Tomorrow morning, when The Boy goes to school, instead of his bookbag, he’ll be taking this:
They’re off to the seaside, you see. On a coach. And the sun is going to be shining.
He’s just a bit excited.
The Boy is very lucky that in that his teacher this year seems particularly keen on school trips. So far, his class has been to the V&A Museum of Childhood in London, the pantomime, and Stevenage Museum for a Victorian day. Tomorrow’s outing to Southend-on-Sea, however, sounds like it’s going to be the best yet. They’ve been learning about the seaside in their literacy and geography projects, so the trip is meant to tie in with their classwork, but frankly, it sounds like an excuse for a bit of a jolly to me. It’s been planned at the very last minute, to take advantage of the good forecast for this week (the letters only came home yesterday), but the short notice is no bad thing. The Boy is bouncing off the ceiling already; imagine if he’d had weeks to look forward to his trip.
It sounds like a wonderful day out, but I always feel a bit anxious when They Boy goes off on a school trip. As far as I can remember, the most adventurous trip I went on at primary school was to Bristol Zoo – and that was in Year 6. I don’t remember any trips at all in what is now Key Stage 1, although we did walk to the park for a whole-town centenary celebration when I was about eight or nine. The Boy is only six, and the thought of him being out in the big wide world without parental supervision is a bit nerve-wracking.
What if he wanders off and gets separated from the group? Or dashes into the road in front of an oncoming car? What if his coach is involved in an accident on the motorway? You seem to hear about school coach crashes on an alarmingly regular basis – or is that just because my mummy radar is hyper-alert to those stories?
Okay, I’m thinking of the worst-case scenarios here. It’s far more likely that any disaster to befall The Boy will by relatively minor; falling over into the sea, for example, or losing his glasses, or (by far the most likely option) throwing up on the coach. Note to self: must tell teacher about his propensity to vomiting in transit.
But while I’ll be giving The Boy a pep-talk about staying with the group, behaving himself on the coach, listening to instructions and telling the teacher is he feels sick, I know that the odds are stacked in favour of them all having an amazing day out. I’m really quite envious. On the agenda – apart from the coach trip, which is bound to be a highlight – is a train ride along the pier, a picnic, making sand sculptures, collecting shells, paddling, and having a ride at the amusements. Oh, and to top it all off, they’re going to stop for ice cream, too.
I wish my Year 1 teacher had been like The Boy’s.