Enthusiasm. Effort. Excellence.
Delamere Road, Flixton
Manchester M41 5QL
0161 748 5141
Flixton Junior School has a long history of visiting the Isle of Man. The first Isle of Man visit took place in 1972, and only a few select children were invited. Since then, it has grown and developed into a full Year 6 residential trip, for a full school week in June, encompassing lots of learning and lots of fun.
The children stay in Douglas, the main town and capital of the Isle of Man, in the Sea View Hotel, which is situated just off the Promenade and in convenient walking distance of the Electric and Steam railway stations. You can have a look at the hotel by clicking here http://www.seaview.co.im/
Bob and Linda, the owners of the hotel, make us very welcome each year, and because of the size of our group, we are the only guests in the hotel. Children share ensuite rooms with one or two friends, and we use the hotel's bar area as a meeting room each day.
The staff at the Sea View provide all our meals for us (except for lunch on our travelling days). There is a cooked breakfast, cereal and toast in the mornings, a packed lunch for our trips out, and a cooked meal in the evening. Normally our arrival is greeted with a roast dinner! Children with any dietary requirements are, of course, catered for.
Our days are full - we visit places all over the island, as you will see below, and then we spend our evenings on the beach - playing sport, digging holes, building sandcastles, going for a bracing dip, or just meandering around and taking in the atmosphere. There's something for everyone.
Day 1: Monday
We pack a lot into our first day. We leave school at 9:30, arrive in Liverpool and catch the SeaCat across the Irish Sea to Douglas.
We normally arrive at the hotel at around 2pm, and then it's a quick bit of unpacking in rooms and off to the Manx Museum for our introduction to the island.
The Manx Museum gives everyone a flavour of the remarkable history of the island, and its Viking Gallery is pretty impressive. After the museum, it's back to the hotel for tea, and then down to the beach for the evening.
After our time on the beach, it's back up to the hotel and ready for bed, because after Monday comes...
Day 2: Tuesday
Up and out on Tuesday, because we have a packed day. Firstly, we have to take the horse drawn tram for a trip down Douglas Promenade, as we meander our way, with some happy waving, to the Manx Electric Railway.
We catch the Electric Railway to Laxey, to find out about the amazing Laxey Wheel, the largest working waterwheel in the world. And it's quite high on the viewing gallery as well...
After a picnic at Laxey, we catch the Mountain Railway to the top of Snaefell, the highest point on the island. On a clear day, we can see every nation in the British Isles from the summit.
After a trip back on the Mountain and Electric Railways, it's back to the hotel for a rest and some tea. Then we're back on the beach enjoying the chance to relax and play.
Day 3: Wednesday
It will rain on Wednesday on the Isle of Man, because we'll be visiting Peel. And it always rains in Peel! We spend the day in the beautiful town of Peel on the west coast of the island.
As well as visiting the impressive site of Peel Castle, with its many myths and considerable history, we also look around the award winning House of Mannanan Museum to find out even more about the Vikings and their impact on the island.
After all that, it's a short hop across the centre of the island for a quick photo opportunity at Tynwald Hill, the historic site of the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
Then it's back to the hotel for our tea, and our final trip to the beach. We make the most of it!
After we've finished on the beach, it's time to go back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep before...
Day 4: Thursday
Thursday is our last full day on the island, and we make the most of it! First we take a walk down the promenade to catch the steam train to Castletown.
Castletown is well named! Castle Rushen dominates the small fishing town and provides an excellent morning's exploring and learning. In and around the castle are lots of interesting tales and historical gems, such as why Yale locks are called Yale locks...
After Castletown, a coach takes us Port Erin, for a scenic walk to Milner's Tower on Bradda Head, and the chance for some present shopping in the village shops.
When present money has been spent, and the coach has returned us to the hotel for tea, it's time for the social event of the year - the Isle of Man disco! Staff usually break out the earplugs...
And when the music stops, we walk back to the hotel and prepare to say goodbye to the magical Isle of Man, for on Friday we sail home to share our new memories with our families. And sleep.
As you can see from our itinerary, the days are packed with a huge variety of experiences. Every year is different, because the children are the ones who make the trip their own. As well as the curricular learning, the history and geography, the Year 6's also learn a lot about themselves and their ability to manage themselves, be responsible and be good friends to their peers. Families at home can follow the journey as we make it, through an app called Punkt, which allows us to upload photos and videos of the trip to share. Last year's Punkt map is at http://punkt.luxson.com/fjs-isleofman2015/ if you would like to take a look.