Finding our Goals at Moorland Hall
One week into the school term, we found ourselves at the airport at five in the morning, bleary eyed yet exited about our trip to England. The class 4E and two long-suffering teachers (Prof. Suttner and Prof. Gigl) were destined for twelve days together, the first 2 in the capital London and the remainder on the dramatic but beautiful Dartmoor.
After being flown to the enormous London Heathrow by Tobias’ father, we celebrated Mavie’s birthday with some cake, until our guide came. As our flight was so early, we still had the whole day to wander around London and to take in some famous historical sites, plus of course some shopping. The highlights included the vast Hyde Park, the scenic London Eye, the magnificent St. Pauls Cathedral, heavily guarded Downing Street and the home of the Queen, Buckingham Palace. Then our time in London reached its end and we went to Moorland Hall on Dartmoor.
On arrival in Devon, we received a brief introduction to the rules of the house and were shipped off to our communal dormitories and were asleep almost before we got undressed. A good night’s sleep reinvigorated us for the action and fun packed days ahead. Our days were split between activities and lessons, still leaving sufficient time for enjoyable evenings and meal times together.
The activities included mountain biking, archery, kayaking, learning survival skills and of course walking on the moor. For many, these were new and developmental experiences, including getting very wet and extremely muddy – none managed to avoid this. We also made some very interesting and informative trips. First we went to Plymouth, where the English Navy is based and where Sir Francis Drake famously finished his game of bowls before taking on and defeating the Spanish Armada. Next we visited Morwellham, a traditional Victorian village, where we became Victorian school children for the day and went mining for copper. During the trip, we also went to two elegant churches, St Michael de la Rupe and the Lady of Assumption. In the latter, we were warmly welcomed and then attended mass and took part in a baptism.
Our learning was equally interesting and thought provoking. We were separated into our two usual groups, but our native speaker not only taught us language but also shared many cultural differences and gave real insight into life in England.
The evenings also had a big impact on how we behaved towards each other, with more chances for teamwork and team building. It was fun and always competitive!
Arriving back at Vienna International Airport after 12 days of productive and stimulating experiences, it was clear to see that we had followed and developed our own experiences of the five Sacre Coeur goals – faith, intellectual values, social responsibility, community and personal growth.
Rory Toogood, Anna Ghigeanu-Stan, 4E