There is nothing quite like seeing and doing something for yourself to create an interest and develop an understanding. It is hard to imagine the enormity of the Colosseum until you have stood in it, the scale of loss until you have stood in a Commonwealth war cemetery, the majesty of a Cathedral until you have stood in Canterbury. Sadly, trips around the cosmos are still a little out of reach but, for most other things, Holmewood aims to link personal experience and the classroom, making trips an integral part of the curriculum throughout the school. Recent trips have included The Historic Dockyards at Portsmouth and Chatham, Bodiam Castle, Knole House, The Thames Barrier, The Tower of London, The National Theatre, The Houses of Parliament, Canterbury Cathedral, the Neasdon Mandir, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Somme and Ypres Battlefields. Where possible, a visit is used to support cross-curricular work to ensure the maximum benefit for the children. In instances where a visit is out of the question, various workshops and speakers are brought in to the school to provide specialist input to the curriculum.
Of course, there are many wider benefits to be had from school visits and Holmewood offers a number of residential trips which are reviewed and refreshed annually.
The Ski Trip is a regular and highly popular feature in the winter calendar and is open to most year groups in the school.
Senior pupils also have an amazing opportunity to take part in the long-standing exchange programme with St. George’s Prep School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa- a life-changing experience!
In Year 6, the girls and boys usually spend a long weekend ‘roughing it’ on a Bushcraft course, a genuine no frills country living experience.
In Year 7, there is usually a more refined week spent in France, absorbing French culture, art, food, history and, of course, language.
The Leavers’ Trip to Dartmoor in the summer of Year 8 is a real highlight of the year and cements the close bonds that many of the boys and girls have forged, often over the course of a decade. It is easy enough to wax lyrical over the educational and social value of such trips but it is, perhaps, enough to note that the girls and boys love them and the memories of them will last a lifetime.
As part of our International Mindedness Programme, following Common Entrance, our Year 8 pupil have the opportunity to spend a week in Chengdu and, in doing so, will spend time visiting Fortune 500 multi-national businesses in the High-Tech zone and spend time at the Giant Panda research base. At the same time, pupils will also spend time in Fangcao Primary School, the highest performing school in the High-Tech zone, where they will experience Chinese education, most notably their methods of teaching maths. To support our pupils in integrating during their visit, we are testing a virtual classroom in school where pupils travelling to Chengdu will be taught Mandarin by a teacher at Fangcao Primary School.
All trips are led and accompanied by Holmewood staff and are fully risk-assessed.