In the first week of the Easter holidays, we took a group of children to the mountains in Italy for a skiing residential. Here’s how they got on!
Day 1: Sunday 2nd April – From UK to Italy
The children departed from Gatwick Airport on Sunday morning. Everyone was buzzing with anticipation for the adventure ahead, although they had a slow start at the airport with a delay on the tarmac before taking off. After touching down in Italy they had a long, but picturesque, journey through the mountains before arriving at their destination in Bardonecchia. The teachers were very proud of the children’s behaviour throughout the whole journey – one of their fellow travellers on the flight even commented on the children’s superb behaviour.
The journey went smoothly and the group arrived safely. Exhausted after their long journey, the children retired to bed quickly after dinner and dreamed of their first day on the slopes.
Day 2 – First Day Skiing at Jafferau Slopes
Bursting with energy, the children woke excited to get their skiing equipment and meet their instructors, Alessandro and Slavl. Some of the children on the trip were experienced skiers, having competed in several dry-slopes competitions in the UK , but there were also a few children that were new to skiing and therefore started learning the basics on the smaller slopes. All of them showed great resilience as they worked hard to improve their abilities. The kindness shared amongst the children as they cheered each other on, and helping each other up after a fall, was very heartwarming. Miss Scuse encouraged the children by saying “You’re not having fun unless you’re on your bum!”… and indeed they were!
The children had a fantastic day on the slopes and were positively beaming from their first full day of skiing. A few children made comments such as “This is the best day ever!” which was wonderful to hear. Eager for more, they went to bed looking forward to another day packed with lessons and adventure in the snowy mountains.
Day 3: Snow Plough Turns!
After another early start, the sun was shining and the group was full of energy, ready to start their lessons at 9.30am. After a last minute change in location due to lack of snow further down the mountain, the skiing was soon well underway. Lots of children made some excellent progress with their carefully controlled snow plough turns, whilst a few of the more experienced skiers did some adventuring higher up the mountain. Everyone had so much fun perfecting their techniques, with huge smiles on their faces throughout the day. They stopped for a spot of lunch to rest their feet, then headed back up the mountain to continue with afternoon lessons on the slopes. The group headed back in the evening (firstly to wash their smelly feet…!) and enjoyed a movie night – with icy landscapes to rival the slopes of Bardonecchia – Ice Age 2!
Day 4: Snow Fight!
On Wednesday, now fully in their stride, the children enjoyed another action-packed day on the slopes, with more and more progress being made every day. Some of the children took on the bigger slopes, and overall the instructors noted there were far fewer falls on Wednesday than previous days! To make up for it, the teachers and children gleefully participated in a snowball fight, which had everyone falling about with laughter.
The group then took a trip to a shop for movie snacks before settling in for another cosy evening.
Day 5: Campo Smith and Jafferau
On this day, the children split into two groups: beginners headed to Campo Smith and intermediate skiers went back to Jafferau. The improvements that the teachers saw by Thursday was unbelievable – and once again their kindness shone through as they all helped each other out and shared words of encouragement and praise. After helping each other get through a few very icy patches in the morning, their motto of the day was “If in doubt, plough it out!”. They finished the day with an ice cream and an evening disco, complete with dance routines.
Day 6: Good Friday
Their final full day of the trip! Once again the group split into two groups with beginners at Campo Smith and more experienced skiers at Jafferau. On Friday they witnessed an incredible snow shower for added excitement in the middle of the day.
The group at Jafferau had fun skiing down blue and red slopes, even trying out some jumps. They also participated in a human slalom, and tried skiing through Miss Slater’s legs as a tunnel.
The group at Campo Smith practised their snow plough turns down a blue slope. The continued resilience seen on their last day as they were picking themselves up when they fell was amazing to see! The whole group came away with massive smiles on their face and couldn’t stop talking about how much they all felt they had improved since the start of the week. Their teachers couldn’t agree more!
For their last evening, the children enjoyed delicious Italian pizza and a games night before setting off the next day for the journey back to Gatwick.
The group returned exhausted but thrilled to have spent a week in the beautiful mountains with their friends, taken on incredible new challenges and made memories for life.