Sat around a table in an unfamiliar school, we all listened intently as Mr Edwards briefed us about what was coming in the next three days. He explained about the way in which the classes were taught and difficulties some of the students might have, but all the eloquence in the world could not fully prepare us for journey on which we were about to embark.
The next morning whilst waiting nervously at the secondary school reception, the students began to arrive, ready and refreshed after their Easter Holidays. Having been greeted by Sam, a student who made sure that we were all stood up straight with our arms by our sides, the trepidation was palpable. The head, Eleanor, quickly whisked us away to our classes for the morning, anxious glances and wishes of good luck being exchanged all the way.
Entering Purple 3, a sixth form class, any worries I had previously harboured were quickly squashed by the warm hug that enveloped me. Sitting down with the girl, we began with the morning routine of greeting everyone, using both sign language and vocal communications, before completing a fire safety workbook. Next I was directed to cooking class and the rest, as they say, is history…
Meeting for lunch each day the 10 of us chatted excitedly, each eager to share the morning’s tales and find out about how things differed between the primary and secondary schools. Whilst everyone’s stories varied – from dance, painting or cooking, to swimming, ICT or forest school – an overall feeling was shared. We were all inspired by both the students and the staff at the Bridge School.
Finding more similarities than differences between ourselves and the students, we made not only memories but also friends, making us wish that the trip had been longer. Exhausted but extremely content, the bus journey home enlightened me to the fact that working at the Bridge School was one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences I have ever had, and I would love to go back and do it all again.
Thank you to Mr Edwards, Miss Tattoo and The Bridge School staff for making such an amazing trip possible.