Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Center Parcs

Well I never heard anything back from my begging letter about whether the children's holidays were authrosied by the school; its too late now as we are back from a fabulous 5 days in Center Parcs.

Center Parcs is excellent for children-though extremely expensive if you don't go in term time! This year we spent most of our time in the swimming pool; absolutely fantastic! Last year when we went, neither child would go down any of the kid's slides and Louis wouldn't even leave our side in the children's pool. However this year, they were much braver, going down the slides and exploring the shallow children's area by themselves (obviously eatched by us but it was nice to be able to relax a bit in the warm water, without following them round!).

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the pool as I didn't want to risk dropping my phone in the water!

When we weren't swimming, there was plenty more for the kids to do. In past years we have always booked art and craft activities but now the kids are at school I thought this would not any longer be any kind of novelty to them. Instead they did, Tot's movie mooves-which involved dancing to lots of Disney songs, Canope capers-involving parachute games and on the last day a Christmas teddy bear's picnic.

In the evenings the kids played in the bar play area while my husband and I could enjoy a drink (very expensive-over a fiver for a gllass of wine eeeek-I normally get 3 bottles for a tenner in Asda!).

Schools may moan about taking the kids out during term time and harp on about missing out on education, but in my opinion, a holiday like this has as much of a wider educational and enrichment value as a week spent in school would. Obviously I won't make a habbit of taking them out of school for holidays ALL the time but I cannot see the harm in once or twice a year!!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures:
Beautiful Christmas Swan on the lake

Taking part in Canope Capers

Melissa in the play area

In the outdoor wooden play area

Looking for red squirrels

Teddy Bear's picnic

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Begging letter...

So nextr week we are off to Center Parcs. Just one thing though; we need to get the school to authorise the holidays-eek. I thought it was a simple matter of the teacher using their discretion and signing the form but Oh no!. I was made to feel like a naughty fourteen year old by the school receptionist when trying to fill in the form (she wouldn't even lend me a pen to do this). Was told to write a letter to the head to support my request-with evidence if possible why I must take the holidays now! So here is my best attempt:
Dear Mr Smith

Please would you authorise my children, xx and xx (Reception and Nursery PM) to go on a family holiday (7th-11th November).
As a parent, I obviously do not wish my children to miss any of their valuable education, however at this time it was very difficult for us to book a holiday in school holidays.
Firstly, my husband works predominantly with women with young children who take their holidays in school holiday time for childcare. As his job allows only two staff off at a time, it is very hard for him to get time off in school half terms as the priority is given to those needing it for childcare.
Secondly, we booked the holiday, a year ago when I was unaware of the school policy surrounding leave of absence for holidays.
I would be very grateful if you could authorise these holidays. I can also assure you that I feel this holiday (Centre Parks) will be of educational value to the children since they will be taking part in activities such as art and craft, drama and sports.

The end bit about the educational value of Center Parcs was such a brainwave-surely he will go with this! I was going to really tug at his heart strings and talk about what a stressful year we have had with the house move but throught that might have been taking it to far!

Obviously we are still going even if it doesn't get authorised but my poor kids will start their school life with five days 'unauthorised absense' in the first term!. Needless to say I think starring roles in the school play are also out of the question now seeing as they most likely start practising the nativity next week.