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Year 7 & 8 Trip to the Rhineland - Germany - 2014

Monday 14th July - Friday 18th July

UPDATE 1/7/14: Groups have now been allocated. Find your initials in the table below and report to your group leader when we arrive at school on Sunday night. Do continue to check this page in case there are any last minute changes. These groups give you no clue as to who you will be sharing a room with this, as was explained at the meeting. Please also note that there has been a staff change. Mr Gibson has been replaced by Mrs Wood.

UPDATE 23/6/14: The risk assessment has now been uploaded and can be found below for download. If you have decided on a mobile to take and have not yet let Mrs Gooding have the number, please do so, either via email or in person. Thanks to those people who have already done so.

You need to arrive at school at 23:30 on Sunday 13th July. That is just before midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning. We will leave school at midnight. You do not need to arrive any earlier. Even if the coach is already there, you will not be allowed on board until you have checked in with your group leader, who will not arrive until 23:30. Parents are politely asked not to obstruct the Academy driveway with vehicles. We advise you to park on Potovens lane, away from the gates, even if the gates are already open. We need to lock the gates before departure and if you want to wave us off, it will be easier if you don't have to move your car first. Please leave the coach enough room to drive in and out of the gates. We will use the bus park to load luggage and students, after they have checked in with their group leader - please see checklist below. We aim to arrive back at school about 22:00 on Friday 18th July. We will contact parents when we are about 1 hour away from school. As traffic can be so unpredictable on Fridays, we do not clarify arrival time until we are fairly certain of it. Students usually like to text once we are back in England.

The time in Germany NOW is...






Parents' Meeting PowerPoint

Please find the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting on 3 June 2014 here.

Itinerary

Monday:
  • Travel to Germany and check in to hotel in Cologne. First meal is dinner.
Tuesday:
  • Visit Boppard town and take chair lift into the hills above.
  • Cruise down the Rhine river.
  • Possible visit to Rheinfels castle in St Goar.
Wednesday:
  • Day in Cologne city visiting the chocolate museum, the cathedral and the shops.
Thursday:
  • Whole day to Phantasialand theme park.
Friday:
  • Return journey to Wakefield. Last meal is breakfast.

What to Pack.

In addition to the obvious, don't forget:
Towel (not provided by hotel), phone and charger, European adaptor, sun cream, sunglasses, waterproof, nightwear, toiletries (toothbrush & paste, shampoo, soap, comb/brush etc...), bag for dirty clothes, pen/pencil, sensible footwear for walking a fair distance, wallet/purse and a small bag/rucksack for day trips. It is a good idea to bring plenty of layers which can be added or removed depending on the weather. Think carefully about what you will wear on the coach. You will want to be comfortable enough to be able to sleep and a small pillow (possibly inflatable) is advisable. We are happy for you to travel in pyjamas, but remember you won't be able to change before stopping at service stations in the middle of the day.

Checklist for Sunday night.

  1. PASSPORT
  2. EHIC CARD
  3. Any Medicine (with any liquids needed on the flight in 100ml containers)
  4. Spending Money (Euros and Sterling for return journey) other than for Monday, preferably in a small, plastic resealable bag with name and amounts written on.
  5. 1-4 ready to hand in to group leader on arrival at school.
  6. Main luggage packed and weighing no more than you can carry.
  7. Hand luggage
  8. Luggage labelled clearly with name and address.

Staff accompanying the trip

Mrs Gooding (Trip Leader) - Languages teacher
Mr Tawn - Languages teacher
Miss Woods - Languages Cover Supervisor
Mr Peachey - ICT teacher
Mrs Wood - Year 10 Learning Manager

Groups

Mrs Gooding's Group Mr Tawn's Group Mr Peachey's Group Mrs Wood's Group Miss Woods' Group
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Insurance Details

Please note: mobile 'phones are not covered by the insurance, nor are single items worth more than £250. Any single item worth more than £50 will need proof of purchase/valuation in the event of a claim.

The insurance policy can be found here. The trip has been booked via Voyager School Travel and the insurance is with Fogg Travel Insurance Services Ltd, underwritten by Union Reiseversicherung AG.

Risk Assessment

Download risk assessment.

FAQs

How much money can I take?

The absolute maximum is 100€ and a small amount of English money (£20 max.) to hand in to staff. You should keep Monday's spending money with you. You will not need 100€ (half of this would be quite enough), as every activity and almost every meal has been included in the price, however your spending will soon add up if you are buying sweets and drinks at every opportunity. The first meal we will have will be dinner on arrival at the hotel, however you may bring food for the coach journey. Please do not bring glass containers or chocolate (it will melt!) It is only on the way back, where, although the hotel will provide us with some sandwiches for lunch, you will want some money for food in the evening as we get back in the early hours of Saturday. Food and drink is very expensive in foreign service stations (even worse than the UK) and is best avoided. However, it is common practice for German hotels to charge for all drinks at dinner, including water (1 Euro, fizzy drinks 2 Euros), so you will need to keep some money each day for this. But, even if if you want to buy sweets/ice creams/drinks in Germany, €12-15 a day is more than sufficient. It is only if you want to buy expensive/several souvenirs that you may want more

Do I have to hand my money in to staff?

We strongly recommend you hand your money to your group leader from a safety point of view. In the event you lose your money, it is far less upsetting if you only had 10€ on you, than if you had all your spending money and are then left with nothing. It is also useful for those people who find temptation hard to resist, not to be able to spend all their money within the first day. You will be given an opportunity each morning to collect some spending money for the day from your group leader, before we leave the hotel. Any money you want for Monday, you should keep with you.

Can I bring my ipod/ipad/other expensive piece of equipment?

Yes, if you must. Staff can accept NO RESPONSIBILITY for damaged/lost/stolen items. Please see the details of the insurance policy. Games consoles have been lost in the past and this causes extremely unnecessary upset. If you do bring music to listen to, YOU MUST USE HEADPHONES - be considerate to those who don't share your taste in music. Try surviving five days without it, you never know, you might enjoy yourself...

How can I kill 18 hours on a coach?

It is important to have thought about this as the journey is very long. Eating sweets for 18 hours solid is not a great idea. Suggestions other than wasting your 'phone battery include: books, magazines, puzzles, sleeping and games. Bring a pack of cards, bring a travel board game, play 'I spy' and similar games. We may well have a DVD player on the coach (this is not guaranteed), so if you would like to bring a DVD or two (no 15 or 18 certificates), we may be able to show these when people start getting really bored.

Can I bring my mobile 'phone?

We recommend you do bring a mobile for emergencies. You will be given the school's mobile number so you can ring Mrs Gooding, should you have any kind of problem and we will ask for your number so that we can always get in contact with you (if you do bring a 'phone). You must make sure your phone is charged and in credit when we are out. We recommend you bring a cheap mobile, as we can accept NO RESPONSIBILITY for damaged/lost/stolen items. Please note, there is no cover whatsoever for mobiles on our insurance policy. We emphasise that the 'phone is for emergencies only and do not expect you to be ringing home every 30 minutes. You will get much more out of the trip if you have no contact with home for the five days and you will become much more independent if you immerse yourself totally in the experience. Speaking to people at home often brings on homesickness. We appreciate parents'/carers' support with this matter. We reserve the right to collect in mobile 'phones if we deem necessary. Labelling you 'phone with your name (and address) is a good idea. If possible, let us have your mobile number before we leave. Parents will also be given Mrs Gooding's number and the number of the hotel in case you need to contact us. Make sure you collect a copy of the students' emergency sheet when you drop of your child at school.

Can I eact and drink on the coach?

Eating and drinking will be allowed on the coach on the long journeys to and from Germany, but not on the day trips once we are there. All drinks must be in resealable plastic bottles (no glass please) and you are asked to think carefully before bringing onto the coach anything which is likely to make a mess (e.g. chocolate has a habit of melting if the weather is good), as you will be clearing up the mess. Students will share collective responsiblity for the state of the area in which they are sitting and will help tidy the coach. Bags for litter will be provided for each row of seats, so please use them. Hot food and drinks may not be brought on to the coach, so only purchase what you know you have time to consume before we return to the coach. High energy drinks are not allowed for the duration of the trip. If you're tired, go to sleep!

What happens if I get lost?

You must never wander off alone. Make sure you keep your yellow emergency sheet with you at all times. The vast majority of time we will be together as a group, but you will have time where you are allowed a degree of freedom within a defined area. Make sure you are always with a least two other people and make sure one of you has a mobile. Always listen carefully to instructions and meeting times and you will be very unlikely to get lost. In the rare event that you do lose your way, ring Mrs Gooding immediately. Do not panic. At most places we will go, there are very few places you could disappear to and it shouldn't take long to find you. Stay together and away from the road. Do not split up to try and find the group.

What do we do if we want to go on different rides/in different shops?

You must never leave people on their own. When you are looking in the shops, you must wait until the last person in your group is finished. Do not think because your friends are in the next shop, that you are with them. At the theme park, it is important you do not leave one person waiting at a ride with all the bags. Not only is it too much responsibility for one person, it can also be very difficult to tell how long a queue is. The entrances and exits to rides are not always in the same place and it is very easy to lose them. It is also very unfair to make one person spend hours waiting by themselves. If there is only one of you who doesn't want to go on the ride, 'phone Mrs Gooding and we will come and wait with that person or find them a different group to go round with. If anyone is found on their own, they will lose the privilege to separate from the teachers. Your safety must come first.

What should I do if I have a problem?

Tell us about it! The worst thing you can do is ring home! Your parents/carers can do nothing about it and will worry dreadfully. Most problems, which might seem major to begin with, are usually sorted out very quickly, once staff are told about it. Make sure you know where staff hotel rooms are, so that you know which door to bang on if you have a problem in the middle of the night.

When will I have to go to bed?

When we tell you. After we go back to hotel rooms in the evening we will give you some time to get ready for bed before lights-out. This will not be very late, as we will need to be up early to make the most of our trip. We expect you to be silent after lights-out to enable everyone to get some sleep, including your teachers...

When will I have to get up?

Fairly early. Exact times will depend on what we are doing the following day. We will tell you what time breakfast is, and it's your responsibility to make sure you are up and dressed in time. You will need to organise with people you are sharing with, who will use the bathroom and when, factoring in time to have a shower if you want one (we recommend showering...).

What will my accommodation be like?

Our hotel is 2 star and therefore the rooms are basic, but more than adequate for our needs. Rooms are all shared and single sex. Each room has ensuite shower and toilet facilities, but you will need to bring towels. We will allocate rooms when we know which rooms we have been given, but this is not likely to be until we get to Germany. You will have some say in who you share with, but please remember that we can only work with the rooms the hotel provides us with. Please remember that we may not be the only guests in the hotel, so please be considerate in the way you conduct yourselves.

Do I have to stay with my group?

No. Groups are mainly used to count all students are present quickly and efficiently and to split up passports, money and medicines between staff. As long as you are in a group of three or more, you can go round with whoever you like. Groups will not be used as the basis for deciding hotel room allocations.

What will the food be like?

Quite simple. The hotel is used to catering for school groups and so is careful to choose food which is generally eaten by children. Please make sure you have let us know beforehand of any dietary requirements (vegetarianism/intolerances/allergies/not eating red meat, etc.) as it is extremely unlikely the hotel will be able to accommodate you if they don't know about it in advance. We would appreciate it if you at least try everything you are offered, even if you then decide not to eat it. We expect good table manners and that you leave the restaurant in a respectable state when you have finished. Please remember your 'bitte' and 'danke schön'.

What will we do in the evenings?

Your teachers will decide on appropriate activities depending on weather, facilities available etc, but may include evening walk/visit to playgrounds; quizzes; talent show; diary/scrapbook making.