The sun was shining as the MIV girls waved goodbye to St Mary's on 12th June (Enrichment Week) and we set off for the Isle of Wight. The sun stayed with us all day as we visited the donkey sanctuary and jumped in the waves on the beach.

On Tuesday, we met with a local palaeontologist who took us to the beach to hunt for fossils and also accompanied us to a dinosaur museum where he showed us skeletons of different dinosaurs which were found locally on the island. We also visited Tapnell Farm which used to be a dairy farm but now creates all its own electricity with solar panels, grows crops to be burnt in their anaerobic digester to produce gas and has a bore hole for all their water needs; they are also treating their own waste. The farm also feeds back all their surplus energy back into the national grid.

The girls also had the opportunity to meet some strange farm animals, including albino wallabies and some meerkats. The following day, we saw a falconry display at Robin Hill and learnt all about the red squirrels which are native to the Island, this was followed by a visit to Carisbrook Castle (medieval) and our day did not finish there – we bounced all night at Isle Jump trampolining centre. We were very thankful of a lie in and a visit to the beach or a swim at our accommodation before visiting Osbourne House – Queen Victoria’s summer residence. We took part in a Victorian workshop with Mrs Pilkington – the house keeper – and the girls learnt how to polish, make beds with sheets and blankets, set a table setting, ensuring they measured the distances between all the crockery and cutlery, as well as grinding coffee and sugar. Mrs Pilkington was very strict and the girls had to dress up in Victorian-style aprons. Once the workshop was over, the girls had an opportunity to find out what life was like ‘below stairs’ for Victorian servants by asking lots of very good questions. Our week finished off with Laser tag, a disco and a birthday party for Izzy who turned 13. After such a busy week, we were all ready for the Exeat weekend.