This half-term a number of senior pupils embarked upon a school trip skiing in Austria. 79 pupils arrived at the sports hall at 5 am on the 4th of February, to alight two buses, to travel to Europe, during covid times, to partake in a risky winter sport… what could possibly go wrong?! Actually, as with every school trip, a lot can go right!
The outward journey ended up taking us about 30 hours (having experienced approximately 4 hours of covid related paperwork delays). Before arriving at our hotels, we all had to go to the covid testing centre. This centre was in the small but beautiful town of St Johann. The snow-capped mountains were gloriously framing the town, hinting at the joys we were all about
to experience. At this sight alone, the pupils were already saying the bus journey was worth it! We hadn’t even properly arrived yet and I was blown away by our pupils’ patience and optimism.
The ski trip is always an interesting school trip, because not only does it teach the pupils how to ski, but it develops their characters in a way that few other trips are able to do.
Our pupils ranged from S1 to S6; some of them had never skied before, whilst others were experienced on the slopes. On the first day, all pupils were grouped depending on their ability, and not age or friendship groups. Immediately they were out of their comfort zones, encouraged to embrace the unknown and to explore new things.
As the week progressed, the sense of achievement and pride was evident. Some had conquered the chair lift for the first time, others had mastered red runs, black runs, off-piste, and even the dreaded moguls! Some pupils had beaten their personal best on the timed slope, and others had fun attempting the challenging slalom track.
The atmosphere at evening mealtimes was energetic and excitable as pupils tended to rejoin their peers and to dine in their year groups, whilst exchanging stories of their different experiences and accomplishments on the slopes. The determination of the pupils to improve and develop their skills was apparent from the first day. Interestingly, many of the stories were about falling and the mistakes that had been made during the day; the more spectacular, the better the laugh! The pupils realising that they can learn from failure and mistakes is a revelation for us teachers, as often our pupils are afraid to step up and try something new in school in case they get it wrong. I hope these life lessons can be transferred to the classroom.
Not only does this trip embrace every one of Lomond’s school values, but it embraces the philosophy of the 2% mindset, where our pupils are encouraged to follow their dreams, choose happiness, embrace the unknown and get the most out of life.
The pupils were a real credit to themselves and the school. All external contacts involved, ie, hotel staff and ski instructors, mentioned how polite and considerate they were. A thank you goes to them for their biddable and respectful behaviour; they were a joy to take away. A final big thank you goes to the staff who allowed it to happen, the biggest mention of all going to Mr. Dunlop and Mrs. Serpell for their commitment and tireless ability to go above and beyond for all our young people.
All in all, the trip was fun, exhausting, exhilarating, and character building, and certainly one that we will all reflect on with fond memories.
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