School Trips and Visits
At Windsor we are very proud that our students have access to, and benefit from, fantastic links and partnerships with many schools throughout the world, including Europe, the USA, Canada, India, Korea, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Thailand.
These trips help students to understand and appreciate different cultures and global values whilst building independence and character in the students. Below are some of our recent activities.
Iceland Trip – February Half Term 2020
During February half-term 32 students and 4 staff visited Iceland. Upon arrival in Iceland, we spent 2 hours in the Blue Lagoon, relaxing in the hot water in minus degree conditions. It was a truly memorable experience! Whilst on our travels, we visited Reykjavík, Thingvellir National park, Gunnuhver Hot Springs, Sólheimajökull glacier, several beautiful waterfalls including Gullfoss, Geysir Hot Springs and the black sand beaches of Vik.
Throughout the trip we were constantly witnessing geological and geographical structures which we have studied in Geography, providing us with real life context and case studies.
A thoroughly enjoyable trip!
Barcelona Trip February 2020
Hola! After much excitement and anticipation, we finally arrived in sunny Barcelona! The journey from England was smooth and hassle free and we looked forward to starting our adventure.
We were greeted at our accommodation by friendly staff and the accommodation was just wonderful!
Our excursions included a tour of the Olympic Museum which was really hands on and informative. We had a behind the scenes trip to Nou Camp Football Stadium, where we toured the players’ area as well as sitting in the managers seats! We visited La Sagrada Família, the famous Basilica in the heart of Barcelona, and the most famous work of God’s Architect, Antoni Gaudi. We strolled through Parc Guell another masterpiece of the great architect and took in the excellent views and architecture.
We saw much of the city by walking and we clocked up many steps! We practised our Spanish by talking to people as we navigated ourselves around the city with maps, using the metro and at meal times ordering our food.
We took a day trip to visit the city of Gerona, in Catalonia, about 100km northeast of Barcelona. It’s beautiful and old, with different quarters and the Roman influence is very much present.
The pièce de résistance was the Flamenco show and meal on our last night; it started with a Flamenco master class where we were taken through some steps! The show was excellent as was the food.
Barcelona is a great city with lots to see and do, as in Flamenco, we show our appreciation with one word, ¡Olé!
Bergen-Belsen Visit 12 February 2020
On Wednesday 12th February two of our Sixth form students had the rare privilege of a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in Germany. Catherine and Aaron were joined by Mrs Turnbull on the one day visit. They learned about the complex history of the site and the horrors perpetrated there during the Nazi era. We believe it is important that students should be given opportunities to learn about and important events and in doing so can understand the importance of empathy, tolerance and respect for life.
The site today is a memorial to the 52,000 prisoners who died there, mostly of disease and malnutrition. The victims were buried in mass graves and seeing these was a moving experience. The huts, buildings, watch towers and barbed wire have all been removed so that the resting place of those who perished can return to the peace and beauty of nature.
We visited the impressive museum on the site which tells the story of the camp through its liberation and beyond to the work done by the Allies to restore the still living to full health. This was a heroic effort which saved many, but sadly, not all of those who survived until liberation. We also visited the army barracks nearby, which became the displaced persons camp, finally closing in 1950 when it became a British army base.
The trip was organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp by the 11th Armoured Division of the British army on 15th April 1945. The project was funded by the Department for Education.
Students and parents can find further information at www.belsen75.org.uk and look out for many TV and other media coverage of this important commemoration in April this year.
Battlefields Trip 22 March 2019
“A nation that forgets it’s past has no future”, Winston Churchill
Our yearly excursion to the WW1 battlefields never fails to provide an emotional and educational experience for our students. Based in the beautiful town of Ieper we were honoured to play a part in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate with three of our students laying a wreath.
Saturday found us walking the Somme battlefields to understand the challenges of ‘going over the top’ and viewing the Lochnagar crater, a reminder of the horrifying scale of industrial warfare. At each cemetery visited the students learned about a new aspect of the impact of war. Each night we captured our feelings and learning from the day in our Battlefields diaries.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp Visit 2019
On Wednesday 13th March four Windsor Sixth Form Students and Mrs Turnbull had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz as part of The Lessons from Auschwitz Project.
Our students were outstanding throughout and a credit to the school and their families during their experience in Oświęcim, Poland.
In future weeks the students will lead assemblies to share their experiences of this visit. Below are some of the students’ thoughts following this experience.
Silence can never be misquoted. If anyone present did not understand the meaning of that statement, they were undoubtedly embodying it. Equally, there are no adequate words to inform one about your feelings on travelling to the Auschwitz site; in the same conjecture, that stance is not altered when leaving. Before stepping through the threshold – under the sign Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) – you feel like a time traveller, due to the preservation of the camp. When leaving under the same message, you feel unworthy of being able to walk the path of freedom; when many were tormented by the cruel fallacy of the taunting, bronze emblem. (Aaron)
Quite frankly, after seeing what these poor, innocent people had to suffer through, I have to say, I feel enormous amounts of sorrow and regret that human beings committed these crimes against humanity. Seeing the last standing gas chamber situated in Auschwitz I, the crematorium ruins, and the barracks at Birkenau made me realise how horrible humanity can be. Standing in the same pitch black, concrete covered room where thousands of people had tragically lost their lives is a gut-wrenching feeling I cannot ignore. (Kitty)
Skiing Trip 2019
During February half term I had the pleasure of leading my first Windsor Ski trip to Wildshonau in Austria. After a very long journey students were met with extraordinary hot weather making their first few days on the mountain extremely hard going. Side stepping up the mountain for several hours and spending much time picking each other up gave us lots of laughter but also demonstrated a great tenacity and desire by students to improve their skiing technique and make it to the top of the mountain.
I am pleased to report that all 47 students and 6 members of staff achieved this by the end of our 5 day adventure. Spending our evenings ten pin bowling, swimming or attending the hotel disco gave students very little time to rest, but their enjoyment and impeccable behaviour was never in question.
Staff and students comments include:
‘A holiday I’ll never forget’, ‘the best holiday I’ve ever been on’, ‘thank you for taking us to new heights’.
One very proud member of staff.
During October half term, 6 Sixth Form students were fortunate enough to visit the beautiful, historical city of Barcelona. The trip involved visiting some of Gaudi’s prestigious work, such as the Sagrada Família and Park Güell. The students loved exploring La Rambla and trying some traditional Spanish tapas at a local restaurant. They were also lucky enough to watch a flamenco show!
Le Touquet 2018
Trip to Northern France on 20th April 2018. 45 Year 9 students had the opportunity to travel to France for the day and experience French shops and food. Our students were also lucky enough to enjoy a very sunny and warm afternoon at the beach. One student commented “Best day of my life”. Everyone enjoyed the day very much.
Real Madrid Football Trip 2018
41 students and 4 staff spent 5 days in Madrid on a football experience of a lifetime! Our students trained like professional footballers for 4 days and took in the wonderful sights of Madrid in their downtime.
They also played matches against local opposition in weather conditions that reminded them of England!
The results were as follows: U13 Algete C.F 0 – 5 Windsor U14 Algete C.G. 4 – 2 Windsor U15 Algete C.F. 1 – 3 Windsor Students were an absolute credit to the school and loved being treated as a professional footballer for the trip! Keep a look out for next year’s football trip!
Trip of a lifetime to New York, Baltimore and Washington – Easter 2018
Sixth Form dancers spent 9 days in America sightseeing in New York and Washington and performing in Baltimore Arts Schools.
The Baltimore Exchange has been running since 2005 and over 60 students have enjoyed the trip over the years. This year 12 students travelled to New York where they not only had fun sightseeing but also watched a Broadway Show before travelling to Baltimore to perform.
They performed in Patapsco High School and Centre for the Arts in their 900 capacity auditorium. They also met their e-penpals, shadowed them in lessons and took part in a master class before create a joint dance for the evening showcase. Over the week they also performed in Cromwell Elementary School, West Towson Elementary School and Carver Centre for the Arts. Other experiences included doing a ballet class with the Maryland State Teacher of the Year, a pool barre class at the Megan Rich Studio’s and attending a ‘cookout’ at one of the e-penpals homes.
The end of the trip saw a trip to Washington to see all the sights and the famous cherry blossom. The students that attended the trip were a credit to the school and we look forward to entertaining the American students at Windsor in June this year during the return leg of the trip!
‘Baltimore was an experience of a lifetime that has helped me develop my skills as a performer and I would love to go and do it all again!’
‘The Baltimore Exchange helped broadened my dance knowledge and made me see dance in a different light, in a different country. It also allowed me to see what being on tour as a dancer would be like!’
New York Trip 2017
A group of students and staff spent the beginning of the Easter holidays in the USA. After a long day of anticipation, travel and jet lag the group were straight into their experience, going up the Empire State Building and seeing the sights in the daylight and at sunset. The weather was glorious throughout the trip and on a bright and sunny morning the group took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty whilst the afternoon was spent around ground zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
“My favourite day was visiting the statue of liberty and ground zero. I enjoyed seeing such an iconic figure and found the 9/11 museum very interesting”
During the trip the group also experienced the spectacular buildings around New York and were enlightened by the expertise of the tour guides. They enjoyed the delights of New York cuisine including dinner at the restaurant in the Empire State Building and at the Hard Rock Café.
There was the all-important shopping to be done and the group visited famous stores such as Century 21 and Macy’s as well as shopping in Times Square.
One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the theatre district and seeing an evening performance of the long-running, award-winning show, CATS. Some of the students, during the interval, took up the invitation to go on stage, speak to cast members and take a closer view of the set. The finale of this wonderful trip was a leisurely walk around Central Park and it’s zoo.
During February half term, Key stage 4 and Key stage 5 students were given the opportunity to take a once in a lifetime experience to Iceland. Not only did they get to visit outstanding areas of natural beauty and tectonically active features, but they gained knowledge that can help them with Geography examinations. Over the 4 days, students enjoyed excursions to the Blue Lagoon, Skogafoss waterfall and a walk to attempt to see the Northern Lights to name a few.
“Travelling to Iceland was an amazing experience. From getting soaked by the waterfall of Skogafoss to relaxing in the Blue Lagoon, my first memories of Iceland are sure to be the best! Throughout the trip itself we learnt about how volcanic and dangerous parts of the island can be, along with walking in no man’s land between the Eurasian and North American plate boundaries. This information and visualisation has helped with my understanding of Tectonics which will become useful when exams come around!”
Matthew P, Year 13 Geography Student
French Eurosport Visitor
From Wednesday 5th to Friday 7th November we welcomed Julie Hourmant into our lessons in the MFL Faculty. Julie is currently a journalist in Paris working for Eurosport and Canal +. This was an excellent opportunity for our students to practise their French and find out more about careers using languages. This was a particularly exciting opportunity for our A Level French students as they are studying Media at the moment.
Baltimore Dance Exchange
In April our Sixth Form dancers spent a week in Baltimore performing, teaching and leading dance classes in eight different magnet schools for the arts. We performed to audiences of up to 600 people in theatres that looked like they had come off the ‘Glee’ set.
Leah Cartwright said “We led ten dances as part of a 45 minute piece which was made up of a variety of different styles from lyrical to street dance and portrayed the theme ‘What Dance Means to Me’. It was an inspiring experience which I will never forget”.
Our teachers said a highlight for them was seeing Windsor students swamped for autographs and pictures following a school performance at Patapsco School and Centre for the Arts!
“It was a once in a lifetime experience and something I’ll never forget” said Molly Street.
Then, in the Summer of 2014 our BTEC Dancers and parents hosted American dancers for a week as part of our on going cultural exchange. A brilliant and most memorable time was had by all. We were very sad to say farewell after such a fantastic experience for both our students and theirs.
On the Monday 11th of March, we arrived in snowy Hamburg and then travelled to the Hostel where we would stay until Friday. During the week, we got to know all of the other students involved in the Comenius Project including German, Spanish and Turkish Students and all got along well. It was interesting to find out about their different ways of living and how their schools differ to ours. During the week, we went on many different trips and visits to businesses and workplaces. Some of these trips including visiting the Volkswagen Factory, Hospitals, Lectures, Schools, Museums and we all got to spend some time around the Hamburg city centre, where we got to see the harbour and were allowed some time to shop. Overall, the week was really fun and taught us a lot about our topics within Comenius, as well as giving us the opportunity to make new friends that we have stayed in contact with.
On Monday 11th November 18 of our Year 13 students flew out to Barcelona for the Spanish leg of the international partnership, hoping to further deepen their understanding on their chosen topics, comparing and contrasting Spanish viewpoints and developments on crime, energy and transport with equivalents in Britain, Germany and Turkey. Culture was also a key point of reference during the 5 day visit with students having had the opportunity to sample a few of the key cultural offerings available in Barcelona, including the Catalan Parliament, Gaudi architecture, civil war bunkers, Nou Camp and many more. An insightful, successful and unique week was had by all.
We had our 14 Danish guests arrive and stay with some of our Year 9 and 10 students. During their stay they took part in a varied amount of activities, such as dance workshops, trips to Birmingham, Black Country Museum and a local Primary School.
Early Monday morning on the 24th September a group consisting of Year 8, 9 and 10 students found themselves waiting for their 8:30am flight to Stuttgart, what for many, represented their first exchange experience. After an interesting flight, with only one casualty to travel sickness, we found ourselves heading down the autobahn to our host school for the week, in rural Straubenhardt, known to many inner city Germans as ‘the outback’.
A fun week was to follow with students experiencing both school life in Germany, whilst also having the opportunity to undertake a number of out of school activities, including visits to the local cities of Stuttgart and Heidelberg, as well as sampling the local cuisine and visiting Stuttgart’s renown media museum and waterpark.
Dutch Hockey visit
On Wednesday 2nd May the PE Department were delighted to welcome Kampong Hockey Club from Utrecht Holland to Windsor High School and Sixth Form. Mr Robert Sorrell Under 16 girls’ hockey coach along with three other colleagues organised a tour for the Under 16 girls from Kampong Hockey Club. They were all kept very busy during their afternoon at Windsor, 36 Year 7 and 8 girls were invited to spend the afternoon receiving coaching from the Dutch visitors, the sun shone and the students had an excellent afternoon polishing their individual hockey skills before playing a game under the watchful eye of their new coaches.
After the coaching session Year 11, 12 and 13 students alongside the PE staff had an opportunity to learn more about the structure and coaching of hockey in Holland. The Dutch visitors had to work hard to answer some excellent questions posed by our students. Thank you to everyone for making the afternoon a great success.
On 5th March, Mrs Dunn and Ms Sparrow traveled to Ethiopia to set up a new partnership with the Merawi Preparatory School, an outstanding Sixth Form in Ethiopia. The project was funded by the British Council and the Youth Sport Trust and is part of an international linking programme aimed at inspiring young people in sport. The trip was very successful and a plan for links across the curriculum has been devised so that students from both schools will be able to communicate and learn much from each other’s cultural and sporting experience.
Later that month the school was delighted to welcome two of the Ethiopian teachers on a visit to Windsor High School and Sixth Form. They visited lessons and joined in a number of activities with students and staff. They were overwhelmed by the experience, hugely appreciative of the opportunity to work with us and very complimentary of our students, staff and school environment.
We are really looking forward to working with our new friends in Ethiopia. Ameseginalehu [thank you!].
The German Exchange visit to our school in March was a great success. Everyone enjoyed bowling, swimming and a trip to the Black Country Museum. Our guests from Straubenhardt also took part in the Languages Extravaganza evening, presenting their school and the surrounding area in perfect English to a large audience. Our guests were so impressed with our school and the kindness and generosity of their host families and our students and staff made some great new friends.
We are really looking forward to the return visit to Straubenhardt in the Autumn.