Trainee on a trip

If I was not already lucky enough to be completing my second year teaching placement in Finland I have also been lucky enough to go on a trip! It was the first residential style trip I have ever been on as a 'teacher' and was such a great week. It has been incredible that I have not only got to live and discover parts of Northern Finland but now I have also been able to travel to parts of Southern Finland.

I have experienced so much new culture so far and feel my trip away extended this so much more. I have had many questions about my trip so I thought I would write a little bit about what I got up to on each day of the trip.

Sunday 

Sunday we departed the school in Rovaniemi, Lapland and set off for Espoo. 12 hours, 4 stops and 522 miles later we arrived in Espoo. The coach journey was so lovely for me as I had a chance to see some of the Finnish countryside, the journey was full of green woods and large blue lakes, incredibly scenic. 


We arrived late Sunday evening to a school in Espoo where we were staying for 3 days. The school was incredible, it had only recently been built but was so different to anything I had seen before. It was very modern but so spacious with a fantastic amount of facilities. 




Monday

Monday saw day one of Finland's Junior RoboCup competition (please see previous blog posts). We spent the morning registering and helping the set up the area, each team and school were given a practice area in which they could set up and modify their robots. The dance team were able to rehearse their performance with the projections and sound on the stage and were also interviewed by the panel of judges. 



In the afternoon we visited the Heureka science centre, north of Helsinki. The students and teachers could go around the special exhibition of the human body and other parts of the centre. It was great to see the use of technology that museums and other such attractions are using, there was a mobile site that users could visit which gave audio commentary of the exhibition, was particularly useful for me with my lack of Finnish language! They also printed QR codes on the entry wristbands which were used for entrants to complete various tasks around the centre. One of these tasks was to mint your own coin! 


We were also able to see the planetarium which I always enjoy and find fascinating. The children also really enjoyed this and found many ways to release energy in varied tasks around the centre! 

In the evening we had a walking bus tour around Helsinki. I had visited Helsinki the first day I arrived in Finland (1st April) - it was incredible to see the city in such a different way. The day I arrived there was snow on the ground and we were walking on the frozen Baltic Sea and now it is basking in glorious sunshine with boats moored up in the harbour. 


Tuesday 

On Tuesday we woke up early and set out to the Dipoli Centre where the RoboCup competition took place. The children spent the morning preparing and competing in their battles of sumo, football and rescue). The dance teams were also able to have a dress rehearsal. A surprise to me was that the students were rarely restless even though many had long breaks, they were able to get involved in the matches and support the other children. 



In the evening the students were taken for a surprise. We visited the Hupirannek amusement park, the children loved it and so did I! Luckily the sunshine was beautiful and the views of a Helsinki just emphasised how lovely and fun the evening was. 


Wednesday 

Wednesday was the final day of the RoboCup competition. The competition for the dance performances was carried out and the results were announced. My school came first place for the dance and the 1v1 football - it was a fantastic achievement for the school and such an experience for everyone involved. I particularly learnt a lot in the three days of the competition and have blogged about this in separate posts.


After the results of competition we headed 2 hours on the coach to Turku. We were staying in the most beautiful area, a residential site owned by the local authority which schools could rent out for similar trips. It was right on the coast with the most incredible scenery.



Thursday 

On Thursday we had a whole day in Turku. We started by meeting our tour guide who took us into Turku cathedral, this was a lovely building and the tour guide told the children all about how the building was built, then burnt down and then re-built. We were also informed of the famous burials in the cathedral in which the children are due to write about in their project this week. 


We then went on to visit the local museum where they have discovered the old streets of Turku, which you can now walk amongst with further artefacts they have uncovered. The tour guide was incredibly specific and knowledgeable so could answer all of the questions that the children had about the history of this lovely city. 


We then visited Turku castle, the tour guide joined us to continue informing the children of the royalty that once lived there and the history that occurred. I found this very fascinating and luckily I had my class teacher on hand as a translator! The castle was beautiful and the pictures do not do it justice..



We finished the day in Turku by taking a boat trip around the harbour and surrounding area. Tis was a lovely and relaxing end to the afternoon.



The evening ended with the children jumping in the lake and playing volleyball. It was such a lovely end to the trip with another incredible sunset.



I had such a great week and was the most amazing experience to add to my practice.





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