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment. We have a num­ber of lo­cal char­i­ties who kindly as­sist with fund­ing for some of the chil­dren and par­ents can spread the cost over sev­eral months, as we want to try and make these things as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble.”

Notre Dame High School of­fers a num­ber of trips – in­clud­ing visits to Ice­land, Madrid, Amer­ica and Paris all of which are linked to stud­ies. The trip was co­or­di­nated by Nat­sue Hay­ward, who was born in Ky­oto but now lives in Nor­wich. Pupils ex­plored Ky­oto, sam­pled Ja­panese food, learned about Manga and the Kyo­gen theatre, spent time in a pri­mary school, vis­ited Nara, where deer roam free around the streets, met wild mon­keys and vis­ited tem­ples and shrines.

“In­ter­na­tional con­nec­tions are very much part of the Catholic ethos at Notre Dame, em­brac­ing other cul­tures and build­ing bridges and un­der­stand­ing. We vis­ited the 18th cen­tury Notre Dame Jo­gakuin Arashiyama School in Ky­oto, and had mass there which was ex­tra­or­di­nary,” said Mr Pritchard.

Below: Pupils from Notre Dame High School in Ja­pan

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