Residential Trip to Belgium

On the 9th November, eight of our pupils will travel to Belgium with Mr Holditch, Mrs Fagg and Miss Abrehart to spend a week with the children of our partner school in Kortrijk, and some children from our other partner school in Tychy, Poland. We can’t wait to share our photos and news with you. Follow our blog to find out more …..

DAY 1

We got up bright and early this morning to get to Ebbsfleet for 9:15! We were so excited but sad to leave our parents! After a long but fun journey, we arrived in Kortrijk, where we met Johan with our bikes! We checked into the hotel after realising that all of our bikes were too big!

!! Of course this was Lily’s fault!!!! 😛 We rode to school where we met the Polish and Belgian children and adults from the partner schools. We had lots of lovely pastries (well Kyle had about 5 :P). We had a great evening playing traditional Flemish games including stilt walking, juggling and tug of war! We had a lovely meal…involving meat balls, burgers and LOTS of chocolate!!! We settled into our rooms (after Mrs Fagg, Miss Abrehart and Mr Holditch made the beds!!), ready for our trip to Kortrijk town centre tomorrow… 🙂

DAY 2

Today Mrs Fagg woke us all up at the crack of dawn and after breakfast, we cycled to St Paulus school. The children joined in with some of the classes and did some acrostic poems and practised singing ‘With a little help from my friends’ with the Belgian and Polish children. Then we played games with them in the playground after our lunch which we had to eat in silence!!!

 In the afternoon, we got our high vis jackets and cycling helmets on and went for a tour around Kortrijk with Johan from Saint Paulus. We parked our bikes at the local museum and went on a walking tour with our guide Yan. We got to see lots of the different historic sights around Kortrijk.

Once our tour was finished, we went back to the hostel to get ready to go and visit our host families for the evening. We were even forced to have showers and wash our hair before we went. They came to pick us up from reception and we went off to join their families and to see what Belgian homes are like.

Lily, Lolly and Mrs Fagg went with Francoise, Steven, Marie and Justine. They loved their house and Francoise and Steven were very impressed with Lily and Lolly who made them laugh for the whole evening. They made us some traditional food which they give to Santa Claus which were bready cakes and chocolate spread with hot chocolate to dip in. We were so glad we didn’t get any fish! We really loved visiting the Belgian families. We loved it so much that by the time we got back, (we were quite late) most of the others were in bed so we will let you know how they got on at their host families tomorrow.

We are very excited about tomorrow; we are off to Bruges for lots of chocolates and ice skating. We’ll be sure to blog in the evening with more exciting news. Hello everyone at Godinton and mums, dads and siblings! We are missing you all very much 🙂

DAY 3

Today we took loads of selfies! We got up a little bit earlier to make our packed lunch ready for our day in Bruges. Mr Holditch insisted on wearing Mrs Fagg’s coat (all day!). We excitedly waited for our train to Bruges! It was a double decker train. Of course we sat on the top deck!!!

We got to Bruges with our Polish and Belgian friends, where Miss Deborah (the Belgian teacher) kindly gave us a tour of the city. We did our minute’s silence outside the church of the Madonna. We then took the bus to the ice rink! We couldn’t wait to get our skates on!!

We had so much fun on the ice watching Mr Holditch fall over! It was a bit tricky at first, but with some help from our friends we managed to find our feet. Lily was the star of the show and will be applying for Dancing on Ice next year. Kyle is asking Father Christmas for some ice skates for Christmas too! (we don’t think Mr Holditch will be!)

We had an amazing day, but we are saving our chocolate craving for tomorrow in Ypres! Hopefully we will be allowed to shop there! 🙂 We have spent the evening playing games with our Polish friends after a home-cooked meal from the people at the hostel.

DAY 4

Today was a very special day as we went to Ypres to see lots of places related to World War One. But before that, we had to wake up!! Some of us were more excited about that than others!!! We got picked up from our hotel by coach and made our way to Ypres. The first place we saw was the Menin Gate memorial where we looked for names of our relatives and read some of the thousands of messages which had been left there.

Then we went to the Flanders Fields museum where we found out loads of information about WW1. We got to look at lots of different weapons, clothing and propaganda from the war. Then we went by coach to Flanders Fields and looked at the different memorials and gravestones which were there.

 Then we got to go to the trenches where we played soldiers! Perhaps it wasn’t the best place to play a game!! Once we had been to the trenches we went to a very special place to assist in making a large clay sculpture for an art installation in the battlefields at Ypres. Each will have a dog tag with a soldiers name on it. 

Once we had finished sculpting we went to have some dinner with all the children from the partner schools and all the teachers from Saint Paulus. They had come to join us before we went to take part in the special ceremony: The Last Post.

Lily and Mr Holditch were extremely lucky to lay the wreath from the Erasmus project with the two chosen children from the Polish and Belgian schools and their headteachers. We were all extremely proud!!!  

We have had the most amazing day in commemoration of World War One. We have learnt so much about it and seen some amazing places. We will tell you lots more about it when we’re home tomorrow. We’re very much looking forward to our last day at Saint Paulus where we will have a special assembly with our partner schools.

Then we will be coming home after an amazing week.

DAY 5 – Goodbye Belgium!

Today was a very sad day as we went to Sint Paulus for the last time to exhibit everything we have done with the partner schools. Miss Deborah had worked very hard to organise the exhibition and we all had important roles. We introduced each element and read poems, acted them out and sang a song. 

Whilst in Belgium, we created some different work based on ‘Friendship’ and when the other group from Godinton were in Poland, they created some clay sculptures.

After the exhibition, we went out to play for a little while with our new friends but then sadly we had to say our goodbyes to make our way back to England. We were very upset to say goodbye to our new friends from different countries but we are hoping to see some of them again when they come to visit us in England in May.

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We have had the most amazing time in Belgium and would like to thank all the staff at Sint Paulus for all their hard work and organisation. We hope to return again some day and look forward to seeing you all in May.