Saturday, 14 April 2012

Students and Staff Visit South Africa April 2012

In April, 16 students and 8 staff embarked on a trip to South Africa for 11 days. The first part of the stay was in Cape Town where staff and students enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Western Cape. During this time the group packed in as many activities as possible (see the photos!) including:
  • Walking up Table Mountain
  • Visiting a township – Imizamo Yethu
  • Visiting a bird and monkey sanctuary
  • Walking through the presidential gardens to visit District 6.
  • Enjoying the beach at Camps Bay; spot of sunbathing.
  • Visiting Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent much of his 27 years in prison.
  • Spending money in the African markets
  • A “red bus” tour to see the signs of Cape Town and surrounding areas.

The second part of our visit was to spend time at our link school in Paarl, New Orleans High School, this is our 3rd visit to the school. Our hosts were fantastic, the students all staying with individual families who they had never met before (a very brave thing to do!), all had an excellent time and made many lasting friendships and memories.

During the week, students from Whitley led lessons for Paarl teachers, including Geography - Grade 12, Circle Time – Grade 8 and P.E. lessons for Grade 10. We also put on an “Olympic event” for 200 learners and gave out certificates in assembly.

New Orleans teachers hosted a lovely cultural evening where there children performed fantastic songs and dance/drama routines. During the stay in Paarl, we are able to visit many more sites and engage in some unique experiences, these included:
  • Watching lions being fed at the lion park.
  • Visiting Nelson Mandela’s last prison home – before he took the ‘long walk to freedom’
  • Walking to the language monument and driving to the top of Paarl Mountain (very scary).
We also visited other schools in Paarl, including ‘Desmond Tutu High School’, a black township school where they made us particularly welcome.

The Whitley students were a credit to our school and will share their memories with the rest of our students and staff – a trip they will never forget.

We look forward to staff and students from New Orleans visiting Whitley next year on a return visit. We hope the visit will be as memorable as ours.

Lorraine Allen

View our photos here

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Barcelona 2012

In April, 31 pupils from Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 travelled to Spain to experience the first ever Football tour organised by Whitley Academy. After enduring a 22-hour coach journey, pupils and staff enjoyed the sights and scenery of Barcelona where we had the opportunity to see as many tourist attractions as possible including; 
  • A visit to the Sagrada Familia 
  • Walk around Plaza Catalunya 
  • Shopping along Las Ramblas 
  • Day out to Port Aventura Theme Park 
  • Tour to Nou Camp Stadium & Museum (home of FC Barcelona) 
  • Guided tour around the Olympic Stadium 
  • Watch a Spanish Football Game (Espanyol v Real Sociedad) 
  • Ten-Pin Bowling evening 
During the six day trip, pupils had the chance to put their Footballing skills to the test against two local Spanish teams (Arenys De Mar FC & Blanes FC). It was noticeable from the inset that both teams were organised as they train and play together on a regular basis and had the confidence to pass the ball at every given moment. With this in mind and to the credit of both our U14’s and U16’s teams, all pupils who participated in the matches demonstrated excellent team camaraderie as well as the willingness to collaboratively work together until the final whistle. Unfortunately we lost all four games, but each game was a valuable experience to all our pupils and something they will remember for a long time! 

All 31 Whitley students showed maturity and politeness throughout the trip but most of all were a credit to our school and will share their experiences from the trip with other staff and pupils.