The journey began at 2pm on March 27th with the children and their teachers cycling their bikes the 14-mile route from West Denton Primary school to the DFDS terminal in North Shields with the aim that their trip has as little environmental impact as possible. Prior to the ferry journey to Amsterdam, the children had the opportunity to meet the crew and the Captain of the ship and enjoy food the ships cooks prepared for them from Amsterdam. This unique experience was only made possible with the help of DFDS, who are the sponsors of the first part of the trip.
Robert Bately, Commercial Head onboard King Seaways said:
“We were delighted to welcome this school group onboard to experience life at sea before spending time in a school in The Netherlands. Once our customers step onboard their experience begins and it is a pleasure to contribute to the cultural experiences of the local school children.”
West Denton Primary school’s trip is part of the UK government’s Turing scheme which aims to provide funding for post Brexit international opportunities in education.
Mick MingStones, Head Teacher at WDPS said:
“We wanted to give WDPS students the opportunity to compare their own lifestyles with those of Dutch counterparts. The Dutch lifestyle is outdoors-focused and cycling is part of their daily routine. So, by showing our children how making healthy choices can impact positively on all aspects of a person’s life, we hope to be able to encourage our students to make even more positive choices when they return to Newcastle.”
In preparation for their trip, the pupils were treated to a talk with Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medallist in Cycling Joe Waugh.
The aim of the trip is to allow year five and six students to experience first-hand a different lifestyle to their own and to contribute to their international understanding and holistic growth. Learning and working side by side with Dutch pupils will widen WDPS students’ understanding of opportunities to study, travel, work and live in Holland and other European countries. WDPS is hoping to forge a symbiotic long-term international relationship between the two schools and also to create an online ‘Life Manual’ which the children will contribute to and use on their life journeys.