Optional School Trip for 3rd Forms

20-09-18 St. Johns 0 comment

20th September, 2018

Dear Parents,

Optional School Trip for IIIrd Forms.

 

SPAIN: Madrid

 

Dates:  Saturday, 11th May – Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 (5 days, 4 nights)

 

We are pleased to give the following details of our proposed trip to Madrid and to ask whether you would like your child to go on this trip.  Would you kindly complete the slip at the end of this letter and return it to the form teacher by – Friday, 28th September at the very latest please to secure flights.

 

Madrid:          5 days, 4 nights

 

Cost:               £779    This sum includes:

 

  • Air fare & taxes,

 

  • Coach transport in Madrid between the airport and the hotel.  (We shall, however, be travelling back from Heathrow by coach.)

 

  • 4* Hotel accommodation,

 

  • Breakfast and dinner each day (but on the last day, Wednesday, we shall have breakfast, of course, but afterwards a packed lunch instead of a sit down lunch).  The children may wish to keep some money aside to buy something at the airport later.

 

  • Entry fees to the places of interest listed below and any associated guided tours (e.g. Real Madrid Football stadium.)

 

  • Fully comprehensive insurance.

 

Travel and Flight details:

 

Outward Flight:                    Saturday, 11th May.              Departure from London.

 

We shall be travelling to the airport from school by school mini buses:  (Time to be announced.)

 

Iberia:                                     Flight IB 3175.  

Departs:                                 10.40  (London, Heathrow Terminal 5)

Arrives:                                  14.10   (Madrid, Barajas Airport Terminal 4)

Flight Time:                           2h 35m

 

 

Return Flight:                        Wednesday, 15th May.          Departure from Madrid.

 

Coach from Hotel to Airport               TBA

 

Iberia:                                     Flight IB 3166. 

Departs:                                 15.45   (Barajas Airport Term. 4)

Arrives:                                  17.15   (Heathrow Terminal 5)

 

                        Estimated arrival back at school:    18.50

 

Hotel Emperador (4 star).  Gran Via, Madrid.       www.emperadorhotel.com

 

This is an excellent four star hotel in the very centre of Madrid’s shopping district.  We have stayed at the Emperador during our last seven visits.  The service, quality and cleanliness are consistently of a high standard.  The manager and his staff like us as much as we like them.  They have always been kind, helpful and have treated the boys and girls with great consideration.  The rooms are mostly twin rooms, but there will be some triples one or two triples.

 

There are, of course, cheaper hotels, but a hotel can make or break a trip.  Miserable hotels with bossy, arrogant and unhelpful staff, dirty rooms, noisy corridors and something which masquerades as breakfast can seriously spoil a holiday.  From my point of view there is much to be said for a hotel that ‘jumps to it’ when you say that you have a sick child.  The pattern of illnesses on school trips is that when children fall ill they tend to do so late at night.  It is very reassuring to know that there is always a career receptionist (as opposed to a night porter) on duty, in uniform, who speaks English and who knows how to get a doctor fast.

 

The Emperador has a good swimming pool on the roof which the children really do enjoy so bring: swimming gear and sun creams.  (Yes, I know!  I can hear you.  “Keep an eye on the children!  Sun burn!  Safety!  Roof!!)  There will certainly be at least one teacher on supervisory duty by the pool whenever the children are using it.  Last year we made a point of using it every day.  Girls should wear a one piece swimming costume.  No bikinis and no tankinis, please.

 

What we shall be visiting:

 

Do keep in mind that during the second half of the 16th century and first part of the 17th century, Spain was once what the USA is today – the world’s dominant super power.  What we shall see reflects her once magnificent past.

 

  • The great palace: El Escorial. An hour’s journey north of Madrid.  Truly one of the grandest palaces ever built.  Some consider it to be the 8th wonder of the world.  It was built during

Spain’s ‘Golden Age’ by Philip II.  What a king!  King of Spain, King of Naples, Sicily, Milan, King of the Netherlands and Lord of the ‘New World’.  Had he played his cards right, he could have been King of England too.  He married Mary Tudor (unfairly known as Bloody Mary).  The guide will be the best – me!  I have studied El Escorial from the time it caught my imagination during a history lesson as an eleven year old and have visited it many times as part of the group during which I have got on the guide’s nerves with my contributions.  I cannot help it.  They miss out on many interesting points and deliver their talks in a monotone.

 

  • Exploring Madrid.  This will include a walk through Retiro Park, the largest and most beautiful of Madrid’s parks and the Puerta del Sol –an impressive square which is not only the centre of Madrid, but of the whole of Spain because it is the starting point of all the roads in the country.  Also the splendid Plaza Mayor – lined with shops, cafes and restaurants.  We, the teachers, sit here in the evening, while the children explore the many little shops all around us.  Numerous public executions under the Spanish Inquisition took place in this square – unchanged since the 16th century.

 

  • Shopping in the main shopping area (the nearest equivalent to our Oxford Street.)  This is a chance to absorb the atmosphere of the Spanish way of life.  Also, what has been described as the largest flea market in the world – on Sunday morning.

 

  • Real Madrid Football Stadium (‘Bernabeu Stadium’).  We shall have a guided tour of this beautiful and impressive stadium.  The stunning vastness of the pitch and seating area always take the pupils by surprise.  We have the freedom to walk everywhere except onto the pitch and to sit and take photos in the players’ enclosures.  Inside, the trophy rooms – intricate and enormous trophies, historical displays and the very stylish changing rooms, of all things, are mesmerizing.  Even non football fans will find a great deal in this guided visit to enjoy.

 

  • Madrid’s Zoo.  Regarded as one of the best in Europe.  I have seen many of the world’s zoos – for me, this is the finest of all.  Tidy, tranquil and more consideration for the various animals, birds and reptiles than one normally finds in zoos.  The boys and girls should enjoy seeing and exploring here in the company of their friends.

 

  • Palacio Real.  Yes, another palace!  But it really is something worth seeing.  Whereas El Escorial is a mighty palace/monastery which was built to convey a sense of incredible power, strength and religious reverence.  The Palacio Real, on the other hand, radiates luxury, artistic excellence and an intention to rival, if not to excel, the best in Europe.

 

(Please feel free to contact me on my direct email if you have any questions: atardios@aol.com)

 

I would now ask you to kindly confirm whether or not you would like your child to come on the trip.  Please would you complete the slip at the end of this letter and, together with your deposit return it to the form teacher by Friday 28th September at the latest please.

 

Mr. Andrew Tardios,

Headmaster.

 

Please keep this first part as a copy for your records, but send in the sheet overleaf.

 

 

Name of Pupil: _____________________________________  Form: _________________

 

Please tick the appropriate box and return this slip to the Form Teacher by Friday ,28th September at the latest.

 

Not this time, thank you.  I would like my child to remain at school.                             [       ]

(Although the week’s timetable will follow the lines of a normal week as far as possible,

we shall, nevertheless, endeavour to introduce two interesting activities or visits for the

children who prefer to stay at school.)

 

I confirm that I would like my child to go to Madrid and I enclose a non-refundable [       ]

first deposit of £107.

 

I also understand that the total cost for the trip to Madrid is £779.

 

            1st Deposit:                             £107    by Friday, 28th September.

            2nd Payment:                          £336    by Monday, 3rd December.

            3rd and final Payment:          £336    by Thursday, 28th February.

 

Signature of parent: _______________________________  Date: ____________________

 

Please note that on receipt of your deposit, the school will go ahead and confirm the booking arrangements with our travel agency.  From that point, the school is committed to paying them the full amount.  We have to make this position clear, because in one previous year I failed to do so and when a parent withdrew (after paying and accepting the loss of the initial deposit) the agency obliged the school to make up the difference.  This is particularly annoying since the school always subsidises the Madrid and most other trips to help keep the cost down to a reasonable level.  Therefore, please be aware that when you sign the slip below you are committing yourselves for the full amount even if you have to cancel at some point later.

 

(Of course, no payment at all will be required in the event of the trip being cancelled for reasons outside our control e.g. political or economic turmoil in Spain.  All our bookings are covered by ABTA).

 

Please send this part to the Form Teacher by Friday 28th September at the latest.

 

Name of Pupil: _____________________________________  Form: _________________

 

Please tick the appropriate box and return this slip to the Form Teacher by Friday, 28th September at the latest.

 

Not this time, thank you.  I would like my child to remain at school.                             [       ]

 (Although the week’s timetable will follow the lines of a normal week as far as possible,

we shall, nevertheless, endeavour to introduce two interesting activities or visits for

the children who prefer to stay at school.)

 

I confirm that I would like my child to go to Madrid and I enclose a non-refundable [       ]

1st deposit of £107.

 

I also understand that the total cost for the trip to Madrid is £779.

 

            1st Deposit:                             £107    by Friday, 28th September.

            2nd Payment:                          £336    by Monday, 3rd December.

            3rd and final Payment:          £336    by Thursday, 28th February.

 

Signature of parent: _______________________________  Date: ____________________

 

Please note that on receipt of your deposit, the school will go ahead and confirm the booking arrangements with our travel agency.  From that point, the school is committed to paying them the full amount.  We have to make this position clear, because in one previous year I failed to do so and when a parent withdrew (after paying and accepting the loss of the initial deposit) the agency obliged the school to make up the difference.  This is particularly annoying since the school always subsidises the Madrid and most other trips to help keep the cost down to a reasonable level.  Therefore, please be aware that when you sign the slip below you are committing yourselves for the full amount even if you have to cancel at some point later.

(Of course, no payment at all will be required in the event of the trip being cancelled for reasons outside our control e.g. political or economic turmoil in Spain.  All our bookings are covered by ABTA).

 

Please click here to print a copy of the letter and permission slip