At 4:00am the chill of the Broadstairs air was also filled with excitement and anticipation as we began the annual sixth form trip to New York. However the cold of Broadstairs was nothing compared to what we found on the other side of the pond through the frostbitten doors at Newark Airport. Minus fifteen felt more like minus twenty five with the wind chill, whilst the local news agencies handed out advice on how to avoid frostbite! Dane Court students are never anything other than intrepid with hats and gloves donned for the first nights’ meal at Ruby Tuesday's and Times Square by night gave an opportunity for some iconic pictures.
After a much needed night’s sleep, as we had all been awake for nearly nineteen hours the next morning was kicked off with an American style breakfast at a local diner. Pancakes, waffles, French toast galore, breakfast always made for a great start to the day. The first full day was action packed and began with a trip to the top of the Rockafella Center, stunning views of the Manhattan skyline set against clear blue skies were a highlight for many students. A brisk walk through a snow covered Central Park followed, where students were able to ice skate and warm up with a hot chocolate. A few bumps and bruises but fun was had by all. After the adrenaline filled ice skating, group photos were taken in the park with the beautiful skyline behind us. Next stop, the natural history museum before returning to fifth avenue for a spot of retail therapy. A highlight for many was when we maybe passed David Beckham and his kids!
On Tuesday we waked across Manhattan to jump on a ferry tour of lower Manhattan, the snow and mini icebergs added a rather epic feel to the situation and students were able to get a close up view of New York's most famous bridges as well as her most famous lady, the Statue of Liberty. A bus tour to lower Manhattan followed, visiting the ground zero memorial site and St Paul's church. This gave students a time for reflection on a significant event in modern history, the emotion of this moment was felt by all and Dane Court students showed great understanding and sentiment. This was followed by subway ride back to Times Square and dinner at Applebees.
Before we knew it the time to pack had arrived, but before heading home there was still time to visit Grand Central Station, the famous New York Library and the biggest department store in the world, Macy's! All the staff who came would like to thank the students for an absolutely wonderful week, they were superb in attitude and a credit to the school throughout.
A group of 16 students joined Mr White and for the final time Mrs Opperman on a 16-day adventure into the heart of Namibia. Joined this year by Miss Hodgett, the students explored the stunning desert, finding the elusive desert elephant, not seen by the students on the two previous trips.
As the students sat on top of a windy sand dune at 5:00am you could see their hearts warming to this very special continent and what it has to offer. As always the run down after the hard climb was loved by all, with Martin and Sally making the most of the opportunity to tumble their way down over the soft sand. From there they moved north to the Skeleton Coast, via Mrs Opperman's family farm and a great meal of Springbok pie.
The trip began with an unexpectedly long wait at school. Apparently we are not the only Dane Court School (but of course we are the best). Trevor, the driver, unfortunately chose to pay a visit to Dane Court in Surrey. This obviously created a domino effect making us late for the ferry. But all was not lost! It only gave us another tale to tell.
After arriving in France, the day was jam-packed with pre-planned activity. Commencing with a trip to Berck-sur-mer and a charming little sweet shop where we witnessed first-hand the art of candy making, from the owner himself. He is the third generation making candy at Berck.