One of the highlights of the school year for upper Primary is our annual residential trip to Magic Bus, near Karjat. Each year the children from 3E to 6E and 2D to 6D spend four days in the beautiful countryside of Maharashtra; surrounded by the lush green fields and forest, this is an ideal opportunity to enjoy the space and fresh air of the countryside. The activities make the most of this setting, and the river too, where the students enjoy the challenge of raft and bridge building…and soaking their teachers!
The trip supports our schools values in numerous ways. Emphasis is placed upon teamwork and cooperation, especially in activities such as the ‘Low Ropes’, where working together is essential in ensuring all students can complete the course. Other activities enable individuals to set their own goals and challenges; attempting the high ropes course, rappelling and the Zip-wire all require a lot of support and encouragement from friends and peers. No one is forced to complete anything they are uncomfortable with and all successes are celebrated; for some, this may be just putting a helmet and harness on and reaching the top of the tower, for others it may be to continue to brave the Zip-wire!
Another vital component of the week is the collaborative projects completed with children from some of the local schools. This year the combined classes completed music and PE activities together; the older children in 5/6E also worked with the village school children to make bird nesting boxes out of ‘up-cycled’ resources such as plastic bottles. Not only will these provide shelter for the rich variety of birds around the site, it is also hoped it will inspire the local children to focus on the welfare of local wildlife.
Another group activity was inspired by Tibetan Prayer flags! In school, small fabric flags were prepared and dyed in a maths lesson. Half were given to the village school for them to dye too. At camp, we explored our languages together and wrote greetings on the flags in English, German, Hindi, Marathi, Italian, Afrikaans and many other languages. We also used some thoughts the village children had prepared for us, with the DSB children writing in Hindi.
The colourful flags, fluttering against a perfect blue sky, were our last sight as we left Magic Bus; we can’t wait to return next year!