students playing sports

The Head’s reflections on the week

Posted: 26th November 2021


Greetings from Dorset, by Year 8


Ms Lyle has given us the challenge of taking over her section of the Newsletter this week. We weren’t sure if we’d have enough news to fill the front page but, as we write on Thursday evening, it seems a lot longer ago than 7am this morning that we left school! Our trip combines English and History, and the first stage of our journey was to Bovington Tank Museum. We had an uneventful journey through some lovely scenery in the winter sunshine, although many of us were too busy to look out of the windows. With the exception of Chrome Books for our data analysis, this is a Strictly No Gadgets trip, but we barely noticed as sketchbooks, Rubik’s Cubes, and even Top Trumps (you’re never too old) kept us busy.

A breakfast stop allowed us to choose the petrol for our own engines, with those sipping their Costa lattes looking down their noses at those in the McDonald’s queue. In no time at all we were in Dorset; Mr Holt told us to watch for a badger on the signs of roadside pubs to mean we were close. Bovington Tank Museum is huge and, well, rather tanky, with a huge collection from the sole remaining British Mark I to modern ones where some details about them are still top secret. We had guides through the section on The Trenches, which was a mixture of really sad and some really disgusting facts. Don’t want to cough your own lungs up in a chlorine gas attack? Start weeing on an old sock when you hear the alarm! We then had a lesson all about how WW1 saw huge advances in medical technology to treat the injuries the soldiers received. This had opportunities for dressing up and roleplay; pictures next week! A quick visit to the gift shop and we were away again. Three members of the museum staff told our teachers how impressed they were with our knowledge and manners, which meant bedtime was pushed back to 9.45pm!

The driveway at Leeson House was designed for coaches with four horses rather than sixty seats, but our driver, Tim, only needed two goes to get us in. Leeson House has an amazing history, with evidence of a Roman building on the site, weird wood carving that Mr Melton said was “positively rococo, my dears”, and secret tunnels under the garden from WW2. We unloaded our bags and met Pete and Mark, who were in charge of our stay. Ms Laatz FINALLY let us know who was in each dormitory, and we had a fire drill. Leeson House used to be a school, and what was their Hall is now a Games Room, with pool, table tennis, and comfy chairs. It was great just to be able to socialise as a whole year group like this.

After dinner, we went on a Night Walk, which was a mixture of looking at the stars in a light pollution free area, tales of smugglers and ghosts, and an amazing true story from WW2. We got back and were allowed to make ourselves a hot drink, which some people found nearly as difficult as making their own bed in the dorms. We discussed the day so that we could send our ideas back to school for this article, and then went up to our dorms hoping the weather forecast for Friday’s Geography field work didn’t come true. By the time you read this, you’ll know the answer; we’re sure we will have had fun anyway!

Love from the Year 8s.

Categories: Head's Reflections