19. The trip has finished! What an amazing week with a wonderful group of people. Thank you to everyone involved with the support and organisation of this trip, including; SPENSOL, Woodfield School (who we shared a coach with), all parents & carers, and most importantly, the 18 wonderful students who we had the pleasure of spending the last 9 days with.
Hopefully now everyone can rest up now and enjoy the rest of the half-term.
Kindest Regards, Mrs Thomas, Mr Molloy, Mrs Smart, Mr Kennedy, and Mr Hacker.
18. Those were famous last words... As we entered the tunnel we lost signal and were delayed by 1 hour & 20 minutes. We are now back in England, changing drivers before our final leg of the journey.
17. Bonjour! We have just boarded the train back to England. We are currently running on time and expect to arrive at Epsom Racecourse at approximately 9:30am. See you soon!
16. It is almost 3pm and we have left the hotel (we should be in France by 6pm). What an amazing stay, full of lifelong memories. This morning we walked into the village to buy snacks and supplies for the journey back, and then went for a drink in a cafe to discuss our favourite memories of the trip.
Grazie Mille Italia. It has been a blast!
15. This evening was the ski school awards evening. Each group received a skills passport and a medal for their amazing work this week from their ski instructor. Now we've finished dinner, it is time to start packing so we aren't rushing around tomorrow morning.
14. Today was our last day skiing. Ethan, Alex, Seb, Will, Tom, and Nikee again went up the mountain, far from the reach of our cameras. As this was the final day, they whizzed down to a mountain top bar and enjoyed a hot chocolate with a view. On Monday, may students said "I can't do this". Today all students independently went down the slopes with grins going from ear to ear.
13. The talent show was a massive success! Oliver told an array of jokes that made the whole audience erupt with laughter, whilst Carl sang his heart out to 'Happy'. It was so contagious everyone got up and danced along. Following their performances, a group of judges gave some wonderful and well deserved feedback. It was definitely a trip highlight. It is also Mr Hacker's 21st birthday today! He opened his presents and cards from the school and ski group at breakfast, including a nice new ski headband which Seb picked out. At dinner he was surprised with a giant cake for all members of The Abbey to share. It was delicious!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR HACKER!!!
12. What a successful day for The Abbey students and everyone on this trip. Not only has the students ability to ski improved, the students independence to get ready for the day, and put on their ski equipment has stood out too. This meant that the staff had a bit more time and energy for working on the slopes, mainly with pupils from other schools as ours could do almost everything by themselves. Mrs Thomas and Mrs Smart were helping children on the travelator, Mr Kennedy helped people up to the top, and this is where Mr Hacker and Mr Molloy were guiding people off whilst providing the entertainment. This included singing the Titanic song whilst pretending to be Jack & Rose on the end of the boat. There is evidence of this somewhere. For lunch it was pasta again, except for Mr Molloy and Mr Hacker who spent their lunchtime off, 'investigating' the snow tubing. To make sure it was appropriate we had to go down the slopes about ten times each!
A message from Oliver
"It is day 6 already, the week has flown by and we are missing our family. We are all enjoying the skiing holiday, we have been playing Uno all through the week. I went swimming on Tuesday, we did some races and of course i won (joking). The talent show is on tonight and Carl and I have entered. I am telling jokes and Carl is singing the song 'Happy'.
11. Dinner this evening was a blast. Sebastian Franklin was the star of the show, and seemed to have the time of his life. His impressions of everyone were brilliant. A favourite for many was his Mrs Smart impersonation. By the time he was nominated by Patrick to do an impression of Mr Molloy in front of all the schools, the whole audience were in stitches. After Seb collected the laughing hat, to a huge round of applause, the rest of The Abbey students got up to congratulate him. Seb ended the dinner by saying all the teachers are his friends, and all the students are his family. Seb's little speech along with his interaction with all his new friends was a very emotional moment for all the staff, with Mr Molloy even crying.
A message from Zara
"As the week is nearly over, my skiing is getting a lot better and I'm getting much more confident in myself to go down the ski slope. I'm really proud of myself and how much i have improved in the last 3 days. If this was me on day one, i would have been saying how hard skiing is and how nervous, scared, not confident i was, but the main thing that helped me was to keep trying and to never give up. At dinner time Seb made ALL of US laugh so hard i could not stop laughing the best impression was Mr Jackson. Seb won the silly hat for the day. In the last 3 days the weather has been really hot, a lot of sunshine. As we all got ready on the couch ready to go skiing, all you could hear is all the teachers sing out of tune to Frozen. The one who got in to it the most was Mrs Thomas..."
10. We must admit, it was hard to get out of bed this morning. So after breakfast the mature male adults of the group decided to start a sing song session. By the time we were on the coach (quickest school again!) even Mrs Smart was singing along! Determined not to be out done, Mrs Thomas was at the front of the coach dancing away.
At lunch i was called over by Tom and it seemed like he had something important to say. He kept talking and talking so i thought, 'oh no, what have you done? Have you broken something?'. But as it turns out, he managed to get his elbow stuck between the slats of his chair and could not get out! Fortunately Tom saw the funny side, along with 20 other people.
When we got back to the slopes, some of our students were told they were changing groups. This is because of their continued improvement and their desire to succeed. We now have six students skiing down the mountain; Nikee, Will, Ethan, Seb, Alex, and Tom. The latter two went up the mountain for the first time this afternoon, yet reports from the ski instructors suggest they are as capable as the others. Those who aren't on the mountain are still flourishing in their respective groups and have just as much to be proud of. We have been on the slopes for three days.
It has not snowed once, just dazzling sunshine and clear skies. We are pretty sure (and glad) that it is warmer here than back in England. I am also pretty sure my current view of a sunset over the mountains beats what you've got too.
9. Our second day on the slopes was one filled with laughter and triumph. The children are starting to settle into their groups and are making new friends from other schools. After a successful day on the snow, many of the students spent their free time in the swimming pool playing a variety of games with Mr Molloy and Mr Hacker. It was wonderful to see all our students bonding with together, making the effort to involve every student, whether they usually spend time together at school or not. The students had so much fun that we have managed to book more time in the pool later in the week.
Seb was our star during dinner time, entertaining the staff with his hilarious accents. At the end of dinner, certificates were handed out again to another four Abbey students. Anna, Ross, Ethan, and Matthew. This evening's activity is a ski disco, don't be surprised if you see Mr Kennedy in there throwing shapes and busting moves!
P.S - Carl and Oliver have decided to enter the talent show on Thursday night. Stay tuned to see what happens.
8. After tonight's dinner, the first round of certificates were handed out. These are awarded for bravery, persistence, excellence, and achievement. As a school we managed to earn four on the first night, the most of any school. These went to; Seb, Eloise, Reece, and James, who were all deservedly greeted with a round of applause. Something called the Laughing Hat is also awarded every night. A silly, over the top hat that one has to wear all day if they are caught being funny or silly. Reece was also voted the 'winner' of this too, as he has got a giant hotdog hat to wear all day tomorrow. The reason he was voted for this was because he spent so much time visiting the toilet on the coach journey, that he became very attached to it and decided to name it Trevor. Trevor the Toilet.
7. Today was the first day of Ski School. Our students are spread across 12 different ability groups, either experiencing the nursery slopes for the first time or tackling the mountain. Reece was very nervous to begin with, not wanting to go down the slopes. However after a small team talk, he decided to face his fears and go down the slopes. After this there was no stopping him. The same can't be said for Mr Hacker though. Mrs Thomas sacrificed her lunch time to teach him how to ski. "He was the worst student ever. It was the hardest part of my day!". To make matters worse, it meant they both missed out on a fish & chips lunch!
All of our students have excelled today and deserve their four course dinner this evening.
A message from Zara
"It was my first time skiing. At first it was very hard to pick it up but once i got used to it, it was so much fun, but i did fall over a lot. Fortunately it was a very soft landing. When we got back to the hotel, Oliver Street, Mr Molloy, Mr Hacker, Anna, and I played Uno. Mr Hacker did not like losing. Every time Mr hacker lost he would get in a strop. This has been the best trip i have been on, but the coach journey was a long time. Even though it was a long time on the coach it was still a lot of fun because i got to know a lot more about people and we all got entertained by Oliver S's jokes."
6. Ski fit is done! A long evening, but one that the students coped well with. Special mentions to Anna and Carl for demonstrating perseverance on a challenging walk. They are the first students to receive a T-W-Ski.
5. We have arrived in Prato Nevoso to absolutely breathtaking views accompanied with gorgeous sunshine. Making the most of this, we had a quick photo session on the balcony before going for lunch. We are now waiting for our rooms to be ready so we can unpack before our ski fitting this evening.
4. Ciao e buongiorno. 7:30 am local time and we have arrived in Italy! Some of us have slept a lot. Some of us have slept a little. Some of us haven't slept at all. Funnily enough it is also very cold! We're hopefully stopping for breakfast soon, then starting the 3 hour home straight to Prato Nevoso.
3. Bonjour. Bienvenue en France. After an extra-curricular Focused Fitness session in the tunnel, we have arrived in France. For Alex, this is his first time abroad, and is amazed how different things are. Whilst Seb is getting some extra reading in, digesting the stories in his newspaper. For the rest of The Abbey crew, it is either dinner time or the coach cinema. Tonight's screening is 'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them'. A prequel of Le Harry Potter.
Now we're in mainland Europe, don't forget we are GMT + 1.
2. We have arrived at the tunnel and have boarded the train. Top behaviour and lots of laughs and jokes so far. We will be trying out our french skills ready for the next part of our journey. See you on the other side!
1. The Abbey students have bolted out the starting gates and have left Epsom Racecourse full of optimism. Thank you to all the parents, carers, and our very own Mr Jackson for a smooth change over and a lovely farewell.
Oliver has already taken it upon himself to entertain the coach with his dad jokes. I think we're on twenty already!
"What did the drummer name his daughters? Anna1, Anna2, Anna3, Anna4!"
22 hours to go...
Next stop Maidstone!