Study trip England, Kirkby Stephan School in Kirkby Stephan from Monday March 1 until Saturday March 6, 2004.


Monday March 1


About 6 o’clock local Dutch time we took the bus to Schiphol. Our plane was leaving at 9 AM from Schiphol and we landed in Liverpool 95 minutes later at 9.35 local time with beautiful weather! We had to walk for about 10 minutes to Easy Car to get our rental car, which was a Mercedess A type (of course with the steering wheel at the right side of the car).

 After about a 2 hour drive to Kirkby Stephen we arrived at 1 PM at the Kirkby Stephen Primary School. There we meet Mike and David, who are the management of the school. David showed us the local supermarket, were we did the first shopping for our stay in the cottage. After the shopping we followed David to go to the cottage.

 Unfortunately we were not able to reach the cottage by our rental car, due to the frozen snow, which was on the climbing road. The owner of the cottage Annette came to get us with a 4x wheel drive Landrover, so we parked the car halve way and arrived in the cottage.

 It was very beautiful and in the country, it looked like the end of the world. The only people we saw were David and Annette, our host and hostess. As a result of an early rise, a lot of impressions and wanting to be prepared for the next day, we decided to go the bed early. 

Tuesday, March 2


The owner of the cottage, which name was also David, brought us with his car to the Kirkby Stephen Primary School. Due to the slipperiness we were still not able to use our rental car and left it halve way.

 We arrived at 9 AM with the school and were welcomed by David, the vice director. He showed us the school and we were able to follow different classes.

 We saw spelling lesson with a higher level group. During this lesson they used an interactive whiteboard. This kind of school board is supported by a computer with additional software and linked to a notepad. It appeared that it was all relative new hardware for the school. Later during the visit we also saw an other kind of interactive whiteboard, which had a touch screen. During this class we followed a lesson of mathematics where the pupils learned fractions. Later we visited the lowest groups which is lead by Mrs. Baines followed by the first 2 years.

 We noticed that the relative small groups had a lot of help of class assistants. Every class had its own computer and colour printer. Pictures were used quite a lot and were sealed. The usage of a computer on this school looked optimal and there was a large assortment for computer software.

 The safety on this school received a lot of attention, the fire exits were clearly marked and during the afternoon they kept especially for us an unexpected fire drill. The drill was perfect! The 3 safety stewards among us which were visiting the school were able to learn something of this drill.


When small accidents or real serious accidents in or near the school happen, they make here a report. The forms are next to the first aid kits, which have to be completed by the person which helps with the accident (and which need to be send to the officials in case of a serious accident. Also when a child fell on the head, a form has to be completed. The child takes the form to home.

 During lunch time the gym was transferred into canteen. This was done by volunteers which also helped in the kitchen. The parents have to pay for the warm meals during the lunch, so there are also children that bring their own lunch.

 After school the children that live on a large distance are leaving by bus or taxi and brought home (of course this is the opposite in the morning, but we didn’t notice that). The teachers look for that the children are taking the right bus or taxi. The children that live in the neighbourhood are taken care of by their own parents.

 A lot of children are wearing light reflecting jackets over their normal dress, so that they will be noticed in traffic. Most scholars are wearing some kind of uniform (sweater with dark pants or skirt), this uniform is not obligated, so when the parents cannot afford it, it is not necessary.

 There is also a child brigade called “The Red Hats” to let the other children feel saver during the beaks and at other moments. This brigade is formed with pupils from the higher groups, which can apply to become a member. The brigade is wearing red caps during the breaks and try to solve fights and other trouble. Also when you are badgered, you can ask them for help.

 At 15.45 after school time David had an appointment in Appelby and joint him. He showed us the centre and brought us to his house. His wife, Renate, had already made the tea and cake. After the tea we went to the centre for shopping.

 At 18.00 David was home and we went back to Kirkby Stephen. Later we had diner with 2 teachers of school together with David and his wife in the Black Bull Pub. At 21.30 we called David (from the cottage). He came and get us under the mountain. In the house we had a nice evaluation and enjoy a cup of tea in the meantime.  

Wednesday, March 3


This was the first day that we were able to sleep some longer. We had a good breakfast. After the breakfast we went walking with David, Annette and “Dynamite” the dog into the mountains.  The rescue dog is trained to find people in the mountains. David is doing this as voluntary work. During the time that we were there David had to get our 3 times to look for people. During our walk showed us how the dog operates. Sandra stayed behind a rock, while the rest of the group walked along. After some time David gave the command to Dynamite to find Sandra. He succeeded! We were planning to make a 2,5 hour walk, unfortunately Corrie had to go back because of the pain in her knee. Sandra joint her on her walk back to the cottage. Arjan and Lara went on with the walk. To walk in an environment were you feel that you are the only one is a very special feeling. It is a beautiful country. The weather was very changing, storm, rain and ice. A lot people make on this route the coast to coast walk. We walked till the ‘nine standards’. The ‘nine standards’ are the ruins from the Romine time.

As planned we arrived after 2,5 hours with the house and were finally able to bring the car up the mountain. After a cup of tea with David and Annette and some warmth, we were invited for the evening diner. It was a delicious lasagne followed by a real Danish dessert. 

Thursday, March 4


After breakfast David the vice director arrived. He brought a cool box with 4 Sticky Toffee Pudding to bring home to the Netherlands. Besides that he brought a bag with the receipt and all ingredients, so we would also be able to make them at home.

This day we would visit the Lake District. We drove by car through the country and stopped sometimes to enjoy the view and make some pictures and video. 

The Beatrix Potter museum was found in a small village. The writer came from this neighbourhood. After visiting the museum and buying some souvenirs in the small shop next to it, we went to a Pub for lunch. After the lunch David suggested to make a boat trip, so we took 4 single fares. David followed us by car and waited at the end. It was very nice to see the country from the water. Later we drove through the Lake District to a forest. In this forest there were statues made form wood, so we made a walk in the afternoon in this forest. When it was time for diner we went to the “Queens Head Inn Pub”. After diner David brought us home and joint us with drinking an other cup of tea. 

Friday, March 5


After breakfast at 8.45 we left for the Kirby Stephan School. Marilyn was also here and together we went to the train station. Today we went for shopping in Leeds. The trip took more than 2 hours and showed us a beautiful environment and mountains. In Leeds we had a good time with shopping and we had lunch in a Pizzeria with a singing Italian waiter. Later in the afternoon we had English tea. All the females bought a lot and Arjan carried their bags.

 We went back with the last train and had an other cup of tea with Margeret (a teacher).

 Of course we had to show her all the things we bought. With the tea we received sconens. Finally we arrived late in the house. After some cleaning we drunk something until it was time for party evening. Everyone had some act. At the end we went to bed late, after a nice day. 

Saturday, March 6


We had to rice early also today. After breakfast we packed everything and went to the airport.

The rental car was returned. And we had a good flied home. We really enjoyed the last day of our holiday, just like the rest of the week. The beautiful country, the hospitality of the people and the nice company made it a educational but especially enjoyable week.