On Monday 20th June, 10 students and 2 staff set out for a week’s residential trip to Barcelona. We met the other pupils from the other schools in Matrix Academy Trust at the airport, just before checking in. For some of the pupils, it was their first-time experiencing flying, but all of the pupils fully committed themselves to the experience, a trait which was repeated throughout the week.
When we arrived at Barcelona airport, we met our bus and then went to our home for the week, the Urbany Hostel. After a quick meal at Glories, the local shopping centre, we went to bed to get an early night ready for the busy week ahead.
On the next day, we braved the Barcelona Metro for the first time, which was our main mode of transport for the week. We visited a few different sites around Montjuic, including the Olympic Museum and arena for the 1992 Olympics, and the cable car up to Castell de Montjuic for some impressive views over the city. After this, we got the Port Vell Cable car across to Barceloneta Harbour (Mr Larvan was not a fan of the ride!). We then enjoyed a lovely meal on the harbourside before heading back to recharge ourselves for another busy day.
Day 3 started with a trip to Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC, where we had a tour around their trophy room, stadium and sidelines. From there, we headed to La Rambla, where the pupils were able to soak up the culture of one of the most famous streets in Europe. That evening, we had a movie night, watching some of the latest film releases (although pupils were pleased to hear the films were in English with Spanish subtitles!). This allowed us to mix up the schools, giving the pupils chance to get to know each other more.
Day 4 was Gaudí Day, exploring two of the most famous works of one of Spain’s most famous architects. First was a tour of the impressive Sagrada Familia, which is still unfinished 140 years after construction started. We were able to see the inside and outside of the church, marvelling at the detailed sculptures on the outside and the sunlight shining through the stained-glass windows on the inside, spreading fantastic colours through the interior. We even took a bit of time to make our own artwork, inspired by the building. We left the Sagrada Familia and after a lot of escalators, steps and hills made it to Parc Guell, where pupils were given time to explore this large fantasy-inspired park, before meeting at El Drac, a larger-than-life mosaic sculpture of a lizard. As we headed home that evening, we started to see the fireworks and bonfires being set up for the evening’s festivities, which took place all over Barcelona, including right outside our hostel, until the early hours of the morning.
After a late night, Friday started with a well-earned lie-in, before a trip to see the Barcelona aquarium and an afternoon spent relaxing on the beach, followed by another delicious meal in the harbourside.
Feeling refreshed, Saturday saw us heading to see some of the wildlife in the Barcelona Zoo, including tigers, rhinos and elephants. After a wild day, we headed back towards La Rambla for a spot of retail therapy, before heading up to see the views of the city from the Palau Nacional.
Sunday was the day that some of us had been looking forward to the most, a trip to Portaventura Theme Park, which is home to over 50 exhilarating rides, including Dragon Khan and Shambhala. After a fantastic day, we returned to Barcelona before a final evening meal together and then a morning flight (and run through the airport!) to head back home.
Anastasija and Kelis (Year 9) said that “It was the educational experience of a lifetime – my favourite bit was sunbathing on the sunny beach and splashing in the sea” and “It was very inspiring – 10/10 would recommend. My favourite bit was making new friends from other schools”.
Every single one of the pupils represented themselves, the school and the Trust extremely well and we were so impressed by their manners, fantastic attitude and willingness to embrace new experiences, whether that was trying new food, travelling abroad or going on cable cars. We hope that we have instilled an interest in travelling and have opened the pupils’ minds to see more of the world.
Comments from parents:
“My son, has just returned from the Turing Tour to Spain and I just wanted to thank the school for this great opportunity. He has come home full of information about the places he has visited, the friends he has made, and it is so evident just how much he has enjoyed it. I also feel it has given him a confidence he did not have before”
“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the staff at the Turing Scheme for giving my son an amazing experience and for looking after him so well – you are amazing”