21 Apr 2017

What a week! A truly memorable time was had by all by 44 of our Year 9 students and our 5 staff. The best year yet!

An excited bunch of students and 5 staff, left a cold GCA in the early hours of Saturday April 1st and headed straight for Manchester Airport. The flight to Milan was smooth and the sight of the mountains - as we flew over them - caused some excitement in the cabin!

Once we arrived at the Hotel Kapriol in Folgarida, the bags were dumped and we headed straight out to ski fit to get our gear for our first day on the slopes! Following this, everyone was given their first of many pasta dishes and then unpacked ready to relax for the remainder of the evening. 


Sunday morning saw a very early start, breakfasting by 7:30 and leaving for the first gondola up to ski school at 8:30. It was great to see our students so well organised and fired up for their first day on the slopes – and for about half, their first time on a pair of skis! Once all feet had been squeezed into ski boots students took to the slopes to test their skills and were separated by the expert instructors into their groups.

Unusually for this time of year the weather was mixed, however the students coped admirably with the changes in conditions. We had hot, sunny days with glorious blue skies, slightly windy conditions and even a dusting of snow! Despite these challenging conditions nobody moaned – a true sign that they were enjoying their skiing! As the days flew by, the frequency of the falls decreased, the confidence blossomed and team spirits were sky high. Students attacked all the slopes the mountain had to offer and all groups were skiing challenging red and black runs by the end of the week. Lots of progress was made and it was fantastic to see.

During out time on the slopes we laughed so much and generally enjoyed spending time together as a group and as a result have come away with memorable chants such as ‘Mexican in a bush’, ‘ we know who you are’ and ‘bamboleo’ - just to name a few!

I’m sure you can imagine all the skiing would be exhausting – but that didn’t stop the students enjoying their downtime and evening entertainments. We had a night out at a local pizzeria and sampled freshly made Italian pizza – all agreed it was delicious! We visited a local bar for karaoke and some games, sampled some Italian ice cream and we had some very competitive team games in the hotel’s disco room. This year’s fancy dress standard was fabulous – our Italian hoteliers were very impressed! Before evening entertainment our pupils sat down and told us ‘star and wally worthy’ stories ready for nominations. Our winners for the week for star of the day were: Kelly Ball, Rhys Williams, Lucy MacPherson, Harry Rimmer, Chrissie and Harry Heathcote and for Wally of the day: Olias Howarth, Rhys Williams, Steven Booker, Lewis Heap and Mia Swarbrick. I think all staff would agree that this is one of our favourite times of the day!

Staff and students unanimously agreed a spectacular week had been had by all. The staff saw initiative, independence, confidence, new friendships, tolerance and kindness from all. Harry Rimmer was awarded skier of the week for being an all-round legend and making great progress in his skiing. Behaviour, as we have come to expect from Garstang students, was nothing less than excellent – which was praised by the hotelier, ski instructors and flight attendants alike.

Huge thanks to the staff team (Miss Hall, Miss Oliver, Mr Armer, Mr Passerini and Miss Shepherd for their leadership on and off the slopes – without you this fantastic annual trip would not be possible.