S1 Trip to Hadrians' Wall
S2 Paris Trip
A group of 150 pupils from S2 and S6 have returned safely from a cross-Channel trip that offered them a taste of French life and a varied programme of culture, sport and fun.
Led by Mr Gruba and accompanied by 18 other staff and helpers, our young French students were based at the Chateau de Grande Romaine, set in 70 acres, about 20 miles from Paris.
The one-week visit is the sixth in the series, now one of the largest residential school trips run from Scotland. Travelling in four coaches via the Eurotunnel, the group coped well with the 24-hour journey and were up early on their first morning for a choice of abseiling, archery, basketball, initiative exercises, swimming and other activities in the chateau grounds.
They enjoyed a visit to the picturesque market town of Melun situated on both banks of the Seine and a daytime tour of the main sights of Paris including Montmatre with its artists’ colony and Sacre-Coeur Basilica on the city’s highest site.
Some of the group were taken on a guided tour of the Stade de France while others had pre-booked for the Musee des Sciences et de l’Industrie and Fountainbleau, one of the largest and most beautiful of France’s royal chateaux. Sweet-toothed pupils opted for a visit to an exclusive chocolate factory where a tasting session was laid on - generally declared to be preferable to the snails served on the last night!
An afternoon was spent exploring Musee de Louvre art gallery - home of the Mona Lisa - where pupils were given art lessons against the background of some of the world’s greatest classical paintings. In contrast, a day in EuroDisney proved one of the most exciting experiences.
The trip came to a spectacular end with a cruise along the Seine on a glass topped river cruiser and a spin round the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe. Almost everyone made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower to watch the sunset and see Paris come alive at night - a lasting memory for everyone on the visit.
S2 Stirling Castle Trip
On Thursday 22ndof September, second year had a great day out to the impressive Stirling Castle. On top of an extinct volcano it dominates the land around. With impressive views and lots of historic background it was an amazing trip. The newly refurbished palace, chapel and grand hall gave us a very good insight to life back in the early 1500s. On the trip were extremely experienced history teachers and our new geography teacher Miss Hodson, who showed us the history along with the geographical side of Stirling.
Thankfully this time our buses were fine and did not break down!
After an hour and a half journey we were able to take in the wonderful sights of Stirling castle in the sun!
After enjoying our lovely lunches made by our parents. We all split into groups and went round the historic sites. From the great hall to the chapel and the great kitchens. Not forgetting the wonderfully newly refurbished grand palace which was absolutely amazing. We were following up what we have been doing in history. In the small but beautiful chapel, Mary Queen of Scots was christened and crowned.
The royal hall is decorated to perfection with the wooden beam roof which was made by loads oak wood beams but with absolutely no nails or bolts used. This was made by a team of boat makers in 1501. With its five fire places it was built in the reigns of King James the fourth. It measures a hundred and thirty eight feet by forty seven feet.
One of the favourite sites was the great kitchens which was really life like because of the dummies and props. You can see we all really liked the look of the foods because we were all biting our lips.
We then took a walk along the walls surrounding the castle, where we could see the city of Stirling, the Wallace monument and the beautiful Ochil hills around. Our geography teacher told us about fault lines which run just beside the castle and was how the landscape is so unique. Not to mention the gift shop at the end where in good Scottish tradition we all bought Iron-Bru and fudge. News must have got round that we were coming because outside was a traditional Scottish ice cream van which we also bought.
By Emily Alanna and Sophie
S3 Belgian Battlefields Trip
As the final notes of the Last Post faded into the eerie silence, our piper, Rory Perkins got himself ready. Rory had been asked to play the lament “The Floo’ers o’ the Forest” as part of the official Last Post ceremony. It was a great honour and Rory acquitted himself magnificently. His playing was faultless and hauntingly inspiring. We were all so proud of him. Other members of the party were also involved in the ceremony. Kim Walker and Tyrone Balmer were chosen to lay the College’s poppy wreath and Mrs. Barbour laid a wreath on behalf of the Past Pupils’ Association. It was very moving as they processed at a respectful and dignified pace in front of a packed audience to lay their wreaths within the Arch in memory of all the soldiers who had made the supreme sacrifice. As a number of the pupils put it, “Seeing Tyrone and Kim made me feel so proud.” Others described the Last Post as “very sad but a fabulous experience. I did not realise it would make people cry.”
There were so many things which had gone well on the trip. The students participated enthusiastically on all of our educational visits. Over three days we made visits to 12 places associated with the First World War, including battlefields, cemeteries, trenches, museums and memorials. Visits were also made to the graves and memorials of the relatives of Lauren Anderson, Emily Green, Elizabeth Haigh, and Andrew McGregor. In some cases it was the first time a member of the family had visited the sites. So it was particularly poignant for the pupils involved.
Along the way we remembered a number of ex St. Joseph’s boys who gave their lives for their country during World War One. The one which made the biggest impression was John Segar of the First Border Regiment who is buried in the Canadian Cemetery Number 2 at Vimy Ridge. The College Song was sung over his grave as the culmination of our service for him. Pupils left their poppies at his grave, the blaze of red clearly marking his resting place.
To balance the hard work put in on visits and workbooks, staff and pupils had a lot of fun. This took many forms: shopping in Bruges, ten pin bowling, swimming, indoor football, and a “Great Egg Challenge.” Our driver Donald added to the fun with his peculiar taste in music, which he often sang along with, and his witty japes. He went down well with everyone. Finally a word of thanks to the members of staff – Mr. Jones, Mrs. Barbour, Ms. Hamilton, Ms. Brown and our school chaplain Father Jim– who all contributed so much to the trip’s success.