Skip to content ↓

Friday 6th June

6.55am Good morning from the IOW everyone for the final time this year. I'm up brighter than expected and guess what...the sun is out again. Marvellous - I can now officially declare that for the 7th trip I've done to the IOW, it has not rained. Thank you to the Lord for blessing us, to all of you for praying and to Dr Doolittle for encouraging her brown & white cows to stand up all week.

While it is quieter than ever in the hotel, I would like to run through my end of week credits...starting of course with your children. They have been wonderful ambassadors for our school and a pleasure to be with. They have provided some hilarious moments, some witty comments and some very touching sentiments. They are tired and this weekend will need to sleep, sleep and sleep some more. On Monday they can come in to school and savour every second of their final six weeks at HF. So, after all my comments about rooms this week, here are the rolling credits...

Thank you for tuning into our IOW adventure. You have been watching:

Room 2: ''There is nothing like a Dame' starring Louis, Harry, Gus and EnderMan

Room 4: 'Escape From Alcatraz' starring Jason, Harley, Conor and a small family of badgers

Room 5:  Riverdance starring Tia, Yasmine, Emily, Saoirse, Nellie, Elmer, Dumbo, the one who marches and shouts a lot in Jungle Book and the entire crew of HMS Elephant

Room 6: The Lord of the Rings starring Joshua, Dilan, Declan and Bear Grylls

Room 8: The entire QVC and Shopping Channel starring Isabelle, Caitlin, Alicia , Lucy McRae and the whole staff of John Lewis Outlet Shanklin

Room 9: Earthquake meets The Day after Tomorrow starring Kelsey-Jane, Charlotte, Brogan , Lucy Elliott and lots of pretty hairstyles

Room 11: X-Files starring Joe, Charlie, Kieran and his albino squirrels

Room 16: Friends starring Natasha, Alannah, Tiffany, Katie and Amy with guest appearances by the exploding washbags

Mrs Capindale has managed her own multi-pack of movies starring in Dr Doolittle and the remake of the Hitchcock classic The Birds whilst Mrs O'Connor has travelled back in time to star in both 10,000 Years B.C and Jurassic Park. Megan had a guest star role in 'The Birds' remake. Mrs Holt simply concentrated on an educational and informative classic documentary about Mancunian culture - this is why she is group leader...always extending the knowledge of others...Mrs O'Connor can now add 'scrumply' to her daily vocabulary. Oh, whilst we are talking about Mrs Holt, last night she informed us that she used to drive a fork lift truck when working at Booker Cash n Carry. This is timely news indeed as she can operate the one I have hired to repatriate Mrs O'Connor's suitcase and save me paying for a driver :-)

The blog itself has become the Ben Hur of blogs complete with all the action and the broken wheel on the chariot yesterday but as with all great epics, it is bulding to a sensational finale. I can now hear movement of a sort upstairs. Mrs Holt is tapping on doors and gently encouraging people to wake up. She may need some help although I can hear voices responding to her. At 7.30am these are probably boys. After all, breakfast doesn't start until 8.00am today so the girls won't be in  any great hurry :-) I'm off to find out if she is winning...

8.00am Stop Press 'Scrumply' is a 16th Century word meaning crumpled. Mrs Holt is just educating the group...this is the problem...the south are still trying to catch up with the north :-) Breakfast time...then it's 'Owl and Monkey Haven' (or Owl and Monkey Heaven as Natasha called it) It sounds lovely for owls and monkeys but I'm not sure how Mrs Capindale will cope. Let's hope they are no low flying American Buzzards over there...

9.15am The amazing news from the IOW is that we are all packed and ready to go. I am totally at a loss to describe how this has happened but it must be down to the superhuman powers of the staff team. The rooms are clear. you would never know we had been here...just like all successful SAS operations should be. Between the yawning, everyone is in high spirits and all are well - we will be home soon. I will be on hand at Owl & Monkey Haven to record all the key events and will type into Word on the coach home so I can post the blog later this afternoon/evening. You cna spend the evening and weekend discussing the week with your children...they have plenty to talk about. That's just about it from the Isle of Wight 2014 until tonight, the photo CD and the memories. No staff or children were harmed during the making of this production...although Mrs Capindale nearly copped it at the hands (or rather the talons of the buzzard) All characters are totally real and this blog is the property of Year 6  2014. Thank you all for reading and for making it through to the end...see you all later...please give us a huge wave when we arrive home :-)

Stop Press...Don has just told the children that we have been the best school they've had this year...and that is always how they feel about Holy Family. Enough said :-)



12.10pm Hello again, we are just leaving Owl and Monkey Haven and the weather is once again glorious. The sun has shone all morning and our final visit was excellent. We were met by our guide Lizzie and she provided a talk that was interesting, informative and quite funny in parts however the real stars of the show were the primates (more about them as we go along). It didn’t take long before the most common question of the day was asked “Can we have one, they’re so cute?” and Brogan’s own take on this monkey love-in “Can we kiss the monkeys?”. My personal favourites were the gibbons who were awesome. They swung, twirled, twisted, spun and generally showed off whilst whooping and calling at the top of their voices – fascinating and such endearing characters…it resembled the KS1 playground on a good day  :-)

All of the creatures were rescued by the centre and saved from miserable lives. Lizzie explained some of their terrible stories and why it is so important to preserve our wonderful wildlife. I don’t think she needed to work too hard on this; she was speaking to the converted on that score. After the gibbons we approached the Javan Langurs who were obviously not interested in us at all – they were sitting at the far end of the enclosure watching the cows in the next field. Clearly they were checking the weather forecast for the weekend. The red-tailed Guenon was far more interactive as he bounded down to the edge of the cage. He looked directly at Lizzie, turned and presented his shoulders to be scratched and massaged. These creatures have ncredible personalities. The lemurs were sunbathing. They are only found in the wild in Madagascar and are critically endangered. Lemurs are not actually monkeys, they are pre-monkeys as they came before them in  evolutionary terms…a bit like the northerner with our extended vocabulary. After the primates, Lizzie then said “Do you guys want to meet a snake now?” I know what you’re thinking…what species of owl and monkey does the snake belong to? Well, that’s what I was thinking anyway. Nevertheless, we headed off to meet the snake. “What sort of snake is it?” someone asked “A Boa Constrictor” Lizzie replied. “Does he have venom?” “No, he’s a constrictor.” “Oh…so he’s harmless then” came the response. You couldn’t make this up. Lizzie then said that anyone who didn’t want to touch the snake could just head to the back of the room. Unfortunately I was standing between the 'harmless' snake and the back wall…and promptly got trampled to within an inch of my life by K-J, Amy, Emily and Yasmine. If you look carefully  next week you will be able to see the imprint of their high speed feet on my forehead.

Tia was straight in there with the snake handling as was Charlotte who proved to be a natural. Katie was next, followed by Isabelle, Brogan (who fortunately did not try to kiss it), Tiffany, Caitlin and Alannah. “Where were the boys?” I hear you ask. Largely they were under the tables doing a creditable impression of Mrs Capindale at a falconry display…apart from Harley who stepped forward bravely to maintain the dignity of man. Encouraged by Harley’s bravery, Jason, Louis and Kieran joined in the fun followed by Dilan then Declan. This is what I was talking about last night – it is wonderful to see the children facing up to new challenges and experiences and stepping out of their natural comfort zone. This will serve them well in Year 7…although I’m unaware of any boa constrictors in Chertsey. Mrs Holt was all but elbowing people out of the way to have a go at a bit of snake wrestling  but then again I wasn’t surprised…boa constrictors are ten a penny in the Republik of Eastern Mancunia. Last up with the snake that’s part owl/part monkey was yours truly…I decided to call him ‘Scrumply’ as he had just become an honorary Mancunian.

Over at the owl section we found a buzzard. “It’s in a cage, that’s good” Mrs Capindale remarked as she strolled casually by. Stopping momentarily, she snapped a photo of the factsheet to brush up on her knowledge. This will clearly help her when doing the joint  fascinating fauna presentation in assembly with our resident fossil expert. We also discovered 2 blue magpies…the only 2 in existence outside of Newcastle…where there are 50,000 every week in St James’ Park feeling blue – no trophy since 1969 does that to you I suppose. To finish, Lizzie brought out an owl named Rosie for the children to stroke. Funnily enough, the queue for this was far longer than the one for Scrumply the Mancunian Snake. We boarded the coach and headed back for the 1 o’clock ferry. Bang on time as with every visit this week…precision timing. Clearly Mrs Holt is sponsored by Casio…Oh, no, wait a minute that’s wrong because I’ve just asked her. Sponsored by Rolex apparently…Mr Holt will be going grey if he is reading this now!


5.00pm Yesterday’s technical problems are with the admin log-in to our website. I have now been trying to post my final comments for 90 minutes without success. Who knows when I will eventually get it done but I guess your children have probably filled you in on today’s details by now. I will keep persevering…I need to bring this meandering recount to some sort of suitable conclusion. This is my final post of the 2014 trip. It has been an epic journey of discovery and I hope you enjoyed the ride. Thank you for all your support and help to make this trip (and everything else we do in school) possible – without all of you, it simply wouldn’t happen.

We will be back in 2015 with another Year 6 class, another set of Year 6 parents and another set of memories to last a lifetime…oh, and Mr & Mrs Feliciano will have to put up with my inane ramblings all over again. Until then, it’s over and out from me…time to go for a rest now…