Thursday, June 17, 2010

Slate Mine & Portmeirion

Today we went for another long walk with the students from Moulsecoomb Primary who are on camp here in Wales.  A subtle change has come over the students.  They appear to have accepted that long walks are a part of what happens on camp, and the complaints of earlier in the week seem to have evaporated.  They have pushed their limits and I can fell a sense of achievement amongst them, when they may not have been aware of their own capabilities.  Our walk was interrupted by a possible sighting of a “Yeti” by a few of the students.  Most saw nothing, however many were convinced and the walk continued with some trepidation.  Unfortunately I was in the wrong place and missed all the commotion. 

Children collected samples from the woods throughout the walk which really focused their observations.  Collected items will be used for art work on their return to Brighton.  Lunch by Miners Bridge, a crossing point near a set of waterfalls saw the group have a well deserved rest.  After a further hike to the coach the group headed off to Conwy Castle where after some sketching focused students observation a quick tour led by Head Teacher Charles Davis saw another tour led by a teacher for children reaping dividends.  The children were fascinated and participated enthusiastically in the question and answer session which Mr Davis ran as they moved throughout the castle ruins.
16 June 2010
Today the camp followed the historical theme with a visit to an underground slate mine, where we caught a train underground and were able to, for a short time, imagine what life had been like for a 12 year old boy who spent his entire life working in the mines….this was a guided tour and really interesting as a follow on of the slate theme of the past few days.    We then visited the resort village of Portmeirion.
“Despite repeated claims that it was based on the town of Portofino, Italy, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion's designer, denied this, stating only that he wanted to pay tribute to the atmosphere of the Mediterranean. He did, however, draw from a love of the Italian village stating, "How should I not have fallen for Portofino? Indeed its image remained with me as an almost perfect example of the man-made adornment and use of an exquisite site..."

The students all did some sketching of the buildings then headed off on a walk through a lush, green forest, followed by a swim at the beach, Today’s summer weather was similar to a sunny winter’s day in Bunbury and even I went for a swim!

As today was the last day of camp we were invited to a BBQ by the lake near the hostel and I was able to teach the kids a rendition of Aussie Aussie Aussie to chant while they were supporting Australia during the World Cup.

It was fantastic to spend time with Charles, Andrew, Jason, Pam and Dorinda…a dedicated staff that the children are obviously very comfortable with.  Their commitment was strongly evident and there was mutual respect amongst all staff and students.  A fantastic experience and a terrific week with the staff and Yr 6 students of Moulsecoomb Primary School and I appreciate them making me so welcome.



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