6. July 2012 13:11
Erin Baker – Life Skills Lead Teacher
At the busy Terminal 5 of Heathrow airport on a Monday morning, a group of 20 people hustled through the crowd to board a plane to Madrid, Spain. After weeks of goal planning, independent travel training and social skills lessons, the Life Skills class and staff were off to a beautiful resort in Cadiz, Spain. Despite a turbulent flight, we landed on the warm and glowing soil of Andalucía and introduced ourselves to our Pen Pals from International School of Brussels; who were awaiting us with coconut juice in hand, smiles from ear to ear and drenched in sun.
After a moment to share we were off to the resort. Upon being greeted by the resort staff, the holiday had officially begun for the PYSE and SYSE students and staff. Students independently unpacked their belongings and settled into their rooms. Not a moment was wasted, as we decided to continue to enjoy the 30 degree weather and sunshine by the pool. Each student set personal goals for the week, some were met with ease and others’ took prompting, but in the end, goals were achieved, all while enjoying the beauty of Spain.
During the trip, we took part in activities such as: surfing, horseback riding, boat ride in the Atlantic, tour of an ancient castle and a walking tour of the historic city of Cadiz. Each evening, our group met and reviewed the days’ activities and the highlights of our adventure. When asked about the highlight of the trip, Eleni Milissis, a Secondary student, stated “I loved surfing. It was my first time and I was nervous. I’d love to try it again one day.” Mousa Afifi explained his hesitation of learning how to drive a speed boat, “I didn’t want to try because I was nervous, but once I did, I wanted to keep driving the boat. It was so much fun.” Reaching new heights and reaching new levels of independence is a core belief in the classroom and I could not be any more proud of my students for finding the strength inside of themselves and maximising their potential and finding their inner courage.
It was a trip that will always be regarded as a highlight in my career at ICS and I look forward to reaching new heights with the students on our next Travel and Learn trip.