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Enriching the Curriculum on the Snowy Slopes of the Pyrenees

Both BSB Sitges and BSB Castelldefels students enjoyed a wonderful experience on the snow with their peers and teachers last month. This is an annual trip for those Year 5 to 10 students who would like to spend three days in La Cerdanya and improve their ability in skiing or snowboarding while also developing their personal and social skills.

 

BSB Sitges students travelled North from the 20th to the 22nd of February with Mr Winder, Mr Lewis, Ms Allen and Ms McMullen. Mr Winder, KS4 Leader in BSB Sitges, provided a detailed summary of their amazing experience for the children:

“6:15 on a cold and still dark morning saw 28 BSB Sitges pupils gather for the annual school ski and snowboarding trip.

The 2-hour journey to Puigcerdà provided an excellent opportunity for the pupils to see at first hand the magnificent scenery of Catalunya but unfortunately most were still asleep!

On arrival, we quickly changed into ski clothing and then made our way to Les Angles where we met our instructors from Ski School Llívia. A ride up the mountain on the large gondola lift was an exciting introduction to snow sports for the beginners, who were relieved to discover that at the top was a large, gently sloping and sunny area where they could develop their skills. (Some of the teachers were even more relieved!) The more advanced skiers were able to ski off and enjoy the excellent on-piste conditions.

After the early start and long day at Les Angles all the pupils welcomed the chance to relax and eat at Campus Cerdanya, our accommodation for the trip.

On Tuesday, we travelled to La Masella and it was quickly evident that a good night´s sleep and that first days practice had made a big difference to the skills in all the groups. The novice snowboarders especially made huge progress and by the end of the day had ridden their first lifts and begun to explore some of the lower slopes. The skiers also made best use of the conditions and both groups explored large sections of the mountain under sunny skies and with perfect piste conditions.

Tuesday evening allowed the pupils to relax, enjoy a film, play computer games in the common rooms. Mr Lewis accompanied a group of older students into Puigcerdà.

Wednesday, a busy day! Not only do we need to get ready to go skiing/boarding but rooms have to be cleared and clothes put ready for the journey back to Sitges. The pupils manage this with remarkable efficiency and enthusiasm and by 10am we are once again on the slopes of La Masella. Another fantastic morning of skiing and boarding with groups all over the mountain enjoying the brilliant conditions. (I even spotted those novice snowboarders at the top of one of the longest lifts and pistes on the mountain!)

All too suddenly though it´s over. Back in lessons in 18 hours! Still tired, happy and we can dream about yesterday. (But don´t let the teacher know!)”

 

BSB Castelldefels students also travelled to the Pyrenees from the 22nd to the 24th of February with Mrs Hughes, Mr Bower, Miss Wood and Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor, Year 6 Teacher, explained his experience:

“38 children from BSB Castelldefels received 3 days of coaching, within ability groups, in skiing. We had a range of children from beginners to “club level” skiers who were able to learn new techniques and skills from a group of very able and enthusiastic coaches. As well as the skiing, we had the opportunity to visit the local town of Puigcerdà to look around the shops and park as well as a session on the ice rink. We also had a quiz night where the children were in their Houses and the teachers involved made sure that questions related to current and past topics from Year 5 up to Year 10. Team work skills were required in order to be the winner!

The ultimate aim was sports based with the children all having small-group coaching at their specific level. Each session involved teachers speaking with coaches, as well as the children, to make sure that a balance between support and extension was present for children in all of the groups.

This trip fits within the Enrichment Programme as it provided an opportunity for the children to participate in a sporting activity that we cannot provide in school. The use of the Houses as well as opening up the trip to the range of year groups meant that socially it was a positive trip as the children mixed between the various ages who were present.

The children had a great time. Lots of them are already saying that they would like to go back next year. Every one of the children came away from the trip having improved in an aspect of their skiing be that a complete novice skier or someone who skies most weeks of the winter. Personally, the chance to ski with the children as they improved, whether beginners or advanced level skiers, was great to see. Every one of the children felt they had achieved a level of success leaving the slopes after each session – some even coached the teachers!”

Miss Wood, Year 6 Teacher, also said “It was great to see the children from Year 5 to 10 work together and help each other improve their level of skiing. They enjoyed every aspect of the trip from the accommodation to the coaches. A fun and rewarding trip for everyone involved!”