Trips and Journeys

Graveney RS and Philosophy Trip to India 2017
On Tuesday 4th July, 25 students and 3 members of staff set off on the trip of a life time to Leh, India. Leh is the capital of Ladakh, a stunning region in the North of India, nestled amongst the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, which is home to a thriving community of mostly Tibetan refugees and Ladakhi Indians. The group were looking forward to embracing a culture vastly different to their own, understanding the beliefs and practices of Tibetan Buddhism, and maybe even gaining enlightenment! The first day involved 24 hours of acclimatisation to the altitude of 3500m and therefore doing as little as possible. On this day, the group caught wind of the Dalai Llama’s presence in a nearby town and so plans were made to travel to Choglamser the next day to join the festivities and see the Dalai Llama on his 82nd birthday! There were thousands of Tibetans there, along with people of all faiths and none, all sitting out together under the strong Ladakhi sun, enjoying the songs and dance. Those with optical zoom caught fantastic shots of the exiled spiritual leader and the rest of us settled for identifying a figure dressed in orange robes! READ MORE
Year 8 and 9 students visit the Goethe Institute

Last week Year 8 and Year 9 German Twilight students made their way to the Goethe Institute in South Kensington to watch a German film and have a guided tour around the impressive German library. The film 'Der ganz große Traum' (‘Lessons of a dream’) was enjoyable and told the story of Konrad Koch, a young visionary teacher who not only changed his students’ lives but also introduced football to Germany!
Everybody had a great time and the tour around the library gave every student the chance to browse through comics, books and magazines in German. An enjoyable and motivating day!
A big thank you to all members of staff who came along.

 Ms Meyer

Year 7 History Trip to the Tower of London

In the summer term Year 7 visited the Tower of London with the History department. Artur and Luay of 7T reflect on their experience:

“My time in the Tower of London was inspiring and interesting. I enjoyed looking at how guards and archers used to protect the King or Queen. When I was looking around the Tower all of the things they had in that time was very different to the modern things we have today. This place is very interesting and has the real Crown Jewels. There are some very sad places you could visit like where Anne Boleyn was executed. Overall, it was very breath-taking and I would recommend it to anyone.”
Artur Andrijauskas

“My trip to the Tower of London really expanded my knowledge of medieval history. We, as a class, got to see many interesting things! First, we saw the Crown Jewels, all the former King’s and Queen’s jewellery. After that we actually saw the first tower that was built, and entered it. It was full of ancient facts and interactive resources that extremely helped my knowledge! Last but not least, we entered the torture tower. In my opinion, I absolutely found that the best activity yet. The punishments were unimaginably horrible! Overall I genuinely loved the trip!”
Luay Boettgenbach

Sail France

This year’s Sail France trip was another supremely successful week.
We were blessed with Goldilocks weather: not too hot and not too cold with enough sunshine and wind to suit all tastes. There was wind-surfing and stand-up paddle-boarding and canoeing and Pico sailing and Dart blasting and mountain biking and a host of evening activities so there was never a dull moment. We also climbed the highest sand dune in Europe and hung around in the trees for a morning. So much fun packed into week that flew by in the blink of an eye! Several pupils were heard saying things like ‘This is the best week of my life!’ and ‘This is the best holiday in the world!’

I would like to congratulate each and every pupil who came on their exemplary conduct and attitude and I hope that I did so adequately on the trip to teach them that good manners and behaviour are always noticed and rewarded.
When I told our pupils that they were the best behaved, the safest and most enthusiastic group I have ever taken, they didn’t believe me and accused me of saying that to every group but I meant every word of it : we had no squabbles, no lack of attention to instructions that can lead to injuries and several instances of selfless altruistic behaviour which were rewards with some prizes at the end of the week.

The MD of our host company, Rockley Watersports, had so many positive reports about our pupils that she felt compelled to send me a very complimentary e mail regarding our pupils’ manners. Rockley staff always look forward to our arrival as we have a reputation of fun and good manners and this years’ pupils did that reputation proud!

Mr S Younossi

Year 9 Trip to Germany. December 2015
In December our German twilight students headed towards the world famous German Christmas Markets in Cologne in order to experience Germany’s culture and of course to practise their language skills.
The 4-day trip offered something for everybody: a visit to the impressive cathedral in Cologne (the ‘Kölner Dom’) including climbing up 533 steps to the top, the Chocolate museum, the Odysseum – a science museum, ice skating, a variety of Christmas markets, a day-visit to a German school and much more! It was great to see the beautiful markets, to absorb a little Christmas spirit and to enjoy the yummy German food.
The trip was a lot of fun - thank you to all students and teachers who made this trip a real success.
Year 9 Trip to Iceland 18th - 23rd October

32 Year 9 geographers took part in a fantastic trip to Iceland before half term. Despite one forgotten coat (!), everyone wrapped up warm for the chilly weather and experienced the delights of the northern most capital city of Reykjavik. After managing to tear ourselves away from the wonderful, geothermal heated Blue Lagoon, the rest of the week was filled with a plethora of waterfalls – we even managed to walk behind one of them! – exploding geysirs and being in two places at once (well, crossing over plate boundaries at least).Donning crampons, hard hats and pick axes, we made our way up Sólheimajökull glacier on Day 3, viewed the James Bond ice lagoon at Jökulsárlón on Day 4, and went caving in a dried out lava tube at Leiðarendi on Day 5. An action packed week was enjoyed by all, and gave the group a fantastic insight into the topic of plate tectonics.

Well done to all of the students who attended the trip; they were impeccably behaved and a true credit to Graveney! Blue flash – keep your eyes out in your geography lessons, letters for next year’s trip will be appearing after Christmas!

Year 12 physicists meet astronaut Dr Roger Crouch

Seven keen Year 12 physicists had the pleasure of hearing astronaut Dr Roger Crouch tell his tale of space adventure last Friday at the City of London School. Dr Crouch told the audience how becoming an astronaut had always been his dream but until recently had been scuppered by his colour vision. A change of rules at NASA meant this was no longer a barrier and at the age of 54 set off from Cape Canaveral into orbit around the earth. Problems with the launch meant that the mission had to be aborted after four days, but undeterred and with the support of his family, he set off again a few months later for a successful mission resulting in another nineteen days of space travel.

The students all had a great time and Jayden was particularly lucky as he won a ‘Space coin’ that had accompanied Dr Crouch to space!

Mass Spectroscopy Masterclass at Queen Mary''s University

On the 16th September 2015, a selection of Graveney chemistry students travelled to Queen Mary’s University to take part  in a Masterclass on Mass Spectroscopy, Infrared Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

The day started with an hour and a half long theoretical lecture from a research doctor with a wealth of experience in organic chemistry, who specialised in the identification of elements from a mixture, using these methods. During this session we were given an interactive lesson by doing a variety of activities such as answering questions from the doctor; and answering a worksheet designed for higher education students. This highlighted one of the key benefits of the day: it was practically a day in the life of a chemistry undergraduate. This was also significant on a personal level as I am an aspiring chemistry undergraduate student.
Following the lecture, we were split into 3 groups to go and observe the machines which perform these processes, one particularly astonishing aspect was the price of the equipment, with the NMR machine costing in excess of £500,000, and peaking just below the ceiling, there was also a 5ft ‘clear zone’ in order to ensure that the waves of radiation didn’t interact with one of us, which highlights the magnitude of the machine. We then had a campus lunch and a self-guided tour of the university for the students who were particularly interested in studying at Queen Mary’s.
To conclude, not only was the trip a pleasant day out, it gave us an invaluable insight into the three methods of identifying a substance, which is likely to give us an edge in the A2  exam that inevitably asks a question incorporating all three methods.

Report by Year 13 student Jake Mitha

Year 11 Geographers in Norfolk

In mid September, Year 11 Geographers took the department’s annual trips to Norfolk, this year saw two  groups of ‘Team Crayola’ students descend on Hunstanton (a westerly facing east coast town) to investigate whether or not the sea defences there would protect the town against the threat of coastal flooding. Students spent the day exploring the town to collect data that they are now using to write up their controlled assessment. This one piece of work is worth 25% of their overall GCSE mark.
The town of Hunstanton is fairly small by London standards but students found no end of visitors and local stakeholders to canvas as they conducted questionnaires and extended interviews. The initial results seemed interesting, many people were well aware of the flood risks in the town but only a few local businesses right on the sea front seemed severely affected by the risk of flooding. One local shop that had been run by the same family since 1950 was at particular risk, so much so they had invested in their own sea defences to stop water crashing through the shop windows!!

With 18 hours of lesson time to write up their findings, students are certainly in for the long haul, but as with previous years the Geography department are looking forward to seeing some good work at the end of it. All the year 11s that came on the trips represented the school to the highest standard and showed what true role models they are - well done!!

Sounds exciting

Graveney Music students excelled once again in last term’s Sounds Exciting music weekend.

Around forty of our students left Graveney at lunchtime on the final Friday of June, and made their way by coach to the beautiful countryside of Surrey. As with last year, we were fortunate to share the weekend with students from St Philomena’s in Carshalton, with whom new friends were made, as well as some friendships reunited from last year’s trip. After a weekend filled with the various activities Sounds Exciting has come to expect (disco, team-building, quiz, eating) parents were amazed at the quality and quantity of music learned.  Few could believe that in the space of just one weekend, over an hour’s live music could be produced to such a high standard.

Many students are already looking out for when the application forms for next year’s weekend will be available – make sure you don’t miss out!

Year 12 Psychology students visit the Wellcome Collection
The Psychology department took Year 12 (AS) students to visit The Wellcome Collection. The trip was to stimulate interest and develop their understanding of key psychological concepts which are directly related to the exam specification such as: Psychopathology, Relationships, Research Methods and the Evolutionary Approach to explaining human behaviour
Of particular interest was ''The Institute of Sexology'' which investigated how research has shaped our ever-evolving attitudes towards behaviour and identity. Moving between pathologies of perversion and contested ideas of normality, it shows how sex has been observed, analysed and questioned from the late 19th century to the present day through its pioneering researchers.
An interesting day for the incurably curious!
Year 12 students travel to Amsterdam

Year 12 students from Philosophy and Religious Studies and Psychology travelled to Amsterdam in June.

Students enjoyed the main cultural attractions as well as seeing the city both on foot and by canal. The variety of activities and trips, including the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and Body worlds, provoked much interesting discussion among students as they were able to make links with the topics they had been studying at AS.

Year 8 enjoy sunshine at Boxhill
The Geography department took all year 8 pupils up and around Boxhill over recent weeks, there were 3 trips in total to cover every form. The weather was beautiful for the first 2 trips and the final trip managed to dodge some pretty nasty looking rain clouds circling the Dorking area. Year 8 are currently studying Limestone, so the chalk slopes of Boxhill were a perfect location for a day out. Work on the day also looked at the impact of nearly 1 million visitors a year to the area. The most fun was had running or rolling back down the hill and fortunately not a single ‘badger stick’ was needed as we walked through the woods! The stepping stones also failed to claim a victim for the 8th year running! Well done to year 8 and thanks to all the staff who accompanied the trips, even Mr Bassett made it to the top!!
Ski Trip to Risoul
On the 24th January 2015, 48 pupils and 6 teachers headed out to France for a week of skiing.The experience was one that many of the pupils would recommend to their peers and by all accounts they tell me they “can’t wait to go again!!!”

On the 24th January 2015, 48 pupils and 6 teachers headed out to France for a week of skiing. The variety of pistes in the beautiful mountains of Risoul was an ideal place for first time skiers to begin learning and for experienced skiers to improve their technique. Despite their good intentions many of them spent most of the week “hitting” the snow after some of their spectacular drops, many of the most impressive ones coming from the teachers! However by the end of the week, without exception everybody could ski all be it at varying degrees.
After skiing many activities were arranged for the group including, quiz, ice-skating, bum boarding, crepes evening, bowling the incredible luge ride which left many screaming and of course the much anticipated disco. However the most memorable of these activities was the karaoke which saw some amazing performances. The trip was a chance for pupils to see and experience a different country and culture. The French were brilliant hosts making us feel very welcome. Both staff and pupils will have lasting memories of their ski trip to Risoul.
The experience was one that many of the pupils would recommend to their peers and by all accounts they tell me they “can’t wait to go again!!!”

Ms D. Ibe – trip organiser

Year 10 Battlefields Trip

The History Department and Year 10 took a three day tour to the battlefields of Belgium and Northern France this November as part of the memorials for WWI.

The tour took them to the Flanders Field Museum at the cloth hall at Ypres where students took an interactive tour, to the evening commemoration at the Menin Gate where they observed the Last Post  and to the battlefields of the Somme, Lochnagar Crater in La Boisselle, Thiepval Memorial cemeteries & to walk in the trenches preserved in Beaumont-Hamel, Delville Wood near Longueval.

Informative and touching, the trip was an unforgettable chance to participate in the centenary of the War to End All Wars.

Year 10 History trip to Berlin

As part of their GCSE studies into International Relations and the Cold War, the History Department and Year 10 took a three day tour of Berlin.

Despite some difficulties with flights (!) the students had a fantastic time in the city. We took a walking tour of Babel Platz, the museum quarter, the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate and stopped for ice cream at Unter den linden. We took a tour of Potsdam, in the footsteps of Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and had a picnic in the Sans Souci gardens. We even managed to look at the impact of recent changes to Germany''s history with a tour of the Hohenschoenhausen STASI prison.

The trip was a great mix of the sombre and thought provoking but also involved lots of opportunities to explore and enjoy the city.

Books About Town

We were lucky enough to be given funding by the Century Club to bid for some School Book Benches (based on the London-wide exhibition by professional artists last Summer) and were successful in our application. We allocated one bench to 7L who read ‘A Christmas Carol’ and designed their bench based on the novel. Another bench was given to 8S and Ms Mackenzie who read ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ and designed their book around that. The English and Art department worked together very successfully; once the novels had been read and ideas discussed, Ms Vaughn and Ms Hepple oversaw the design and painting of the benches. Pupils worked through lunchtimes and after school and did a fantastic job – they look like they have been painted by professionals!

The benches were then sent to the ‘Books About Town’ exhibition at a gallery space in London Bridge along with 50 other book benches which was open to the public. We I took a group of 7L and 8S pupils who had worked on the painting of the benches to the exhibition to see theirs alongside all of the others. It was a fantastic trip which the pupils really enjoyed. Their benches looked fantastic and there were lots of lovely comments from other children.

French Exchange to Nantes
Graveney Languages Department organises an Exchange visit for approximately 25 pupils studying French in Year 9. We are linked with the College Lucie Aubrac in Vertou, situated to the south of Nantes. This link offers our students the opportunity to experience the French way of life and culture and also to visit the vibrant and historical city of Nantes and its surrounding area. We believe that an exchange visit with a student of the same age is an excellent opportunity for our students to practise the language they are learning in school, as well as a rare chance to experience school and family life in another country.
This year, our French partners visited us at the end of January and we headed off to France in June. It was a very enjoyable trip and our pupils were fine ambassadors for our school. Activities included spending a day in the College, shopping in a local market, a trip to the coast, a day in Futuroscope, a space-age theme park, and a visit to Nantes to explore the city and ride on an enormous mechanical elephant. There were many tears on our return, among wishes and plans to return one day.

Graveney School, Welham Road, SW17 9BU

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