Each year, towards the end of the Spring Term, there is an Activities week during which boys participate in residential trips either abroad or in the UK. This is a highly important aspect to each boy's education. It broadens horizons, offers opportunities to really experience other ways of living, tests their character and on some trips opens their eyes to the great cultures influencing our society. These trips take place during the school term and all boys are expected to attend.
Trips are as follows:
Year 7 - Rome and Pompeii
Year 8 - Greece, visiting the great sights of antiquity and experiencing for the first time the glory of an ancient civilisation still affecting our society today
Year 9 - Paris, Cultural visit to this great city.
Year 10 - Lucca in Tuscany, at the Lucca Leadership Training centre where boys learn the art of transformational leadership and serving each other. Followed by a visit to Florence to see and experience some of the greatest pieces of renaissance art in the world.
Years 11 & 12 - Cultural and vocational trips in London. There are visits to the Houses of Parliament, the Law Courts, Lloyds of London, the Stock Exchange, plus factory visits and opportunities to discuss careers with people engaged in entrepreneurial businesses and other aspects of modern commerce.
ALSO Year 11, 12 & 13 - Opportunities to work abroad on charity projects or experience the WILDERNESS TRIP, a time spent with no modern aids to living in the midst of the South African wilderness.
Lucca & Florence
The Italian Job
Year 10 visit to Lucca and Florence
This trip is perhaps the most important and valuable educational excursion that the School offers. Year 10 pupils spend four days at a beautiful Italian Villa where they engage in a unique Leadership Course and then a further four days in the city of Florence.
Leadership at Lucca
The Philosophy course in Year 10 starts the work of opening a vision for how each young man will spend his life. This means more than just the job he will ultimately do; it means how he will serve society and care for his fellow human beings in the widest sense.
The visit to the Lucca Leadership training centre, near Pisa in Tuscany, is designed to crystallise many of the lessons which work in the classroom can introduce, but practice can make real. The Headmaster accompanies the boys and oversees the course.
The boys stay in a large and beautiful Renaissance-style Villa, owned by friends of St James School. They are joined by four coaches from the Lucca Leadership Trust, all young people in their mid-20s who have become skilled in the art of team building, giving and taking direction, dialogue and public speaking. The boys are split into teams and work together on these and other leadership skills.
Much of the learning is done using outdoor games - called Leadership Tasks. This gives boys the chance to lead a small group through a set of exercises to achieve specific objectives. The challenges faced test the boys on the importance of a positive and caring attitude, their ability to devise plans, communicate them and keep the morale of their team high.
The theme of Service runs throughout the whole time together. No human endeavour can happen without people caring for each other. The boys are given instruction in cooking, cleaning, and caring for themselves and their clothes. They look after each other while they are there. They also learn how to serve and participate at a dinner party. The aim is to equip them with life skills of great value.
Culture and Art in Florence
This city is the hub of the 15th century Italian Renaissance and in the museums, galleries and exhibitions are some of the world's greatest masterpieces. Boys are often deeply affected and moved by these works but cannot gain this experience unless brought face-to-face with them. They are taken to see works by Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Botticelli and many others. The experience has always proved to be of enormous significance for every boy and the combination of art, architecture, sculpture, pizzas and ice-cream is irresistibly enjoyable.
Boys are required to create a project following this trip and may give talks or power-point presentations.
This Italian experience is designed to open up new visions for the boys as they journey towards manhood. The trip is an experience they never forget.