24 May

This week I had the absolute privilege of taking 8 of our amazing students and 3 of our fantastic staff over to Salou for a 4 night/5 day residential visit. Like many of you (or maybe not) my weekend began with the Eurovision Song Contest! A late night for many, leading to a predictable ‘nil poire’ for the UK! After just a few hours’ sleep, the staff and students had a very early start, meeting at Medtia at 4.30am! A rather sleepy but excitable gang got on the mini bus and off to the airport we went! Then came the first magical part of the holiday, I had absolutely no idea that Chloe hadn’t been on a plane before, nor had she ever left the country. It was an absolute honour to have this first experience of flight with her. Chloe was quite calm and asked for a window seat so that she could see the view and I will never forget her face as that plane went in the air for as long as I live! It really was a moment of magic and I felt so pleased for Chloe and so honoured to work for an organisation that could offer such incredible life-changing memories for our students. A great start to a fantastic week!

When we arrived in Salou we were all a little tired- I was caught out having a sleep on the plane but couldn’t possibly share the photographic evidence!

Thanks for that Colin!

When we arrived, we unpacked, freshened up and had a walk to a local bar for a spot of lunch! We then visited the pool, which was ICE COLD! That didn’t stop the students, but caused a few screams from the staff!

On Monday, we had a full English in the hotel before getting the local bus to Portaventura world, the first of the two parks that we were going to visit! We had the most amazing day hitting all of the big rides and taking in a number of the shows including the Tiki show- that Sufyaan ended up starring in! And a ‘World of Dance’ show, featuring a cast of 40 singers, acrobats and musicians! The students LOVED it! I have to say as the staff member that took the hard core students on the bigger and faster rides, I would like to say that Colette you are unbelievable! I couldn’t quite believe how confident and fearless you were getting on the rides. I was meant to be there to hold on to the students and in fact a few times it was the other way around! On Monday evening we had dinner in the hotel and then went for a walk around town and had a drink in our favourite pub Danny’s Bar before going over to see a live band at ‘Temple Bar’.

On Tuesday we had a bit of a lie in before heading over to the second theme park, ‘Ferrari land’. Once again Colette led the way going on the fastest ride in Europe, she was joined by Brittney, Sufyaan and Helal who all braved the rather scary ride! (I sat through it twice and felt sick for a good hour afterwards!). We also watched an amazing acrobatics show and Seb wins prize for best driving (and road rage) on the racing track ride. Ferrarri World is also the home of a race simulator and 4D flying experience- two of our favourite rides. They are truly magical and all of the students loved them. In the afternoon we headed back over to Portaventura World to see the Wild West Show and to go on a couple more rides that we didn’t have time for on Monday. We left the parks at around 4.30pm as the students wanted a power nap before their ‘big night out’!

So Tuesday evening came and the students glammed up for our party night! Kyra, Chloe, Tara and Brittney spent a good 2 hours getting ready, but we finally headed over to Danny’s Bar at around 8.30pm, where we had reserved the best seats in the house for a nice bit of pub grub followed by some live music! We truly had a wonderful evening. The students were kind and generous to us and really just had a laugh with each other which was great to see! Sufyaan also discovered an arcade game with big prizes, where he had to stack moving cubes on a screen. He drew quite a crowd because of his amazing precision skills and got a few prizes out of the machine including an MP3 player! Well done Suf! After a couple of WKD’s/Shandy’s, we got home around 12.30am!

On our final day, it was LIE IN! Followed by probably my favourite day of all- our pool day! The students joined in so many activities including aqua aerobics, billiards and bowls but this day they really just chilled out and had fun with their friends and it was so lovely to see. A few students also won awards and most of them made new friends with the life guards/bar staff/entertainment staff – you name it, they had a good chat with them! They’re not a shy bunch and made quite an impression on everyone around the pool that day! They were waved off like the England football team when we left! For our final evening we headed to the shops as the students were keen to buy gifts for their families. We then finished the evening in the arcades – needless to say Suf won yet more prizes and I came away a few euros lighter!

For parents reading this blog- your children are a credit to you. We enjoyed their company so much. They constantly made us laugh and they constantly supported and encouraged each other and really made the most of every moment! They also ask lots of questions! The staff chose to embrace their inquisitive nature… Just kidding! It was honestly a privilege for us. I personally would like to thank the staff who came along to support our students and also I’d like to thank my roomy for the week Seb – thank you for waking up with a smile every day, for your kind manners and for your compliments on my hair do – you reminded me why I love my job so much and why I am the luckiest person in the world to work with such amazing students like you! You are all an inspiration and I am so glad that you had this opportunity to share this holiday with your mates!

On that note, I would like to wish you all a fantastic half term! Rest-up as we have a very busy few weeks ahead before you leave us forever! See you all a week on Monday.

Daniel
Head of College

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