Our day to day in Ireland
from 2500 €
FROM JUNE 29 TO JULY 13 | 2019
They do not usually have to be awakened because, in the summer, dawn comes around 5:00 a.m. and the light that filters through the windows wakes them up. Most of them get up around 8:00 a.m. We wake the rest around 8:15 a.m. It is important for them to get a good night’s rest because they have a day full of new experiences ahead of them. In Amaya Summer School they will live several very intense weeks of learning and living together that they will never forget, so they usually wake up with a big smile on their faces.
If they are going to have lunch at the camp, they prepare their lunch to go.
They have a buffet to choose what they want to prepare for breakfast.
They have the freedom to choose the breakfast and lunch that they want but always under the watchful eye of the staff that makes sure to suggest healthy balanced choices.
After breakfast, they pick up their dishes and cutlery and they rinse and put them in the dishwasher.
Afterwards, they usually have time to play, chat and see photos taken the prior day before leaving for the camp.
The objective is for the room they share to be picked up so it is a team effort. It is important for them to collaborate with each other in order to get a good score for their room.
They also do a self-evaluation of their use and practice of the language while at home the day before. This information is added to a chart.
They hand in the clothes that need to be laundered, as well.
We are fortunate that the camp is very close so we take a nice stroll over there every morning. In marvelous surroundings and close to nature the students enjoy the landscape in the north of Ireland and the coast.
Every day they are told what the activity for the following day will be so they know how to dress appropriately. Today, for example, they are going surfing so they are wearing their swimsuits and have put their water shoes in their backpacks. Their wetsuits are provided by the camp. They pack a change of clothes in their bags, shampoo, bathing gel and a towel to shower after surfing. They always get together with the Irish campers that are in the same program in the yellow or red room at camp which is where they are told the activities that they will do that morning.
Depending on the activity, they change to do surf or they go to the area where they will climb, do abseiling, kayaking, cliff jumping, do archery, orienteering, play football . . . They are always accompanied by certified and trained staff. When they are in the water, the ratio is 1 staff per 5 children. The staff pair or group the children in such a way that the children in our program are always grouped with Irish children. They learn to put on their safety harnesses, helmets and other protective gear for the activities.
Some of the activities require that they go to the site in minibuses while others are done on the campgrounds. Surfing is done in different beaches and kayaking in different lakes, for example.
The children have lunch either in the house or in the camp depending on the afternoon activities. If they eat at home, they prepare their lunches making their sandwiches, hot or cold wraps, soup, fruit . . . Once again, they have a free selection of what they can eat, but we are always there to point out healthy and balanced choices.
We teach them how to make their lunch because many of them have not cooked before going to Ireland.
After lunch, they pick up their dishes and cutlery, they rinse them and place them in the dishwasher. If they are at camp, they throw away their rubbish, get their lunch boxes and put them in their backpacks.
Some children rest or even take a siesta if they are in the house while others chat or play until class begins.
They begin their class with an introduction about Ireland and Irish culture. Throughout the three weeks of the program, they learn about the geography, history, government, political system and folklore.
- They focus on the geography and see the map of Ireland and its location in Europe. They learn that Ireland is an island and that there are two parts: Northern Ireland that belongs to the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland, which is where we are in Bundoran, and that is an independent country. They see that Ireland is surrounded by water because it is an island.
- They place Ireland on a map.
- They locate and color Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Dublin and Bundoran in their map. They write a few facts about Ireland.
NOTE. It is important that they not only go to Ireland to learn English but also to learn to appreciate the people and the place where they are. The Irish people and happy and hospitable and, if you go to a country, part of the experience is to get to know and understand the country and its people.
15:00-15:30 – Introduction about Owls
Today they watch a video about owls to see how they fly, hunt and feed themselves.
They read about these carnivorous birds, their habitat and their physical appearance. They read about their diet and about the owl pellets that they regurgitate with the bones, feathers or hair of their prey.
15:30-16:00 – Dissection of an owl pellet and classification of the bones extracted. The scientific method.
Today each child is given an owl pellet along with latex gloves, tweezers and a stick and they learn how to wet the pellet in order to start extracting the bones. They have small containers or plastic bags to place the bones that they extract.
NOTE: By the end of this activity that takes them three weeks to complete, they learn how to extract, clean, classify the bones based on the animal that it belongs to (bird, shrew, rodent or mole) and glue them to foam board classified under headings. Then, they complete a chart in which they record how many bones of each type of animal they found. Finally, they write a description of the activity and they come to a conclusion about what their owl had eaten based on the owl pellet analyzed. The chart and the analysis of the information and conclusion are added to the poster foam board with the bones that were classified and glued. Finally, a video is made of each student explaining their project and showing their work in their foam board panel.
This week they are going to go to the Fire Brigade. Today they start by preparing the interview in class using a “Graphic Organizer” or outline. Each child decides what they want to ask and they all write it in their organizer/outline.
NOTE: They prepare an interview in the community per week and they go to different places of interest such as the Fire Brigade, the Life Boat Station, the library, the camp, the radio station…. In each place, they give them a tour and they explain their work to them.
Sequence of steps to prepare the interviews:
- Monday: They decide the questions they are going to ask in the interview and write them down.
- Tuesday: They practice the interview.
- Wednesday: They go to the place to do the interview. It is videoed.
- Thursday: They talk about the visit and remember what they saw and learned.
- Friday: They see the video of the interview and they analyze what they did well and what they need to improve.
At this time, they are free to play inside or outside of the house. Some take out their electronic devices and play for 30 minutes. Others play football or board games. It is their free time, and they know how to take advantage of it because they are surrounded by nature, games in an atmosphere that is familiar and secure. The use of English as always an objective.
Some children are chosen to help with the final preparation steps of the dinner. We show them what they need to do and how to do it.
For example, today they eat roasted chicken with garlic and potatoes seasoned with rosemary and thyme, crudités (cherry tomatoes and raw carrots) and for dessert, a red berry and yogurt “smoothie.” They help to prepare the crudités and make the “smoothie.” The chicken and potatoes are already prepared and roasting in the oven.
They set the table and organize everything for dinner.
The first in line for dinner are the ones that helped prepare it. There is a lottery for the order in line for the others and the tables where they sit.
They serve their dinner and they are free to serve what and the amount they want but always under our supervision.
When they finish their first serving, they can get seconds but, before serving themselves, we ask everyone who wants to repeat and the food is divided equally amongst the children who want to repeat. In this way, we prevent having some children eat very fast or serve a lot in order to eat all the leftovers without sharing.
After eating, they pick up their dishes and cutlery, they rinse them and put them in the dishwasher.
This is the time when they take a walk with one of the staff, they play in the park, play football or board games. They can also read or chat.
Two of the children prepare next day’s dessert for the group. This is done following a rotation and it is one of their favorite activities. Today, they prepared the red berry yogurt “smoothie” that they had tonight. We prepare butter cookies and a fruit shish kebab (pineapple, strawberries, grapes, bananas, melon or watermelon) for tomorrow’s dinner.
It is time to get comfortable, wash up and relax after a day of classes and games. In our houses, they have every comfort and they wash up and get ready autonomously.
They usually watch a DVD at this time. They can’t always finish the film because it’s too long and many fall asleep watching it because it has been a long day for them.
Exhausted is how our students feel after enjoying a very active day in our camp. If they are tired, it is because they have taken advantage of the day to the fullest.