Tarvisio 2016!

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This February half-term 16 students accompanied by Mr Cooke, Miss Bracken and Mr Gilligan embarked on a monster journey to Italy for the first Jack Hunt Ski Trip in many years.  Read Mr Cooke's account of their amazing week:

Luckily we made very good progress throughout the whole journey and arrived in Italy an hour ahead of schedule after 23 long hours with the group still in good spirits.  On arrival, after a quick luggage drop off, we walked down to the local ski shop for the ski fit.  Students were fully kitted out with all the necessary equipment along with helmets, for some it was the first time they had even put ski boots on which seasoned skiers will know can be a massive task in itself.

On the Monday morning after a long sleep everyone was downstairs nice and early for breakfast before the first days skiing.  We were with local ski instructors and the students received 5 hours ski tuition each day.  We had 11 beginners who worked tirelessly all week and by the end of the week all of them were more than capable of skiing with control completing blue and red runs.  They had a brilliant attitude all week and as staff we took it in turns to go with them and were all impressed by the resilient and supportive atmosphere the group had.  A special mention goes to Miss Bracken who spent the whole first day working with them and giving them more chance to practice, which definitely helped them progress quicker.

There were 3 intermediate girls who were placed in a group with students from other schools. They had all done a few ski lessons before they went, either at Tallington on the dry slope or at Milton Keynes in the snow dome.  We were all surprised how quickly the girls took to it on the first day and how well they progressed throughout the whole week. They represented the school very well, always being the most polite and enthusiastic students in the group.  As staff we always came away from spending a morning or afternoon with the girls saying how much we had laughed the whole time!

Finally we had 2 advanced skiers who spent the whole week off skiing the resort, they again were sometimes with other students from other schools but were also lucky enough to have an instructor to themselves on more than one occasion. Again they both represented the school very well and spent most of their time working on technique and skiing the more difficult slopes on the mountain and did so with ease. Staff again took it in turns to go with this group and were also able to get a few tips from the instructor on how to improve.

Throughout the week we were treated to hot lunches at a local hotel that proved to be very popular (pasta all week) and after getting cold on a few days staff and students alike appreciated a nice hot lunch.  Every evening we had a 3 course meal provided by our hotel and on the whole the students were very happy with the food provided - pizza night was by far the best night of the week.  We also had the opportunity to take part in activities outside of skiing.  Sledging was a big hit with everyone and we competed in races with lots of students ending up in the ditches in fits of laughter.  Swimming was also a massive highlight for most of the students, we popped across the border into Austria to a local pool that boasted an array of slides, a Lazy river and an outside pool which was a real sight to behold as it was snowing all night. This was also an important night to recuperate the legs after 2 tough days skiing.  The quiz night proved a massive success and Mr Gilligan’s 'bum wiggle' round was by far the best round of the night and the students really got into the spirit of things with team Slalom eventually being crowned champions.  On the final night we went to a local tavern where the girls spent most of the night dancing whilst the boys played cards, pool and table football, it was a nice chilled way to end the week. 

We wanted the beginner and intermediate groups to experience going up to the very top of the mountain to see the beautiful Mount Lussari so on the penultimate afternoon we took them up with their instructor in the gondolas to see the fabulous views of Italy, Slovenia and Austria (all visible from the top). Although the students couldn’t ski down I would say it will definitely be something they will remember for a long time, the instructor insisted that the EXPERT staff ski back down, haha! The final days' skiing saw the ski slalom races and presentation from the local ski instructors, giving students a chance to reflect on how far they had come in such a short space of time.

We handed out a number of awards during the week to students.  Firstly we awarded a best boy and girls skier award, Tom Marshall took the boys award and Abbie Deakin took the award for the girls.  Next we went for the most natural boy and girl skiers, these went to Mikey Roberts and Charlotte Swain who both thoroughly deserved it having taken to skiing brilliantly from day 1.  Finally we gave a couple of special awards, 'Muppet of the Week' went to Lewis Brisbourne for a huge list of reasons most notably; getting on the ferry in his slippers, trying to go swimming in his socks and eating his soup with a knife and fork!! The final award was for being an 'All-round Good Egg', this went to Jaiden Chavda who spent the whole week checking if everyone was ok both staff and students and was generally a real star all week.

I would just like to say a massive thankyou to Mr Gilligan and Miss Bracken for helping make the week the massive success that it was. I have been on ski trips as both a student, a member of staff and now a group leader and this has to be up there with the best. The students were a real credit to the school and it was a pleasure to spend the half term with such a brilliant group of young adults. They were mature, enthusiastic, resilient and a great laugh throughout and I know the trip has brought out some skills that many of them maybe didn’t know they had.

Already looking forward to next year!!! Look out for more info soon and we are extending the trip so it is now available to year 10,11,12 and 13.

Mr Cooke