During activities week in July, 41 pupils from Woldgate School’s Years Eight and Nine, accompanied by five staff, visited Cantabria in the North of Spain.
We arrived on Monday afternoon and visited the village of Santillana where we stayed for four nights.
On Tuesday, we took a miniature train to the Soplao Caves nearby and then we were fortunate to watch a Bird of Prey display and take a tour of the Cabarceno Wildlife Park in the afternoon.
On Wednesday, we left on the coach to visit the Picos de Europa where we took a cable car to the top of the mountains. En route back to the hotel we stopped at the traditional market town of Potes for souvenir shopping.
On Thursday, we visited the local market town of Comillas and went on a harbour cruise in Santander.
After checking out of the hotel on Friday morning, we visited the Magdalena Peninsula, the park which surrounds the Royal Palace in Santander before walking to the coach which took us to the airport in Bilbao. Many pupils were overheard practising their Spanish successfully throughout the week and all pupils were a credit to the school; staff in the hotel commented on their exemplary behaviour.
We hope that all everyone had a fantastic week and we hope to return to Cantabria next summer with another group of Year Eight pupils.
Woldgate School pupil Harry Whitaker took part in the Junior British Rowing Championships at Strathclyde Country Park during the weekend of 18-19 July.
The venue is home to several events, including rowing from the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Selected to compete with only five other junior crews from York City Rowing Club, Harry and his crew mate Luca Machado from All Saints Roman Catholic School, York, qualified third fastest in Saturday’s time trials and then second in Sunday’s semi-final for one of only six places in Sunday afternoon’s J14 double sculls final.
With tough competition against clubs from across the UK, they finished in an amazing second place, picking up their first silver medal together at a national event - making them the second fastest J14 double sculls in Great Britain.
Paris Trip – Mr Butcher writes
The aspect that I love the most of learning and teaching Modern Foreign Languages is that it is a way to communicate with people that live beyond our borders.
People who have different cultural values, history and architecture and who we sometimes can only dream of meeting when we are in a classroom in East Yorkshire, some 300 miles away.
Yet this dream of seeing these people in the flesh and living amongst them for a short period of time came true for a group of Year Eight and Year 12 pupils at the end of a busy summer term, as we embarked on a visit to the capital of France, Paris itself.
Paris, with its stunning buildings, rich history, beautiful sense of fashion and elegance and stunning architecture, is a dream of a city.
Over the five days that we spent in Paris we visited some its most famous landmarks, including: the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysée, along with the Louvre and Notre Dame. We walked and took a boat tour along the world-famous River Seine, we left the city centre to visit the Chateau of Versaille – where infamous queen Marie Antoinette once resided – and we even visited France’s best theme park, Parc Asterix.
Yet the highlight for many of us was not simply seeing the beautiful Eiffel Tower lit up at night, or visiting the non-quintessential church Sacré Coeur and the stunning art-galleries and boutique shops that surround it – a place that once attracted the likes of impressionist Salvador Dali and writer Earnest Hemingway, driving past the Moulin Rouge windmill or walking around several car-showrooms with Formula 1 cars on display, the lasting legacy for us all will be the inherit memories of the people we spent the time with and those whom we met for the first time.
For many pupils it was their first time away from their parents or carers, to others it was their first time abroad.
So to reside for several days with some school friends and to make new ones along the way are things that will stay in the memories for these pupils for years to come.
Meeting French shop-keepers, bartering with street salesmen, playing football with French teenagers and hanging around at skate-parks (where we caught a glimpse of the Olympic Gold Medalist in-line skater in training!) on an evening was priceless.
So as we packed up our belongings on the final morning after five jam-packed days in the city of love, a place so beautifully-stunning architecturally, so different culturally and so exciting emotionally, we came home with a new spring in our step.
Our pupils now have memories that will never be wiped from their minds.
A time in their lives when they were young, free and carefree; making new-friends, visiting new exciting places and meeting new people.
A priceless experience for those fortunate enough to join us.
Visiting speaker: Arek Hersh
Once again, the History department was privileged to welcome Arek Hersh to Woldgate.
Arek is a holocaust survivor and for several years now he has come into school to talk to our year nine pupils following their study of Hitler’s Germany and the Holocaust.
Arek was born and lived in Poland until he was 11 years old. Before the age of 15, he had lived through two ghettos and four concentration camps.
He narrowly escaped the gas chambers of Auschwitz, before eventually being freed and brought to England at the end of the war.
His story is very moving and inspiring and it has been published in a book entitled, A detail of History. This title has been deliberately chosen to echo the words of those who have sought to deny or dismiss the events of the Holocaust.
A film of his life, Arek, was shown to Year Nine pupils, after which they were encouraged to ask him questions. This year the event went especially well.
Pupils were attentive throughout the film and the questions they put to Arek
were exceptional. At the end many of them came to shake his hand and buy his book, the proceeds of which go to continuing Holocaust education.