Trips and Exchanges
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
Successful, well planned and executed School trips have the potential to lay strong foundations for successful learning and to build positive attitudes. The experience and positivity leads to improvements in achievement and motivation in all areas from academic to social awareness and general self–confidence. At Hockerill, our belief in the educational and social value of out of College trips goes back nearly three decades. In normal years we run an extensive programme of foreign language exchanges and trips, which open up the hearts and minds of young learners to unfamiliar cultures by living through the local language, and we are very keen to get the programme running again as soon as circumstances allow. We work to promote understanding of the need for sustainable relationships between people and their environment through Geography and History field trips, and students are able to experience first-hand the culture and traditions of peoples leading very different lives in India and Uganda. There can be no doubt of the sense of belonging, and the growing ability to make a positive contribution in their community and society at large that these opportunities facilitate and encourage.
In order to manage the College’s communication regarding deadlines in a consistent and fair manner we believe it important to highlight to parents the following points to describe how the College will deal with promoting and filling Out of College Trips.
1. Initial communication of a trip and the deadline for application will be shared with parents via a letter with a link to an online consent form. This will be supported by conversations in class with students. All further communication until the deadline will be sent through Intouch only. It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that postal as well as email addresses held by the College are correct and changes or amendments are shared with the College. If you need to check your contact details or wish to amend these, please contact the College Reception staff via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the SIMS Parent App to update such details.
2. Parents will be sent one reminder 7 calendar days before the published deadline via Intouch where there is not an lead time of 7 days from letter to deadline the letter will be the only communication.
3. On the day of the deadline parents will be informed that the deadline has passed and the activity is closed for applications via Intouch. The consent form will no longer be active. No further names will be added to the list after the deadline has passed. Should the College have not received a sufficient number of applicants for the advertised activity we will inform all parents who have completed applications within the deadline that the trip will not take place.
4. All concerns and queries regarding an advertised activity including help with finances must be raised with the College, (the activity leader or the relevant Head of Department) before the advertised deadline. Concerns or queries raised after the passing of a deadline will not trigger an extension of the deadline.
These guidelines have been put in place to enable the College to provide thoroughly planned activities with clear curricular links as well as opportunities for general personal development in a healthy and safe environment.
The annual two and a half week trip to India is a life-changing experience. The exuberance, sights, colours, smells, sounds and tastes of India are entrancing for anyone for whom this is their first experience of India. The trip has as its focus two weeks at the Kings School in Tamil Nadu. This is a beautiful school many of whose students are orphans supported by charitable donations from around the world. Hockerill students use the fortnight to teach at the school, getting involved with pupils from the Kindergarten all the way up to the senior classes. In the mornings and after school our students may be asked to teach anything and everything from reading and writing through mathematics to sport. In the afternoons our students teach drama, music, dance, and set and costume design for a musical to about a hundred students in Grade 7. On the Friday afternoon at the end of the fortnight, the Kings children perform the musical to an audience of about a thousand people. Musicals that Hockerill students have taught at Kings in the past include Jungle Book, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin.
During the weekend in the middle of the two weeks at Kings school there are fascinating trips to thousand year old Hindu temples, old royal palaces, a trip to the seaside, a shopping trip to the best clothes shop probably in the world, and several other exciting outings. Every evening at the school after rehearsals and before supper Hockerill students have an hour in a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool. On several evenings during the fortnight at the school Hockerill students and staff go out to the local town of Vallioor for shopping, an evening meal in a local restaurant, and an ice cream before returning to the Kings school. Any students who have a birthday during the trip are treated to a fabulous evening.
During the weekends at the start and end of the two and a half week trip, the group spends its time in Mumbai as tourists doing all the touristy things and visiting all the major sites. The two most interesting aspects of this part of the trip are probably the tour of Dharavi – the so-called slums of Mumbai – and a trip to a Hijra community.
Students who go on the India trip return home changed people with henna patterns on their arms and a new view of the world in their heads and hearts.
Uganda is one of Africa’s poorest countries. Average life expectancy is just 51 years, average income (GNI per capita) is $300 a year, and the country has only 8 doctors per 100,000 people (compared a figure of 220 for the UK).
The trip is centred on Kira Farm Development Centre, a 22-acre farm just outside Kampala. Kira Farm, established by the UK-based Amigos charity, is responsible for the vocational education of approximately 40 students aged between 16-28 who spend a year there learning catering, tailoring, carpentry and agricultural skills. The students are all orphans, many of whom have had their young lives torn apart by war or HIV, and Kira Farm gives them the opportunity to learn skills which will enable them to have a more positive future.
During the trip our students will be interacting with these trainees and will see and hear for themselves the challenges presented by extreme poverty. They will take a hands-on approach to development and in doing so will make a lasting difference to the lives of the people they meet. For example, last year’s group worked with the Kira farm trainees to build a kitchen from scratch for a family within the local community, as well as teaching lessons at Kira farm and in a local primary school. In previous years, students have built water jars and sustainable mud stoves in houses in the local village.
Part of the trip includes visiting Hockerill’s four sponsored children: Veronica (Brunel), Jenipher (Da Vinci), Ibrahim (Goethe) and Joshua (Pascal). This takes us up to the north of the country where we also hold a village feast for over 200 people as well as enjoying a land and river safari in Murchison Falls National Park. We also travel to Jinja for a day’s white-water rafting on the rapids of the Nile.
Science Research Study Trip
The annual trip to Samos provides a work experience opportunity to be involved in ‘live’ research working with a company called Operation Wallace(www.opwall.com). The first week is based on Samos and the main focus is on completing the PADI Open Water scuba diving qualification but students also learn field study skills such as small mammal trapping, insect species identification, classification of indigenous species and infra-red camera setting to capture nocturnal animals. The second week is then based around Lipsi and the more remote islands of Arki and Marathi, doing marine mammals surveys, seagrass mapping via kayaks and invertebrate classification. Operation Wallace staff, including leading academics, scientists and post-graduates, lead the two weeks with Hockerill staff acting as pastoral support. There are also informal lectures to attend which underpin techniques being used and enhance IB subject syllabuses such as ESS, Biology and Geography.
The College’s annual Ski Trip is normally open to students in years 8 and 9, with a few from year 10. It takes place at the start of the Easter holidays and for a number of years now has been to Zell am See in Austria. With around 60 staff and students going the College takes over a large part of the Gartenhotel Daxer, where we are very well known to the family who own and run it and made to feel very welcome. The hotel location is perfect to enjoy both great skiing and also the other amenities the town has to offer.
The trip caters to students of all skiing abilities and gives them the chance to have a very full week on the slopes with lessons in small groups with a local ski school instructors with a member of Hockerill staff in each group. Zell am See gives access to the Kaprun Glacier so there is guaranteed skiing whatever the snow conditions are like elsewhere.
If the students are not too exhausted at the end of each day there is a huge range of après ski activities available from swimming and ice skating through quizzes and trips to town to tobogganing and ice hockey matches.
Given that just getting yourself correctly kitted out for a day of skiing takes a certain amount of organisation the trip provides the students with not just the chance to improve their skiing but also to pick up other life skills that hopefully they will be able to use when travelling independently or taking part in other activities in the future.
It would be fair to say that everyone, staff and students alike, who have been involved in the trip in the past would wholeheartedly recommend it.
Following the Year 12 Parents' Information Evening, Thursday 26th September, please follow these links for further information from the evening and summer trip 2019 presentations:
A successful College trip is one where all participants experience maximum enjoyment along with linguistic and cultural satisfaction and excitement, under qualified supervision, and where exemplary behaviour is expected from our students. In order for this to happen, a few guidelines must be laid down and adhered to:
• Ensure you bring the appropriate clothing and equipment as detailed by the staff
• Remember to dress more formally if you visit a school or other venue
• Behave in a courteous manner at all times
• Respect the accommodation rules at all times
• No smoking, alcohol or recreational drugs
• No purchasing of fireworks including bangers, knives, guns or offensive materials
• Listen carefully to briefings and instructions and respect rules outlined
• Never leave the accommodation by yourself or without permission
• Do not go into other students’ accommodation, and observe the lights-out rule
• Boys and girls must never visit other students’ accommodation at any time
• Carry your emergency numbers and ID with you at all times
• Carry any emergency medication with you. (e.g. asthma inhaler/epipen) and follow all agreed procedures regarding medication and health
• Hand all other medications to your Trip Leader as agreed prior departure
• If you become ill or have any other concerns you should inform a member of staff straight away
• You are an ambassador for Hockerill Anglo-European College and must behave accordingly at all times
• Inappropriate behaviour may lead to your exclusion from some activities. In a serious situation you may be sent home. Any additional costs resulting from such action will be met by parents and additional sanctions may be put in place on return to College
I realise that I am an ambassador for Hockerill Anglo-European College at all times. I understand that any incidents of inappropriate behaviour will be sanctioned and this may include exclusion from activities and parental notification if deemed necessary.
I also understand that the College’s Behaviour Policy and Acceptable Use Policy must be observed, I confirm that I have read and consent to the above agreement regarding behaviour.