Ganton School – taking home wonderful memories

  Monday 1st – Friday 5th October 2018, 12 visitors

From Monday 1st October the Calvert Trust hosted Ganton School from Hull, a specialist school that caters for pupils and students from Hull and the East Riding with severe or complex learning difficulties. It was Ganton’s School first visit to the Centre so we were keen to get feedback from them, and find out why they chose us.

We caught up with Karen, the group co-ordinator, who has brought along this week a mix of students with learning difficulties and well-being issues.

Despite Ganton not visiting the Centre before, Karen has stayed with us on a number of occasions with other special schools, and explains that this Centre was her “obvious choice”. Karen was quick to commend the Calvert Trust, by explaining that any other mainstream centre wouldn’t have worked for her particular group, and this feeling was supported by another leader on the course who has been to other centres previously.

An action-packed week has kept everyone busy; on arrival, they completed a nightwalk, they have also been cycling, done bushcraft, swimming in the hydrotherapy pool, completed the high-ropes course, a mine visit, canoe in the lake, orienteering, swing in the climbing wall and are planning a disco in the evening. “It’s been fabulous!” commented Karen, but probed to more specific she said “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the cycling – it was a fantastic space compared to what we have at home.” The high ropes was the most challenging activity for the group, however Karen felt the whole group benefitted the most from this, “It brought out the teamwork in the students as they were encouraging each other on the difficult parts of the course. They surpassed in my expectation of them.”

The week has “most definitely” had a positive impact on the group. She added “These are students who wouldn’t normally socialise together, but for example, last night they got together and played a game of eye-spy, initiated by themselves! The social interaction this week has been fab for the group.”

One of Karen’s autistic pupils who hasn’t been away from home before, was very nervous about coming to the Centre. “However, he has embraced every activity that he has taken part in; he has excelled this week.”                

Karen was keen to get over how, the Calvert Trust as a team, understands the needs of the guests, and was complimentary about the staff, “You guys as a team – you get the students that come here, you get what everyone needs. You interact with our students extremely well. You just seem to get it. You get what’s wanted and what’s needed. You are all thoroughly welcoming and friendly to all.”

When asked what advice she would give for people looking to book a course at the Calvert Trust, Karen replied “Actually, just come along and see what it’s about. I can understand that other families may be anxious about coming along to somewhere like this, as there is fear of the unknown, but your ‘Can Do’ attitude is what families need.” If there were two words Karen would use to describe their stay here, Karen replied with “I can’t put it into two words, I could say ‘amazing’ and ‘wonderful memories’ from this week alone. The week has been perfect for the group; just what they needed.”

Karen’s magic moment was during bushcraft, when one of the students was able to light a fire, “It was the animation in his face when he was able to do that. It’s a little thing when you think of our week as a whole but we’ll take that home with us.”

Karen summed up her stay here by concluding “The whole package works, you’ve worked at it and there is nothing to improve on. It is credit to yourselves.”

Ganton School are looking to book again next year, when Karen hopes to bring a similar group of students along.


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