Trips (90)

Friday, 15 November 2019 15:34

Yew & Aspen Trip to Oxford Castle

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DSC 0044The trip to Oxford Castle was a huge success and we have had some very positive feedback from children and parents, alike! We travelled to the centre of Oxford, to find the castle nestled quite inconspicuously, in its contrastingly modern surroundings: the brand new Westgate Centre, situated just feet away from the ancient building that once acted as the epicentre of defence against the Vikings, for the entire city. Of course, in comparison to the settlement that sat on the Cherwell and the Thames in 1009, the Oxford that we see nowadays is a far reaching and comprehensive infrastructure. In a city which lives and breathes its historical gravitas, the remaining sections of the motte and bailey castle are hidden gems, which provide yet another angle to the depth of Oxford's history.

On arrival, we were whisked into a tour of the castle and prison. The children ascended all 101 steps of St George's Tower. Built in a clockwork spiral (or as the children pointed out, more of a helix)  the tower was cleverly designed to prevent Vikings from swinging their swords in attack, as they climbed it. Around two thirds of the way up, we discovered a room in which King James imprisoned parliamentary sympathisers, during the civil war of 1642. At the top, the view was astounding and the children spent some time absorbing the beauty of the great city.

Subsequently, we toured the prison, learning about the dismal and desperate lives of the prisoners who were incarcerated there, during Victorian times. Some of the children carried out demonstrations of the punishments that would have befallen those, unlucky enough to be caught stealing something insignificant or being charged with owning a 'saucy mouth'. This was, of course, as equally shocking as it was entertaining; I'm sure we all learnt something that we will never forget, that day! //// In the afternoon, the children took part in creative writing and drama activities, which explored the story of Prince Stephen and Empress Matilda. They had the opportunity to dress-up and act out the tale, which was refreshing in that it ended with a diplomatic compromise and peace: Stephen taking the throne and Matilda striking a deal, which guaranteed a place on the throne, for her son. The children planned and acted-out scenes from the story in small groups, with plenty of ad-libbing and sound effects to bring the performance to life.

DSC 0011The children also had the opportunity to climb the mound and stand at the top, observing the city from yet another great height. They could see first-hand, the importance of the higher ground in order spot and prepare for an attack. Many of them practised their archery skills using imaginary bows and arrows and set off on impromptu battles of their own, in high spirits. Speaking of spirits, we were also terrorised by a phantom shoulder-tapper, throughout our time at the castle. Most of us assumed it was Mr Stewart, until we were made aware that the castle is likely haunted. The mystery has not been solved, even now!

A superb time was had by all. Thank you, Oxford Castle!

Mrs Ramsay

Sunday, 27 October 2019 17:14

Chestnut & Sycamore Trip to The Raptors

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DSC 0022On Wednesday the 23rd October, Chestnut and Sycamore travelled to the Raptor Foundation near Huntingdon to learn about birds of prey. They were accompanied by Miss McCall, Mr Bay and Mr Pendry, who were all highly impressed by the children’s behaviour and representation of the school.

After a brief introduction, the two classes separated for different activities, swapping over after lunch. One group visited the reptile house where different prey species of the birds were housed (not as future snacks!). The children were able to get hands on with tortoises and geckos and also enjoyed seeing meerkats up close. They were told about the advances in medical treatments, using synthetic snake venom, and other important research going on with these species. They also heard how litter is particularly dangerous to animals that cannot bring it back up after it is swallowed.

The other group went to the education centre where they studied the pellets of local Barn owls in order to ascertain their diet composition. This involved dissecting the pellets with tweezers and fingers, matching the bones that they found to an identification chart. This was followed by an opportunity to meet and greet two owls (a small African eagle owl called Lola and a British Tawny owl named Topaz). The children were delighted to be able to stroke these two magnificent creatures.

Between these two activities, the children watched a performance by different species of raptor with several getting much closer to the birds than they anticipated as they flew past. They were told about the birds’ habitats and the dangers posed to them by mankind.

The staff at the centre were amazed at the children’s knowledge and understanding of the issues that they were covering. In fact, our tour guide Elliot stated that he had to adjust his presentation to a level three years older than he anticipated, such was the knowledge displayed by the children.

Every one of us enjoyed the experience immensely and have been left with wonderful memories and feeling inspired for the future.

Miss McCall & Mr Pendry

Friday, 18 October 2019 15:07

Spruce & Juniper Trip to Tate Britain, London

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DSC 0005The two groups had an eventful trip into London Euston after signal failure delays, but all had seats and we travelled across to the Tate Britain gallery quite easily. The children started by looking at a series of Henry Moore figure related sculptures and drawings, with some very good rendering of shape and texture in their sketchbooks.

After a brief gallery explore they then went to the William Blake exhibition where they carried out a series of detailed drawn studies of selected paintings as well as a careful look at the very large range of William Blake engravings. Several members of the public commented positively both on their work focus and the quality of the drawings in progress!

Mr Slater

Friday, 18 October 2019 14:54

Beech & Holly Trip to the Leicester Space Centre

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2019 10 16 11.50.28Beech and Holly had a fantastic first trip to the National Space Centre in Leicester. When we arrived we saw a real life rocket. It was enormous and the children were very impressed. We were invited inside to explore different aspects of space and travel. In the Tranquillity Base we explored the inside of a moon buggy and took it in turns to drive a hover chair. We also had a go at measuring our heights, weights and bone density to see if we could also be astronauts. In the solar system section we found a tiny-tarium. In the tiny-tarium we met Astronaut George who took us around the solar system. We had to answer his questions about the different planets by pressing the buttons around the walls. The children discovered that not all planets have water, air and friends. We also used our sense of touch to feel different types of rocks they have found on the earth, the moon and in space. In this section we also saw a model rover robot which could be steered with a remote control.

In our packed lunch we had sandwiches, yogurt, fruit and raisins. After lunch, we were fortunate enough to then go to the big planetarium where we discovered the history of light travel from Earth and were blown away by how many people it took to land men on the moon. At the end of the day we met some of the Space Centre staff who showed us how to make our own alien slime which we could take home with us. We had had so much fun on the trip that a lot of the children fell asleep on the coach trip back to school. What an exciting adventure!

Miss Ascough & Mrs Maulkerson

Tuesday, 15 October 2019 16:03

Hawthorn & Poplar Trip to Palace House, Newmarket

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DSC 0018On Friday the 11th October, Hawthorn and Poplar travelled to Newmarket, the home of British horseracing. The children were accompanied by Mr Thorne, Ms Archer and Mr Pendry around the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art.

Once inside they took part in a three stage workshop that focused on the digestive system. The children got to meet retired thoroughbred racehorses and observe their movement as they were told about the feeding habits of horses. This was followed by an activity organising the digestive system organs of a horse, which is slightly different to that found in a human being.

The children also visited an interactive gallery which taught them about the size and weight of a racehorse's organs and skeleton, as well as the careful selective breeding that goes into the creation of a champion.

Lastly the children took part in a mock surgery, identifying cuddly organs that they pulled out of the patient.

The children impressed the staff with their understanding of the topic and prior knowledge.

Mr Pendry

Tuesday, 08 October 2019 10:30

Larch & Rowan Trip to the Living Rainforest

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20191002 111311Larch and Rowan excitedly set off to the rainforest, well The Living Rainforest! We visited The Living Rainforest to support the work that we have been doing in geography. Guided by members of staff from The Grove and the centre, Larch and Rowan explored parts of the rainforest.

The children thoroughly enjoyed listening to our guides share information about the environment and the animals that live in the rainforest. The children impressed the guides with their knowledge of the rainforest, were able to answer lots of questions and ask relevant questions.

We were introduced to a water dragon, a salmon pink bird eating spider, an armadillo, a snake called Lenny and hidden in the top of the trees we spotted a sleeping sloth. We were very proud of the children, as they represented the school extremely well and were polite and well-behaved for the duration. What a lovely day!

Mrs Okwuadigbo & Mrs Vass

Wednesday, 02 October 2019 08:47

Spruce Orienteering of Tear Drop Lakes

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2019 10 01 09.30.41The pupils in Spruce went on a field trip around Loughton and the tear drop lakes. They were investigating the methods studied in class surrounding map reading and direction. This morning outside gave the children the opportunity to locate themselves on an OS map; take and find locations in relation to grid references; use a compass, finding direction and working out how to use key landmarks to pin point their location. All of the children completed different navigation segments that led them to a new site with the others working out where they'd gone. They all really enjoyed it and we made it back just in time to avoid the rain! Mr Thorne 
Friday, 27 September 2019 15:26

Acacia & Pine Trip to Kew Gardens

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DSC 0039The day started well with a bright morning and a prompt set off to see Kew gardens. The day consisted of an science and art workshop looking at different climate ’biomes’ such as desert, tropical, temperate whilst exploring greenhouses with those environments. The children did various drawing and knowledge activities accompanying these with an exceptionally good Kew tutor. The other half of the day was a tour of the exquisite yet also ‘boisterous’ large scale Dale Chihuly blown glass sculptures situated in the Kew grounds and green houses.

The children drew notice as they looked and sketched with several unsolicited favourable comments; one lady saying that she was amazed at their work focus and quiet concentration and a passing design lecturer felt she had to stop and say that the drawing standard was outstanding especially for a year six level. The sketchbook work quality was very good with some striking drawings which will inform an ongoing sculptural project follow up at school.

Mr Slater

Wednesday, 18 September 2019 09:13

Climbing Club Trip to Keswick, Lake District

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After lunch on Friday the keen members of the climbing club departed for the Lake District National Park. A long journey with a tasty sandwich saw us arrive around nine thirty at Glaramara outdoor centre. The centre were so welcoming and showed us straight to the rooms where Kyle promptly declared that the room was ten out of ten. Falling straight asleep they were obviously tired.

A bright start to the day was a wonderful way to wake up. The Lake District was stunning to see. The children started the day with a lovely cooked breakfast before meeting Tom, (their instructor), who kitted them up with harness and climbing helmet ready for action.

We headed out into Borrowdale and wound out way in the minibus down a very narrow winding lane. Walking up through the woods the children got their first glimpse of the lake and location of their morning climbing. Throughout the morning the children learnt to belay and look after each other whilst climbing. It was great to see them coming together as a team and work on their communication skills. After a great morning the children walked to the river and ate their tasty pack lunch before moving to the next location for the afternoon.

In the afternoon the children went up to the upper valley and climbed on Shepard’s crag, famous around the World to climbers. They had the opportunity to look at a new style of climbing and relished the challenge, despite the high wind they did fantastically.

P1020530After a long day some games, shower and dinner beckoned. They were very hungry and ate a delicious dinner, a tour group commented how impressed they were at the politeness and manners the children demonstrated throughout dinner. They were then of to bed and were once again asleep in minutes.

The next day was a bit wetter than the previous day and the decision was made to go gorge scrambling/climbing. The children were kitted out with waterproofs and caving suits to keep them warm. A short walk and we were exploring the gorge. They climbed through waterfalls, tight holes in tress and caves. They had the best time exploring and having a great adventure. We then headed back to the centre for a late lunch and got on the road back to school.

All of the children had a fantastic time and could have happily stayed another week. We look forward to the summer and more rock climbing adventures to come.

Mr Thorne

Beech and Holly had a wonderful trip to Paradise Wildlife Park. We started off our trip with a hands on experience where we met a tortoise called Usain, a bearded dragon called Spike and a very friendly rabbit called Moana. After our workshop we visited the big cats and watched the white lions sleeping on top of their rock. We were very lucky to see the cheetah being fed and we listened to the talk as they explained that she was quite lazy and didn't like to run even though they have set up lovely tracks and games for her. We discovered that they therefore only run out of necessity which was very interesting. We spotted some playful jaguar's and sleepy tigers from the tree top walkway and descended to discover meerkats warming up under the heat lamp.

Our next adventure was into the reptile house and the Amazing Amazon exhibition where we saw a huge Anaconda swimming in it's pool. We also spotted an alligator, pythons and toads.

After lunch it was onto the penguin pool where they were having a swimming race and jumping out of the pool. Then we saw the alpaca's, zebra's and we even crawled through the meerkat tunnel to get a closer look at another group of meerkats who were foraging for their dinner. We had a quick ice cream stop to restore our energy and it was onto the Land of the Dinosaurs! We had a very exciting ride on the Dino Express and came face to face with some our favourite dinosaurs. Some of us even got squirted by the dinosaurs which was very funny.

We had a fun packed day and saw lots of wonderful animals. Many of us are keen to return as we enjoyed it that much and even one member of Holly Room declared as we were heading home "this was the best day ever!" All in all it was a very successful trip and we all left with lots of new animal facts to share.

Mrs Collins

Call: 01908 690 590

The Grove Independent School Ltd,
Redland Drive, Loughton,
Milton Keynes, MK5 8HD

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Copyright © The Grove Independent School Ltd 1984-2017

Open 47 weeks a year including our residential trips and activity weeks, all part of our all-inclusive fee structure. (Parents may elect for our term time only fees when enrolling.)

Opening Hours

Monday: 7:45am - 6:15pm
Tuesday: 7:45am - 6:15pm
Wednesday: 7:45am - 6:15pm
Thursday: 7:45am - 6:15pm
Friday: 7:45am - 6:15pm

Saturday: Open for LVAC
Sunday: Closed

Location: Nestled in the idyllic Loughton Valley area of Milton Keynes, but a convinenent 5 minutes from Milton Keynes Central train station.

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