My name is Sylvie and I am lucky enough to have been elected as one of the school councillors, in class 27 year six (the other is Tyler, pictured with me here).
Being a school councillor means that you have to turn up to meetings regularly where we come up with good and bad ideas and as a group decide the ones that we are able to do and sound pleasant. The main thing is working together to improve the school for everyone.
Being a school councillor is a prodigious opportunity. Making big and small changes all around the school is an admirable feeling. I also like how it gives you an independent voice of your own and no ideas are immediately turned down, they are all considered and then decided upon.
It also gets you ready for secondary school in September as being a school councillor means that you have to have a number of responsibilities like remembering your badge and when you have to turn up for meetings, just as in secondary school I will have to remember my homework and lots more. Now I have learnt some valuable lessons and I am very excited to start secondary school in September.
Goodrich offers a rich curriculum with outdoor learning making up a significant part of this. As well as Forest Schools we offer educational trips to all children, ranging from class trips to London museums, to the Early Years visits to the farm, or the end of year 6 trip to the beach, paid for by our wonderful parents organisation FOG.
In addition, we offer a wide range of residential experiences including a week at Arethusa Venture Centre on the River Medway in year 3, a week on the Nethercott Farm in Devon for year 5, a sailing week with outdoor pursuits on the Isle of Wight for years 5/6,and in recent years some children have been able to visit China.
Nethercott Farm, Devon
Khadijah Barrie writes: I visited Nethercott Farm this year and I am very pleased that I did. It was a great experience as I learn to work with animals. Everything was grand and I loved every bit of it especially the food. To work with animals was a pleasure and meeting the staff made me feel very welcome. The journey it was true was long and tedious, however, it was most definitely worth the wait (take a good book). It wasn’t just the children who seemed to enjoy the event, the teachers were very relaxed and were having lots of fun too!
Personally, I don’t think there is anything you can single out for being the best bit. It was a crazy adventure that was full of great times that I will always remember. From the cooking to the farming and the waking to the sleeping, it was an exciting trip that I would certainly go on again. If there was advice I would give to the future year 5s it would be to go as I certain they will be delighted.
Amina, Khadijah’s mum, writes: This year my daughter visited Nethercott Farm. At first I was reluctant to let her go as it was her first time leaving home. However, I knew the school would take great care of her as they gave us all the required information and assurances. My reluctance came from the fact that none of Khadijah’s siblings had been before. Nonetheless, Khadijah extremely enjoyed all the activities and learnt a lot. She was taught life skills like team work and became more animal friendly.
When she came back she was bursting with exciting tales about the different animals and their strange yet funny personalities. We received a letter mid-week explaining how much fun she was having which also reassured me and stopped me missing her too much. The week went by very quickly; there wasn’t even enough time for me to worry too much about her!
In conclusion it was a wonderful event that each child should have an opportunity to go on as it builds confidence, independence and helps them with understanding and to appreciate how much work a farmer has to do. The best bit is now she does more work around the house!
Lower Treginnis Farm, St Davids, Wales
Mei Lin Rawlings writes: Lower Treginnis Farm was an amazing experience for everyone who went. As well as having lots of fun, we also came back with a few interesting facts about Welsh farming.
The farming was not just fun but also entertaining; there were several funny occasions, often ending up with goats eating worksheets or pigs tipping over buckets of feed. The instructors were kind and friendly, and they were happy to answer questions about the animals.
After a long day of work , there’s nothing better than a delicious meal- and that is exactly what we got! The lovely homemade dishes we had made us ready for the next activity. They always had everything perfectly organised whether you’re vegetarian or you can’t eat certain meats.
As it is by the sea we walked on beautiful coastal paths and saw some amazing sights. After this trip I saw farming in a whole new light and understood the daily life of the farmer.
Ai Ling, Mei Lin’s mum, writes: Mei Lin had a wonderful time at Lower Treginnis Farm, and didn’t stop talking about her experience there for weeks afterwards. She loved being immersed in farm life, and being around, and caring for animals. She talked about witnessing the birth of a lamb, milking goats and feeding the cows and sheep, and holding chicken. She even cleaned out calves’ pens, and loved the experience even though it didn’t smell very nice!
The trip was very well organised by Goodrich staff, which gave the parents peace of mind during the week-long trip. The teachers were lovely to the children during the trip, and bonded with them. The farm staff kept them entertained, as well as sharing a lot of their knowledge and giving them an insight into farm life. Overall, it was a great experience for Mei Lin that I think she will remember forever.