Date Posted: 04/11/2016

31 October; the week at Read


Report by Lizzie Limbert, Head Girl gull foss waterfall.jpg

Flúðir, alongside the Gulfoss waterfall, a beautiful and very wet place to be! Lucy and Sam Barrick, stand alongside Grace Handforth, Alex Collinson, Lizzie Limbert, Jess Young and Daniel Johnson. Oh, and you may be able to spot "Where's Wally" in the picture somewhere...

It was October 10 when we got on the coach with our mums' shopping lists and eventually left Read School. We made our way to Manchester Airport, where, after frenetic security checks, we had only 15 minutes to board the plane! After a long day of travelling, we arrived in the frontier town of Reykjavik which, architecturally, was like landing in a communist alpine Switzerland! Here we met our tour guide, Anthony, and our bus driver, Ellie, (a gentleman!) for the week. As we were on our way to our accommodation, we had to wait for a change of bus on Highway 1’s hard shoulder as the one we were on ironically suffered an overheated engine, -  in Iceland!

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Some of the pupils try to keep warm in the freezing rain on the path to the strkingly beautiful Gulfoss Falls

Our first day consisted of a relaxing swim in the Fluoir Secret Lagoon, followed by the sight of the Strokkur Geysir, a magnificent eruption of boiling water and steam emerging from the ground and shooting a spout skyward to a height of 18 metres every 7 minutes. Next on our jam-packed list was Iceland’s most famous waterfall, the Gullfoss, located on the mighty glacial river Hvita. The enormous white glacial cascade drops 32 metres into a narrow canyon which is 70 metres deep and 2.5 kilometres long. It’s spectacular two-tiered cataract hangs in the air like fine drizzle, which in turn forms a rainbow in the sunlight, which, unfortunately, due to the adverse weather conditions, we were unable to see. We enjoyed fun activities in the evening, which consisted of a fun quiz presented by our teachers Mrs Scholefield and Mr Voisey, it was fair to say that the best team lost!

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Alex Chapman poses with his crew of Year 11s for his special waterproof camera at the "Secret" Lagoon

On Wednesday, we were able to experience a variety of waterfalls (However, this was on the wettest day of the year in Iceland) and so whilst making our special "club sandwiches", we had some very helpful advice from our tour guide Anthony, “it's raining outside, you may get wet!”. This, we soon learned, was to become a theme over the course of the week.  So after that very ‘important’ information we set off to see the magnificent waterfalls which included the beautiful Seljalandsfoss, which we were able to walk behind, followed by the Skogafoss Waterfall, with the waters thundering down into the pool below.

After, we visited Eyjafjallajokull, the Volcano Visitor’s Centre which is run by a farming family, who now make more money out of the visitor centre than the actual farm which is on the the site of the volcano that erupted in 2010. As Wednesday was a very busy day for all on the Iceland trip, we also went to Solheimajokull, the massive "black glacier", which we were meant to walk on, but due to the weather conditions being too strong and certain staff members of the party too heavy, we were unable to do so. The walk along the black basalt sands where you can see the columnar basalt on the cliff faces was magnificent. However, many members of the party (mainly the boys) were more interested in the model who was having her photograph taken by a professional photographer, it looked like the ideal setting for a perfume ad.

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The black sand beach at Vik, on the south coast, with its distinctive basalt columns in view on the right of the picture.

It was a bittersweet day on Thursday, as we knew we were soon to go back to England, so we had quite a relaxing day, consisting of Hellisheioi, a geothermal power plant, where many of us tried out the interactive earthquake simulation where we learnt about what Iceland was like 2,000 years ago when "Jesus was up and about doing stuff", carefully thrown out there by our guide. We then had a shopping trip to Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, but struggled to find the frozen food aisle. To end the day, and consequently our time in Iceland, we revisited the Secret Lagoon, due to popular demand. It was the first time that many of us realised that relaxing was quite hard work as most of us must have lost a stone while we enjoyed a relaxing swim in the warm pool. Afterwards, we headed back on Highway 1 to our accommodation for an early night, ready for our complementary Dorchester wake-up call the next morning at 3am by our porter boy, Mr Voisey.

glacier.jpgA fully fledged glacier in the rain (again); where Ellie, our driver mused upon one American tourist's comment: "it's so dirty, don't you think they should jetwash it down every now and then?" We all sighed.

Little Shop of Horrors!

Pre-School Halloween shenanigans earlier this week

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Head Boy, Alfie Thomlinson, pays a visit to the Pre-School pupils, congratulating them on the quality of their costumes.

Happy Halloween, Wicked Witches, Scary Skeletons, Putrid Pumpkins, Batty Batgirl!  Pre-School turned into Halloween School today with everyone dressing up and taking part in the fun.

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Fantastic costumes! The young ones have really gone to town this year with some creative Halloween ideas.

There was a very special game of 'What Time is it Wicked Witch?' and  using lots of triangles, ovals and rectangles we made some sparkly cauldrons to whip up some special spells which we made into magic bubbles which we blew and burst and nearly managed to turn Bob the caretaker into a frog!!!
Snack time included pumpkin tangerines, lips made from apples, marshmallows and cheese string broomsticks.

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Halloween treats sit alongside a confused looking pumpkin!

There was  Halloween dancing, apple-bobbing and a trip over to the Sixth Form block to go trick or treating.  Alfie and Lizzy, the Head Boy and Girl, gave us some super cool treats and some of the others helped us blow up our balloons and make our sneaky snakes dance.  Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, some of the Year 10 girls came over with their teacher and showed us some of their make up for the night, made with special latex which looked really real, but everyone was very brave and some even came and stood right next to them.  As they had done really well we gave them some treats as well.

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Pre-prep pupils, along with staff pose with some Year 10 pupils, whose gruesome Halloween stage make-up can be seen.

What a fun packed day!