Our school was so rough, the student newspaper had an obituary column. But times change, and now we get a chance to train the tiny travel agents of tomorrow.
Miss Garnett of the brilliant St Antony’s Catholic Primary School in Woodford Green asked if we could talk to the pupils about their summer term topic – Holidays.
Seeing as Danny had gone to Eton (once, for a pizza) he was parachuted in, and he took a wingman…
Armed with (my kids') globe, a real “holiday booker” (Sophie), a wad of colourful brochures and a bunch of wonderful rubber travel ducks (thanks Virgin Holidays and Just Ducks), we hoped to keep the students interested for more than 15 minutes.
After meeting Miss Garnett and Miss Preston, we entered the classroom to find both their classes, 1G and 1P, huddled on the floor.
We introduced ourselves and briefed the children on destinations, different types of holiday, how we might get to them, types of accommodation and how we might book a trip.
The last thing this group needed was an incentive, they were super keen and enthusiastic, but the travel ducks appeared, seeking new homes in exchange for a good question or a contribution to their topic in writing after our visit.
We spent over an hour with the children discussing an array of things from the most and least popular destinations to distances between places, about time zones, oceans, trains, cruise ships and skiing, even Moldova got a mention at a time we were discussing the location of the last football World Cup!
They were a total credit to their teachers, their parents, their school and most of all themselves.
They absorbed it all, displaying an eagerness to ask question after question and give us their own experiences and knowledge that was lovely.
They were fantastic, all of them and it was a delightful experience for both Sophie and I to share with them and to relay to our colleagues.
We thank each and every one of them for making us feel so welcome, their contribution to such a fun afternoon and to Miss G and Miss P for inviting us.
We look forward to hearing many more stories like the several we have already received from their teacher. Here’s a sample of the letters in the children’s own words and spellings. Happy holidays to them all!
Charlie, 1G – favourite place: Ireland. “Did you no the buses in Ireland are green?” He didn’t travel so well though “I loved it when I was on the ferry boat. I got sea sic three times.”
Matthew, 1P, reviewed Dordogne: “Usually it was really hot and sunny. It was awesome”
Beau, 1G, preferred Tenerife because: “There is a kids club where you can sleep over” and “The food in the hotel was scrunshus.”
Sebastian, 1G, got to the heart of the matter: “Did you know the Eurostar goes under the sea! The most popular place in the world is Turky, lots of people go there because it is so hot and there are lots of beaches there too.”
Alannah of 1P: “Sophie said Turkey was the most popular country. By the way, travel agents are people who ask things like what country did you go to last time and what country would you like to go to this year ? How would you like to travel there? Danny had a globe and showed us the biggest country was Rusher. People don’t like to go to countries where there are wars or problems”
Hannah 1P: “Danny and Sophie told us new things. They told us what you can do on holidays, where you can go and where you can stay in. Danny said that the largest country is Rusher and the most unpopular country is Antartica. Danny and Sophie told us amazing things”
And my favourite from Surya of 1G: “Danny and Sophie came to help us with our topick. Danny has been to France before and so have I. Danny and Sophie have been to lots of countries but not all of them. If we done really good questions we won a brillyant fabulous duck. I was surprised to know what a cruise ship was, it’s very very big. And palm trees are very very tall. My favourite part of the visit was learning so much. Did you know how many different types of seas there are in the world?"