After two years of pining for the excitement of a new adventure; experiencing new surroundings, speaking different languages, eating new foods and breathing different air we are finally there. Trips are back!
We had the pleasure of taking 112 members of the Dragon community to Davos in Switzerland during February half term. This was a mixture of parents, accompanied and unaccompanied children from Reception to A Block. We skied every day and the children had a fantastic time in ski school which culminated in ski races on the Thursday and a family ski day on the Friday. The sun shone for the first two days, then a huge dump of snow for the next two leaving us fresh powder to enjoy for the last two days. Mountain lunches were thoroughly enjoyed, as well as evening walks in Davos, post-ski swims for those who still had some energy, and of course the indulgent fondue and raclette dinners couldn’t be missed.
At the beginning of March nearly 40 C Block children set out for Portsmouth, ready to cross the channel and return to the Château de la Baudonnière for the first time since 2019. Spending four nights in Normandy, the children explored the historic island abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, had a close encounter with a herd of goats at the Chèvrerie de la Saffrie, and paid their respects at the Bayeux War Cemetery having learned about the story of the D-Day Landings in the village of Arromanches, on Gold Beach.
At the château itself, the children had the chance to develop their circus skills, play the always-popular Aéroballe, and try their hand at making their own bread. There was also the chance to try plenty of French cuisine, from baguettes to the surprisingly popular escargots – all the while developing their French language skills: the hosts only ever spoke to us en Francais! We were the second school to visit the chateau since the pandemic began.
Our Pre-Prep have also been enjoying being able to get out and about to the likes of Crocodiles of The World, The Living Rainforest, and Elephant Island with The Oxford Boat Adventure in the last few weeks, and we can’t wait to see what excursions are planned for the rest of the term.
Next week 32 of our A Block boys and girls are travelling to Barbados with a group of teachers and parents for our first ever mixed sports tour. Ten days of cricket, hockey and netball are on the agenda and we are very much looking forward to hearing all about it! During the Easter holidays we will also see our Upper School Choir trip heading off to Barcelona where they will enjoy a number of concerts, fun excersions, and their beach side hotel!
Planning has also begun for the re-launch of our Pyrenean Adventure hiking trip in the first week of the Summer Holidays. The week will begin with day walks as we acclimatise to the mountain environment, before building up to a multi-day trek with overnight stops planned at the newly-refurbished Refuge des Sarradets, ahead of our ultimate goal of the Pic du Taillon and the Brèche de Roland. The trip takes in some spectacular scenery and challenging terrain, led by fully-qualified and experienced mountain guides. The trip ran annually from 2015 to 2017 and was planned to run again before being postponed due to Coronavirus and we can’t wait for its return.
Later in the year we will also see the return of our popular trip to Japan. As a community we know how fortunate we are to go on these trips, but it feels all the more palpable this year.