In past years, there has been uncertainty about what time of year the sixth grade trip should occur. After having it take place in the fall for the past few years, the sixth grade team is reverting it back to the spring for a few specific reasons.
It started out being that since the fifth and sixth grades are connected in schedule and the fact that they both have color groups, their trips both took place in the spring.
Then, a decision was made that the high school and entire middle school apart from the fifth grade should be away at the same time of year, so the sixth grade trip was moved to the fall for a couple of years. Following this change, the whole purpose was altered to an advisory bonding trip. This year, it’s returning to May.
This is partly due to the fact that there are numerous new students in the class of 2024, so the sixth grade team also thinks the later trip would benefit the students’ experiences as they will have had more time to settle in.
On the other hand, not only has the trip been pushed back but it has also been relocated to Liddington field center (towards Bath), from the previous Ford Castle.
The main reason for the change in content is so that there is less time on the bus, as the journey to Ford castle (Northumberland) was rather arduous. However, there will be similar activities in terms of advisory bonding, challenge by choice (activities that force students to go outside of their comfort zones), and the Roman empire aspect.
One of the disappointments for their unit is that the Hadrians Wall hike (for people who aren’t familiar, Hadrians wall was a defensive wall for the Romans in Britannia) will not be included on the trip in the spring of 2018.
Sixth grade humanities teacher and team leader Mrs. Jessica Mazzenga said, “We are so lucky to live in a country where we have access to the relics of the Roman empire, and the fact that we will have studied it now will be powerful. Also, the fact that we have the chance to connect and reflect on the year and how we’ve grown since the bonding day in September will be beneficial.”
Another change is that there was a bonding day up at Canons Park this past September, whereas in previous years it was only fifth grade that included that in their fall schedule. This was because of the absence of the rest of the school during the fall trip, which motivated the teachers to organize a different way to get to know the people in each advisory. The bonding day was composed of mainly problem solving and team strengthening activities, which in turn helped the sixth graders towards an easier start to the year.