Trip Diary

Calthorpe Park School trip to Sri Lanka 2017

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 24th October 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/sri-lanka-oct-2017/278/w288/team-photo.jpg

Game on....

Yet another trip full of educational, real lifetime experience..
Car loaded, hand luggage packed, alarms set, an excited Lyssie trying to sleep!!!!!!!!

So excited to be departing for Sri Lanka tomorrow!! Hope everyone sleeps well tonight, it'll be an amazing experience for everyone!

Sri Lanka Trip - ready to go

Good luck everyone. You'll have a fantastic experience

Missing you already!

Hope you all have a wonderful time!


All on board our rather swish A380 ready for take off!

All on board

Feeling tired but very excited to finally be here!

reay for take-off

All safe and sound. Now time for pool and breakfast!

here we go

ayubowang vannakambeyond boundaries - your holiday sepcialist

 Daily blog post- day 1

Today has been a long day! This morning, after waking up at 6am (2 am England time...), we went to visit a Buddhist temple in Kandy which contained one of Buddha's teeth. We had to remove our shoes when we entered the temple which was surprising freeing and interesting as it's not something we usually see in England. Some of us also bought colourful lotus flowers to give as offerings to Buda which created a beautiful display. The temple complex was very large so there were loads of different aspects to see.

Temple in Sri Lanka

After a bit of a journey, we arrived at the tea plantation. Fields of green bushes stretched ahead of us, with narrow paths winding between. As soon as we reached the top of the path we split into teams and were given a basket between each team. We were taken to a patch of tea and had a competition to see who could pick the most, and the best, in five minutes. Despite our team filling up the basket until it was overflowing, team D had "better quality leaves" so won a bow of tea (first the worst second the best). We then went through the process of turning the leaves into something you can drink, and saw all the various machines involved. Finally, we were taken to a cafe/ shop, where everyone bought way more than they could ever drink!


At the very last leg of today's trip, we visited the spice garden. As soon as we entered the area of trees, we started to smell odd things coming from different places- some lovely...some not so lovely. We were quickly shown all of their plants, and their medicinal properties. Some of us even got to try them, with Mr Walker volunteering for the unfortunate job of trying the saffron hair removal cream, ending up with a "soft-as-a-babys-bottom" leg (only a section of it though).


We were then taken to a little hut where we had massages. The boys got to take their tops off for some vigorous body, neck and head massages and the girls got various ointments put on our shoulders and arms, along with finger cracking, making most of us squirm. We then went through the shop, lots of us buying potions and lotions we had previously seen throughout the gardens. Happy with our purchases, we had a long drive to our new, lovely hotel. We instantly got in the pool where we refreshed and relaxed, cooling off after such a long, hot day.


Daily blog post-day 2

Today has been one of the best days so far as we met our first group of Sri Lankan children. They welcomed us with songs, dances and freshly picked flower bouquets. We played two cricket matches against the students and it's safe to say we were beaten (though only thanks to some very dodgy umpiring and a language barrier between Mr T and the scorers). Lyssie especially enjoyed the matches, getting herself a three wicket haul, and Livy got to donate lots of cricket kit. Grace was with the younger girls, painting nails and braiding their hair with Katie and Yasmin.

Afterwards, we all got to hold and learn about Sri Lankan snakes (almost getting Sam to conquer his fear) and watch experts handle the native venomous snakes, such as cobras and pythons.

Overall we can all agree our favourite part of the day has to be the jeep safari, where we got the opportunity to see two herds of elephants as well as peacocks, monkeys, water monitors and crocodiles.

We definitely deserved our 'chilling out time' by the pool in the evening, followed by a tasty dinner buffet!

Next stop: Batticaloa...

From Lyssie, Livy, Grace

Herd of Elephant in Sri Lanka

Daily blog post- day 3

This morning we went to a rock temple. We had to climb a big mountain and it took about 15 minutes but when we arrived the view was amazing. There were many statues of Buddha that were carved 15m into the mountain, it was such a good experience. -Jess

Buddah statues

After that, we had a long journey to Batticaloa. During the journey, we all sang at the top of our lungs and stopped at the supermarket to buy local snacks. We were all very excited about getting to the hotel, so that we could meet some of the other people working with the charity and begin carrying out our plans for the school. -Lauren

Mountain View in Sri Lanka

We first got to the hotel and rushed to the hammocks which we nearly fell out of. After that we all had a meeting with Team 2 and other representatives from the two other schools that we will be going to. We all mingled and all had a sing song which ended in fits of laughter! The day then ended with dinner out at a restaurant – Samantha

Going in

Daily blog post- day 4

Today was an emotional yet fun day. We really enjoyed teaching the kids, especially as we received such an amazing welcoming, making us feel humbled and overjoyed, however, a little overwhelmed. After we were greeted, we went straight into their assembly where we were sat on the front of the stage. Later on in the assembly we had fun trying to live up to their standards, as we joined in a "physical exercise" which they were al very enthusiastic and keen to do. It was great t see their smiles and the excitement in their eyes as soon as they saw us. They are enthusiastic about the smallest things and loved everything including such simple ones such as "heads,shoulders,knees and toes".

Sri Lanka tsunami hit

Later on in the day we visited the area of where the tsunami had hit. We saw destroyed homes that made us feel very overwhelmed. We saw people living in these conditions which hit home. It was sad to see the destruction of what used to seem such a happy and communal area. It was horrible to see that they didn't even have the minimal essentials, additionally, not even having any source of electricity. This left us feeling very emotional and quite speechless. Having left, we all thought we needed to help, leaving emotions quite high. Overall, today has had an overwhelming yet positive effect on our journey over here.

visited the area of where the tsunami had hit

Daily blog post- day 5

Today we spent our second day teaching in our first school. It was extremely enjoyable as all of the children joined in and were very enthusiastic, although we were repeating the same things. Many children that we had teached the day before came up to us, remembered our names and wanted to be with us again. Even when we had finished our activities, the children still wanted to stay with us by playing games such as "duck duck goose", songs like the "hokey cokey" and even teaching us handshakes and clapping games. I must have given more high fives and handshakes in those few hours than I have for a long time. When we went to leave lots of the children wanted to take pictures with us as it was the last day we would be teaching them and then a couple of the girls gave Ilay and I some pretty flowers which was lovely but emotional. - Anya

In school in Sri Lanka


Mr T's bromance

After experiencing an amazing day teaching in the schools we came back to our hotel to eat lots of chips! We had some time in the pool and then got ready to go to the deaf and mute party. When we arrived, everyone was sat down in a circle of chairs and Dilanee, along with Diana (the translator), talked about why we were there and then what we were going to do. We set up our activities and then the families came around to take part in the activities and spend some quality time with eachother. We then ate some food and performed some songs all together. We had a great evening and really enjoyed spending time with some local people. They were so grateful for the experience that I will personally never forget. - Ilay

In the school hall

With school children in Sri Lanka

Daily blog post- day 6

We had a good day in the other school. It was a very different experience to teach in a slightly more well off school. The children really enjoyed playing our game and we felt that our activity ran a lot more 'to plan' in this school. However, the first school we went to was a lot more fun because the kids were a lot more gang gang swag and bantz at ye olde non-prison-like school. - Kieran

With the children in Sri LankaFun

Later in the day we visited two projects that ocean stars are working on. A pre-school of young children and 'Hope House'. It was wonderful seeing these projects and seeing directly where the money was being invested in. Later in the evening Kieran hit his head on the fan for the third time in as many days. We went to food city to buy supplies. I bought biscuits. They were nice. Later in the evening we packed the bags with supplies we had gathered from food city . - Sam

Overall, we really enjoyed working in both schools, the kids have been really enthusiastic and have really engaged with our lessons. We've made some great bonds and look foward to the sports day and the talent show - Ben

Dressed up

Daily blog post- day 7

Today (yesterday) we went back to Navilady school which, for me was my second time there. We participated in a sports day run by their school featuring dancing, performances and lots of new sports we look forward to seeing in the Olympics soon, such as the elephant run and bean bag shuttle race, which I managed to get beaten by an 8 year old girl... Patrick

Although I nearly fell asleep in the variety show I definitely found it a great experience of different cultures. My favourite act in the variety show was a fantastic recreation of Pinocchio because the quality of English surprised me. Our own performance went well and we really enjoyed the opportunity...

I also found the variety show an amazing experience, some of the acts that the children performed were jaw dropping. Some of the different cultural dances were really interesting to watch. The children all put so much effort in to creating their amazing drama pieces and dances...

Some other people went to a deaf school for the morning. Which students can live 2-3 hours away but still attend. Even though it was harder to communicate, everyone found a way and I think it was a really enjoyable time for both English and Sri Lankan students alike...


This has been the most amazing week of my life thankyou x



Girls at school

Most incredible week of my life x




I've really enjoyed this trip and all the experiences it has given me that I have never had before. Xx




This has been such an amazing and emotional trip and I will cherish the memories that we have made forever. Not only has it given us all an insight into the conditions that some people have no other choice but to live in and what charities like Ocean Stars do to help, but it has also allowed us to connect and form bonds with both each other and the Sri Lankan students. I am so grateful for being given this opportunity and everyone one made it possible and I'm already thinking about saving up to go again with team two...

Selfie time


Have had an amazing trip, I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to spend time will all the fabulous members of Ocean Stars and am happy that as a group we have been able to put smiles on children's faces. I think that we have been able to spend quality time with the locals and give the children an opportunity to just be children. Again, I am so delighted of having the chance to do this trip and give thanks specifically to my parents for letting me have such an experience


Sri Lanka Montage



Welcome Home

Flight home

We are all safely at Dubai airport, ready for departure. We are looking forward to getting home but we've all had a fantastic trip!

Welcome home baner

Parents, your sons and daughters have all been amazing, we are so proud of them all, as I'm sure you are too.

Back home



27 more sleeps!

CPS last team meeting 21st September

Chris Booth :: Saturday 23rd September 2017 :: This Story

Calthorpe Park students begin countdown to their trip to Sri Lanka. 27 more sleeps to go when they had their last team meeting on Thursday 21st September.  

The team have been busy fund raising and so far their total raised for the work for Ocean Stars is £7500.00.

Amazing work Team Cps 2017.

Well done with more money still to come in.

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Calthorpe Park School

Staff reflect about their trip to Sri Lanka as they begin their final preparations over the next six weeks

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 12th September 2017 :: This Story

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ROSS returning to Sri Lanka for his fourth trip:

I am so looking forward to working with the amazing Sri Lanka students again and to take the musical instruments for which we have fund raised all year.

CHARLOTTE returning to Sri Lanka for her second trip:

I am thrilled to be returning to Sri Lanka for the second year. I find myself even more excited than I was a year ago. I can't wait to see old friends and make new memories.

WENDY returning for her eighth trip to Sri Lanka:

I am still just as excited to be going on the trip and meeting up with friend I have made over the years. I am looking forward to having a great time with our students and the Sri Lanka students.

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CPS Team 34 days to go

Reflections on their upcoming trip to Sri Lanka

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 5th September 2017 :: This Story

Olivia: I am very excited to be going in October , this year has gone so quickly! I am sure all the fund raising and he work put into the trip will be worth it when we get there and meet the students.  

Lyssie:  I am now very excited for the trip! I am excited to see the children's faces light up when they receive all the supplies we have collected.

Nina: It feels like yesterday we were having our first meeting. And now we are preparing to leave! I can't wait to get there and see where the money we have all been working hard tor raise is going and experience the culture.

Yasmin: It does not feel like it has been almost a year since we had our first meeting with last year's team! I am really excited and cannot wait to go to Sri Lanka. We have finished the preparation for our activity and are really looking forward to sharing it with the students in Sri Lanka.

Ilay: I think we have everything ready for Sri Lanka and have all the supplies. I am very excited however i don't know what I am going to do for the variety show.

Anya: I am really excited for the trip as it is coming very quickly now.

Emma: I am excited to go on the trip and to teach the kids in Sri Lanka. I am also excited to see how different the culture is there compared to here. There isn't long to go yet after waiting now if really feels like we are going.

Alex: I am very excited about going on the trip and can't wait to go. I am not nervous about anything at the moment.

Sam: I am very excited about the trip and it is amazing how quickly the time has gone since the first meeting.

Lauren: I am really excited to go to Sri Lanka. I can't believe it is only 34 days away. I think that we have organised our lessons well and think the children will really enjoy it.

Samantha: I am really excited about going but we've still got lots to do but once that is done then I will be really nervous about it yet excited for the trip.

Ben: I am feeling really excited for the trip. I can't wait.

Patrick: This trip gets more exciting by the day and as we are finally only 34 days away it feels unreal. Our lesson has finally been completely organised and I can't wait to use it over there in Sri Lanka.

Jess: I am getting very excited for the trip and I can't wait to get there. We have a few things to sort out regarding our activities but we are 95% sorted. I am a bit scared about performing at the Variety show but I think when we get there it will be fun

Grace: I just can't wait. I feel like it has come so quick and all the effort and fund arising will be worth it!!! I can't wait to see all the children's faces and have so much fun.

Ben: I feel like I can do more fund raising and I feel excited to try new foods and face new challenges on this trip.

Katie: I am now really excited about the trip it being so close. It all seems very more realistic now that we have the kit....I look forward to getting to know everyone even more.

Upcoming Trip

With 120 sleeps to go before their Sri Lanka adventure Calthorpe Park students reflect on their trip

Chris Booth :: Tuesday 27th June 2017 :: This Story

Ben Tolmie: I am looking forward to experiencing the people and culture of Sri Lanka. I am not sure how I am going to cope with the heat.

Chris Sutton: I am looking forward to all the amazing activities that we are doing and I am happy and impressed that we broke the £5000 barrier with our fund raising.

Nina Skingley: The £5000 total so far is amazing. I am starting to get really excited about the difference we will be able to make to the lives o the children we will see. As the trip creeps closer our lesson plans are beginning to take shape and I feels like we are going to be ready to arrive in Sri Lanka and get to work.

Yasmin Bascal: I am getting more excited ahead of our trip. I am happy with our fund raising total so far and I am currently planning to do more to help reach our targets including doing Henna and making cards.

Patrick Hogan: I am very excited because it is only 120 days to go until we leave and I am very happy because we broke the £5000 fund raising barrier so we are getting close to our total.

Emma Walker: I feel excited and happy that so far we have managed to reach a total of £5000 for the trip as there isn't that long to go.

Grace Penny: I am very excited for the trip and I am less worried about reaching the final total with our recent progress.

Alicia: I am really excited about the trip and also excited to see the children's faces when they get the resources we are taking.

Ben Tyler: I think the trip will be great as it will increase my knowledge of different cultures and also be a chance to socialise with people unknown to me.

Lauren Lucas: I am anxious about the length of time away still and cannot imagine being there!! However I am proud of the fund raising I have done so far.

Samantha Griffiths: I am really nervous and I feel like I have a lot left to do in preparation for the trip. I can't imagine being there in 120 days and I can't wait to experience the different cultures. I might be able to bring emotional support to the group.

Sam Usherwood: I am nervous about being away from my friends and the heat in Sri Lanka. Ilay Digreggorio: I am feeling excited for the trip and I am proud of the group for raising £5000.

Anya Thurlow: I am excited for the trip even more now because it is getting close and our lessons have to be fully planned soon.

CPS team 2017 second student meeting Monday 9th January

Student comments on fund-raising ideas and feelings about their trip

OceanStars :: Wednesday 15th February 2017 :: This Story

Olivia: I feel confident that we have a large bank of ideas. We now need to come up with a list of resources we need for these activities.

Lyssie: Today we focused more on planning. I think our plans have progressed rapidly as we managed to come up with new ideas.

Tamzin: Getting the activities ready makes it so much more exciting because now are thinking specifically of the children not just the trip itself. I am saving all my old clothes for a car boot sale and I am making cakes for a cake sale.

Nina: I am very excited about planning the lessons for the children and seeing how they unfold. I am also feeling more confident about the lessons having done some planning and brainstorming.

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Yasmin: I am really excited about planning our activities. The more we talk the more ideas we think of. I just hope we make sure all of our resources are ready. I am also ready and excited about fund raising and I have some events coming up.

Anya:  I am really excited about teaching lessons because we have brainstormed lots of ideas and should be able to complete the preparations in time.

Emma: I am looking forward to doing all the activities and games with the children. I am also looking forward to seeing their reactions to the activities we do with them. 

Alicia: I am really excited to start planning the activities for the children and teaching them. I have already started fund raising and I have made £50 so far. I have only sold half of the sweets.

Sam: I am feeling a lot better about the fund raising. I need to look into the materials needed for fund raising.

Samantha: I think we have some good activities and ideas that the kids will love!! The fund raising is slow but we have some thoughts about what we can do and have made plans with people to do cake sales and e-mailing companies to ask for donations.

Lauren: I think we have a lot of good ideas and achievable activities for the schools. As far as fund raising goes I am just beginning. I have got some sponsorship for the walk.

Patrick: I did a car boot sale with my mum but we only made £14. I have also sold some of my old things like Lego sets; comics etc and I have now made over £150. Also I am decorating my Auntie's new flat for £50. It is looking good!

Jess: I am really excited to teach the lessons and meet the children but I am a bit worried that we won't have enough resources or they won't enjoy the activities but I think they will.

Grace: I am very excited and feel a lot more confident with what activities I want to with the children. I also have more ideas for fund raising.

Katie: I am excited to teach the children new games and I am feeling a lot more confident about teaching and being in charge.

Ilay: I am really excited for the trip because we have already thought of the activities that we can do and if we plan them properly we could feel up the whole time.

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The Calthorpe Park Ocean Stars Team of 21 students and 4 teachers had their first meeting on Thursday 8th December.

OceanStars :: Monday 12th December 2016 :: This Story

The students heard about the itinerary for the trip, received their collecting tins, chose their working groups and placed their clothing orders for the trip. The fund raising target for team 2017 is £8500. The students also reflected on their thoughts about the trip.


CPS Students ready to fund-raisePicture: /files/latest-news/239/w288/cps-2017-2.jpg



Olivia: I am really looking forward to the cricket match in Dambulla and to teaching in the schools. I am really excited. I am a bit worried about losing stuff!

Lyssie: I'm most excited to teach in the schools as I feel like it would definitely be a life changing experience. One of the things I am scared about is being away from my family for 10 days.

Tamzin: I am so excited! I am most looking forward to the surroundings, wildlife and the entire experience. My family animal is the elephant, so I can't wait to see one up close. Thank you everyone for this opportunity. I am worried I will miss it afterwards!

Yasmin: I am most looking forward  to meeting the children in Sri Lanka and organising fun activities for them to enjoy. I am also looking forward to the orphanage. I am a bit worries about reaching our fund raising target.

Ilay: What I am most looking forward to is the elephant orphanage and going to the schools. I am not particularly worried about anything; however, I am very excited about this amazing trip, and working with the Calthorpe group. 

Anya: I am most looking forward to teaching in the schools and coming up with lessons because it looks very different to UK schools. I am also looking forward to the tea picking and learning about how they pick tea.

Emma: I am most looking forward to seeing the different cultures and the elephants there. But I am also looking forward to teaching all the little children all about Britain.

Alicia: I'm really excited to go on the trip and visit the schools because I really want to help and see what it is like in Sri Lanka.

Chris: I am most looking forward to the experience of being in a completely different environment and seeing a different culture. I am slightly worries about coming up with ideas for fund raising.

Alex: What I am most looking forward to in Sri Lanka is experiencing the vibrant culture and working with the children in the schools. I am worried about fund raising money.

Kieran: I am really looking forward to the Rock Temple. I am worried about the spiciness of the curries and not eating enough over the trip.

Sam: I am most looking forward to the elephant orphanage on the trip because it looks like a truly good experience.  I am nervous about raising the money and being away from my family.

Lauren: I am most looking forward to meeting the children and experiencing their culture. I am also looking forward to the jeep safari. I 'm most worried about being away from home for so long and being home sick.

Samantha: I am most looking forward to the elephant orphanage and the Jeep safari. I'm most worried about the fact that I will be homesick and will miss my parents.

Ben: I am looking forward to meeting the children and teaching in the schools we visit and travelling to such a different and interesting country. I am worried about coming up with different and effective fund raising ideas.

Patrick: I am most looking forward to seeing the new culture and trying the local food. I am really looking forward to the trip.

Jess: I am looking forward to meeting the children and seeing their schools and how they are different to ours. I am excited to see and learn about their cultures. I am not really worried or scared about anything so I think it will be really fun.

Grace: I am looking forward to the cricket match and teaching the children. I am not worried about anything because I am so looking forward to the trip.

Ben: I am looking forward to the food.

Katie: I am really excited about getting to know a different culture and new people.  I am looking forward to the food and helping out at schools. I am hoping to busk and have cake sales to raise money.