Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Sunday in Windsor

Hello, readers.
On Sunday we had an early breakfast and off we went to visit Windsor.  Our main focus on that trip would be the Queen's castle at Windsor. Once we got to the castle we first had to go through Security where our backpacks were checked and we were given Windsor Castle bracelets to show on our way in.
We spent about two hours inside the castle and saw all the areas that are open to the public. No photography is allowed inside so that is why we are unable to show you what we actually saw.  Suffice it to say that the interior is even more amazing than what you see as you approach the buildings on the outside.  Every little detail is meant to awe the visitors, making sure they understand the power and influence of British history. Some of the rooms have so much to tell that even the ceilings are lined up with shields and regalia.
We also saw a guard on duty:

When we left the castle we wandered around town. We came across these street musicians who were very good:

Sunday, 17 September 2017


Hello, again. It's now Sunday evening and we've been in England for all of 9 days now.
Saturday was a very special day for our merry group: it was Alfonso Torrens's 15th birthday. We had a cake baked for him and his friends and travelling companions sang for him at different times during the day.


After singing to Alfonso at breakfast, we got ready for our day trip to Brighton.
We visited the Royal Pavilion, which used to be the monarchy's summer home. In the following video you can see our students arriving at the Royal Pavilion.


After our visit to the Royal Pavilion we left for a bit of walking around town.


And we then visited the pier with its amusements.

After arriving back from Brighton many of our students had to skip dinner as they had eaten so much while visiting the seaside town.
In the evening we had a campfire with another school, a group of 11-year old students from Spain who have become very close with our Brads.

Sunday will see us in the city of Windsor!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Dear all,
Almost three more days have come and gone and it seems that time is on the run. Tempus fugit, like the Romans used to say.

Since our last post, we have been to Leeds Castle and we also went on a quick run to Ashford, which is just five minutes away by motor vehicle. Would you like to see what Leeds Castle looks like?  Well, then, here's a still of our eighteen trail blazers.  Don't they look great?

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  If so, then a video must be worth at least a million.  Please have a look at the following recordings so that you can get a feel of the gardens and the castle grounds. Quite impressive.
These first two videos were taken inside the castle:

And we also watched a Falconry show.  Wonderful birds.  These next two videos show a bit of that:

And then it started to rain while some of the boys were feeding the birds:

The following was taken on our way out:

The last of the Leeds Castle filming took place inside its gift shop:

So that was on Wednesday.
The following day, Thursday, the expeditionary force took to the skies. The picture below shows part of them kitted up to start their climb heavenward.

Please look at the following footage to get a better idea of their gallantry as they climbed ever higher, and then zipped down a line until they touched ground again. All of them went back up and repeated the experience two more times. Some of them even went for a fourth climb.  If any of them are afraid of heights, they didn't show it. We can already see a new-found confidence in them.  Kudos to one and all.

That took place on Thursday morning.  We then had lunch, after which we went to Ashford, which is very close by. The boys and girls were itching to visit Poundland, which is a shop that we had told them about, where everything is a pound.  They bought some "essential supplies" and then took a short tour of the town. We left Ashford in time to eat our six o'clock dinner at Grosvenor Hall.
After dinner, we asked the group to get changed into their bathing costumes and then we had our usual evening meeting where we discussed the day's events and the following day's activities.  Once finished with our conversation, we headed for the swimming pool. Here is a recording of last night's water sport.

Today, which is Friday already (!!!), one of the groups had fencing.  Laura, our lead instructor, taught the group some fencing techniques that they then put into practice.  See them in action here:

We then waited a few minutes for the next activity that would take place. This is how The Eighteen wait. They show great style.

The next activity turned out to be Nightline. This is a game of trust, but it's also about using other senses rather than just your eyes. They had to wear a blindfold so as to play.  This is what Nightline looks like:


We hope you have enjoyed sharing in our adventures as we make our way about England.  Please stay tuned for further reports.  Tomorrow we travel to the coast, Brighton to be more precise.
Be well.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Our first two weekdays at Grosvenor Hall

Hello, again.

Monday and Tuesday have gone by in a flash here at Grosvenor Hall.  Lots to do, too little time for anything else.

From our account on Instagram you have been able to see much of what the boys and girls have been doing, and how well they have taken to Grosvenor Hall and their new life in England.

I should start by explaining that when we arrived at Grosvenor Hall, the staff asked the children to break up into two groups of nine students each. This is for purposes of working more effectively with smaller groups, which makes a lot of sense.

On Monday morning, the Bradford expeditionary force put their minds and bodies to problem-solving (You'll see some of them on the videos below). They also did quite a bit of climbing on "Jacob's Ladder". That's the name of the log ladder which you climb in pairs but that can be very difficult to climb - unless you work together with your climbing partner. The cute thing about this is that as we were walking towards the area where they have these ladders set up, and which was crowded with instructors, I overheard one of the boys looking at all the instructors and seriously asking: "Which one is Jacob?"
Anyway. They climbed for about an hour and a half, and then we went for an orienteering session. During that session they were taught to find certain points around the school and orienting themselves with very little.

After lunch, the Eighteen were given assessment tests to gauge their level of English. Based on their results they have been put into groups and have started working on improving their language skills.

So here we have some videos of our Monday activities.  Enjoy.



On Tuesday, Group 1 did fencing for a bit over an hour, while Group 2 played field games with an instructor. The games were a frisbee match and, then, rounders - which is a bit similar to baseball, but with a smaller bat. And then off they went to do more climbing, but this time up a pole with a platform on top, where the pupils had to stand before jumping off and grabbing onto a trapeze! You should have seen them! Impressive. Even the students who are afraid of heights did their bit and were clapped by their fellows. It was a great activity. They are now eagles all, meant to soar high.

After lunch, it was back to their English lessons; then dinner and our day's evaluation session, after which we played a variation of Bingo - which included a series of competitions that the students came up with in order to get the numbers for  Bingo. Fun was had all around.

Tomorrow we take a half-day trip to Leeds Castle, which is in Kent and not in Leeds. Go figure.

Today's vids:

Sunday, 10 September 2017

We're here!!!

Hello, Bradford!
After a long, arduous, trip we made it to the land of Queen Elizabeth II. We arrived in Heathrow yesterday, Saturday, September 9 and immediately travelled to Grosvenor Hall in Ashford, Kent.
Today is the next day, Sunday.  This day was made very special because we took a whole-day trip to Cambridge, which is a two-hour coach ride away. The children are still recovering from the flight, so quite a few of them dozed on the way.
We visited King's College, and its Chapel, which is the second biggest chapel in the world, the biggest being the Sistine Chapel, in Vatican City. You can see some of that in the following video. Please click on the link below.

The next thing we did was take a walk around the centre of Cambridge ending at the Market, where the children bought their first souvenirs. This is a market that's been on the same site for the past 1,000 years.
Time is measured differently in Cambridge. Many of the buildings we saw today have been standing since before Christopher Columbus bumped into America.
And then we went punting on the river Cam.  Our boatman was a former English teacher and he knew all sorts of stories about the city and, especially, the university. He was very good. Here's a video of our punting experience where you can listen to a bit of our punter's description of the university:

After our punting experience, it was time to go back to Grosvenor Hall, dinner and evening games. And then it was bedtime.
Tomorrow we stay at Grosvenor Hall all day. The schedule involves morning sporting activities and afternoon English lessons.
Every day a new adventure!
Until tomorrow.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Travelling to Britain

This is our first post on our road to England.  We hope to have a good number of parents and pupils interested in this experience and, hopefully, following us as we make our way to the shores of Great Britain.
Join us in this adventure and follow us daily once we arrive in Albion*!

*Albion is the oldest known name for the island of Great Britain.