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Visits, trips and exchanges

Visits, trips and exchanges

This academic year has seen the return of many trips, visits and exchanges that had been on hold since the pandemic.

St Mary’s students clocked up many miles with visits to Greece, Paris, the Austrian Alps, Malaga, Berlin and Burgundy. Excursions closer to home have included North Norfolk, Wales and Swanage.

Our commitment to adventure continues with all Year 9 students participating in the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, and a third of Year 10 participated in the Silver Award. We are very proud that Imogen C., Lucy D., Medeea G., Holly M., Isabelle M-S., Gabriella R. and Sophie S. as well as two alumnae, Alice G. And Lizzie W. collected their well-earned Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace in May.

Similarly, our exchange programme was revived. We welcomed six students to St Mary's from schools in Australia and six of our Year 10 students are looking forward to spending a month in Australia this coming summer. Next year, we look forward to a further development of our visits programme with the addition of a Year 12 excursion to Florence and a whole school sports tour to South Africa.

Building HEART habits

Trips and visits are a key way in which we seek to help students develop the HEART habits. Opportunities for cross curricular learning, collaboration and independence abound as Nitya M. from Year 8 reflects:

In June, Year 8 set out to Dorset. After heading through endless amounts of traffic and one service station stop, we finally arrived at Corfe Castle. Corfe Castle is near Wareham. It was bombarded during the English Civil war in 1646 by Oliver Cromwell. We also used our geographical knowledge to work out why the Castle was built in this particular spot.

We then caught a steam train to the Youth Hostel. The Hostel is very close to Swanage beach and the following day, we challenged ourselves by heading out on a 7km walk from Swanage Bay to Studland Bay (sandy beach) to see Old Harry’s Rocks. Once there, we collected data to help us understand the key features of the beach, using different types of coastal geographical equipment like a wave machine. We then had a well-earned paddle in the ocean and enjoyed some ice cream.

On Sunday, we travelled to Lulworth Cove and the famous Durdle Door, where we continued to carry out more beach surveys on St Oswald's Bay (shingle beach). After this, we took a short drive to Lulworth Castle, in East Lulworth. Lulworth Castle burnt down in August 1929, and the fire destroyed everything inside. It was very different to Corfe Castle and helped us understand how and why castles changed over time. Once we finished at the castle, we headed back to the Youth Hostel, where we had a short classroom session to compare our findings from the two beaches.

On our final day in Dorset, we did a human geography survey about shops for a local, a tourist, or both. We then finished off with time to take pictures, browse in shops as well as buying souvenirs - before heading back to Cambridge.

We all learned a great deal about geography and history but as importantly how to be independent and work together.

Kate Latham, Assistant Head: Enrichment and Partnerships

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