Matt Clayton, teacher and assistant vocational curriculum manager at Queen Ethelburga’s school in York speaks about his favourite trip over the last year - a ski trip to Sestriere which brought out the best of his pupils.

Queen Ethelburga school's ski trip

Children of all ages from the school went on the ski trip in February.

In terms of my most memorable trip over the last year, I think it would have to be the ski trip that I took to Sestriere, in Italy’s western Alps, during February half term, luckily just before lockdown. We travelled by coach and were very careful to take additional precautions due to our awareness of the coronavirus situation at that time - little did we know how significant it was to become!

We took a range of students from Year 4 up to Year 12, who all integrated exceptionally well. What I found most rewarding about this trip was the way that students from all ages supported and encouraged each other to develop their skills on the slopes, as well as helping each other with kit checks and preparing for the physical demands of the day ahead. Après ski was also a lot of fun, with students able to take part in ice skating, swimming and even enjoy a pizza night.

Pizza night on Queen Ethelburga school's ski trip

Some pupils enjoying a pizza night after a day on the slopes.

The students were determined and they all worked tremendously hard throughout the week, with skiers of all abilities improving their confidence and developing their technique. Many showed great resilience by persevering and overcoming the challenges they faced, spurred on by the support from their friends.

Where’s your most memorable trip over the last year? We’d love to hear from you, get in touch by emailing

Queen Ethelburga school's ski trip

By the end of the week all pupils had improved their skills.

By the end of the week, the beginners had progressed amazingly, completing their first blue runs and having their first experience of an easy red. Similarly, our intermediate and advanced group had also progressed well, skiing black runs with increased confidence, style and improved technique.

The weather was excellent too, with sunshine and blue skies every day. It was another memorable and hugely successful trip.