Logos Hope’s schoolchildren are enjoying a freedom they don’t usually get to experience in their lessons, having moved onto land for the period the ship is undergoing maintenance in dry dock.
And they’re making the most of the time on shore, having lessons in the outdoors and going on field trips.
Moving all the equipment to the temporary facilities was a whole team effort: Logos Hope’s deck department used the ship’s crane to transfer boxes from the aft end of deck eight down to the quayside. Once headteacher Alan Simpson (UK) had driven a van and trailer to the families’ accommodation complex in Willemstad, teachers and parents carried everything upstairs to set up the schoolrooms.
It was Alan’s first experience of the vessel being in a dry dock and all the upheaval that involves, but he says the 17 children have adjusted well and particularly enjoy their outside space: “We have been able to do some of the lessons that cannot be done easily on the ship, like planting seeds and exploring the garden area. Our break time is taken in a central courtyard and after eating their snack provided by mums, the kids can ride around the area on their scooters and use up some energy!” he laughs.
Logos Hope’s school follows a British curriculum and four of the five teachers come from the UK – including Alan’s wife, Carol. He says staff adapt their lessons to make them international and take advantage of the unique exposure to different locations that ship life offers. “In Tobago, we learnt about tropical rainforests and we were actually able to walk in a rainforest,” Alan explains.
The children will also make day trips to a local synagogue and an aquarium during their month on land.
“Teaching the ship children is a real pleasure, especially when their faces are glowing with joy and excitement at being together in a new place,” says Alan. “They love the space the accommodation provides to play, to learn and to grow. We are excited to be on this adventure together.”