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Initial letter for 2010 trip - April 2010

Dear Parent,

We are now planning the Lower/Middle School ski trip for 2010. The primary purpose of the visit is a winter sports holiday, however, the educational value, including the chance to practise German, of travelling to and spending a week in a foreign country is undeniable. The trip is designed to cater for all abilities from those who have not skied before to those with several years experience. Initially it is open to students at present in years 7, 8 and 9, although we may open it to year 10 if we have a few places to fill.

We have travelled with Rover European Travel for many years and have been very happy with their service, so plan to travel with them again next year. For the last few years there has been a very large response so we have been able to organise two trips, one during the February half term and a second trip in the first week of the Easter holiday. In February we plan to ski at Lermoos, which has 30km of piste rising to over 2000m and is excellent for beginner and intermediate skiers. An additional 50km of skiing will also be available at nearby Ehrwald and Berwang and even the Zugspitze glacier if necessary. Following the outstanding success of this Easter’s trip, next April we plan to return to the Jugendgasthaus Weiderkehr in Wagrain and ski at the nearby resort of Obertauern, which boasts one of the best snow records in the alps, due in part to higher altitude skiing, with 95km of piste catering for all levels of ability particularly intermediate and beginner.

The cost of the trip includes:

If both trips take place the cost will be approximately £750, which includes the hire of a ski helmet at a discount price, so if you own your own helmet we can offer a reduction of £10 from the final payment. If, however, only one trip is possible the cost will rise to approximately £765. We will require an initial deposit of £100, followed by a further £300 in May and the balance in October/November.

If you would like your daughter or son to take part in the school ski trip please print an application slip or collect one from Mrs Copolla in D205 and return it her together with the initial deposit of £100, by Thursday 30 th April (if you have any difficulty meeting this deadline please contact me personally). Please make cheques payable to Pate's Grammar School and write LS Ski trip and your child's name and form on the back. We will notify you of the final details before firm bookings are made and offer you the chance to withdraw if they differ significantly from those above. Once firm bookings are made, however, deposits should be considered non-refundable, although they may be covered by insurance in some instances. If you do have to cancel please give us as much warning as possible, enabling us to help you try to find a replacement so that most of your deposit can be returned.

If the trip is oversubscribed we will offer places on a 'first out of a hat' basis. Anyone not offered a place will be placed on a reserve list and offered a place if one becomes available. Students who are not offered a place and apply again next year will be given priority on the 2011 trip.

If you have any queries please contact me at: Tel: 01242 523169 ext 222 email:

Mr S Dandy, Mr. A Houlton, (Party Leaders)

Printable version of APPLICATION SLIP


Cofirmation and offer of places - May 2009

Dear Parent

Thank you for expressing your interest in next year's Lower School Ski trip. Once again there has been a large response to the initial letter, so we have provisionally booked two trips, further details of the trips are described on the ski trip website . We have allocated places by drawing names at random and we are glad to be able to offer you a place on one of the trips, as shown on the reply slip, attached**. Please return the slip to confirm your details and decision to take part in the ski trip and return it to Mrs Copolla in D205 as soon as possible but by Thur 14 th May 2009 , so that we can confirm the provisional bookings. Deposits should then be considered non-refundable, although they may be covered by insurance in some instances. If you do have to cancel please give us as much warning as possible, as it may be possible for us to help you find a replacement, so that most of your deposit can be returned. Once a place has been accepted, we are happy if students want to swap with someone on the other trip. To facilitate this we will display a full list of offers and another list of people seeking a swap on the notice board outside B205.

Assuming sufficient people accept their offers to allow us to run both trips, the cost of each trip will be £750. This includes all travel, accommodation, meals (except on the journey), hire of ski equipment and ski helmet, ski instruction, lift pass, insurance and most of the evening entertainments. Spending money, hire of ski clothing and dry slope lessons are not included. The second deposit of £300 is due by the end of June and the final balance of about £350 should be paid by the end of October (reminders will be announced in assemblies and posted on the notice board outside B205 and the ski trip website).

We will hold an information evening for parents and skiers in October/November to explain the arrangements for the trip, give a short talk and show a few slides to give you an idea of what to expect. We will also demonstrate the clothing that is necessary and where it can be bought or hired and make some suggestions for appropriate Christmas presents. Staff will be available to answer questions about arrangements, clothing and equipment. We have a stock of ski jackets & salopettes for hire for much less than the cost of hiring from elsewhere; so if you wish to keep the cost down, try on and reserve items before Christmas. Spending money should be exchanged for Euros (we have found that £40-£75 has been sufficient in the past) and handed in for safe keeping in the party bank about a week before the trip departs. It is necessary to retain about €10 to spend en route.

We have found in the past that a course of lessons on the dry slope at Matson is valuable, but definitely not essential, to beginners because it gives them a flying start, enabling them to take full advantage of their time on the snow. We will try to arrange courses of lessons for those who have no skiing experience, hopefully before Christmas. Each course consists of five one-hour lessons with a qualified instructor and beginners will be taught to put on and control their skis and how to use the draglift. The cost for the five lessons including equipment hire and transport will be approximately £35. We will need to book lessons this term and will assume that all 1st time skiers will attend unless you let us know that your son/daughter does not wish to take part.

Please keep this letter for reference and do not hesitate to contact us at school if you have any questions [email: Tel: 01242 523169 ext222].

Mr. S Dandy & A Houlton (Party Leaders)

** a full list of offers has been posted outside B205

Printable version of REPLY SLIP (Please ensure you select the trip you have been offered a place on)


Invitation to parents' evening + Dry slope lessons for 1st time skiers - September 2009

Dear Parent
We are pleased to invite parents and skiers to an evening meeting where we will distribute an information sheet, give a short talk explaining the arrangements for the trips and show a few slides to give you an idea of what to expect. Although the evening is primarily aimed at those who have not skied with us before, all participants in the trip are welcome. The ski clothing that you need to obtain will be demonstrated and we will suggest some items, such as gloves and goggles that you may wish to purchase as Christmas presents. A representative of Sub32 [formally Ski West] will be present at the evening to display their range of clothing and distribute their brochure. Staff will be available to answer any questions about arrangements, clothing and equipment. The meeting will be held on Tuesday November 3rd in the school hall, starting at 7pm (we hope to finish about 9pm). If you have attended one of our meetings in the past and know the ropes or are unable to attend, please make sure you receive the information sheet that will be distributed at the meeting or can be collected later from Mrs Coppola in D205.

Beginners’ dry slope lessons and Practice sessions:
We have found in the past that a short course of lessons on the dry slope at Matson is invaluable to beginners as it gives them a flying start, enabling them to take full advantage of their time on the snow. We have booked a series of five one hour lessons at the Gloucester dry ski for all students who have not skied before. The lessons will take place after school on Wednesdays 14th Oct and 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th November. The cost of the series of 5 lessons, including transport and equipment hire, will be £37. If you wish to participate, please complete the slip below and send it together with a cheque, ma-de payable to PGS and with your child’s name and form on the back, to Mrs Coppola in D205. Transport will leave after school and return between 6.45 & 7.00pm. Pupils should change at school and take bags and clothes with them as the buildings will not be open on our return. Ski gloves and long sleeves are compulsory, as it is easy to hurt fingers on the plastic matting. Suitable clothing for the dry slope is a loose top (waterproof if raining), one pair of long, thick socks and loose trousers/track suit bottoms that can be rolled up or worn over the ski boots (tight jeans are not suitable).

There are a few places available on the minibus for those who have skied before and wish to practise without an instructor. Participants must behave responsibly and be able to perform basic parallel turns and use the draglift; cost £33 for five sessions.

Permission slips and ‘Personal details’ forms (required so skis can be adjusted correctly) should be returned to Mrs Coppola by the end of September.

Ski Equipment and Clothing:
Hire of skis, ski boots and poles is included in the cost of the trip. If you do not possess your own ski clothing and cannot borrow it, we recommend that you hire purpose-designed ski trousers on or after the parents’ evening. Some suggestions as to where to hire/buy ski clothing are included on the web page. If your budget is tight, we now have a good selection of ski jackets & salopettes for hire at a very reasonable cost (£5). See Mr. Houlton in B209 to find out if we have clothes in your size.

Passport forms:
To avoid problems due to lost passports we include all participants, who are eligible, on a collective passport. This requires a form to be completed by a parent or guardian [if your child was born outside the UK a different version of the form is required, which can be obtained from Mrs Coppola or downloaded from the ski trip website]. Completed passport forms should be returned by the end of October.

Final payment and Spending money:
The last instalment of £350 is due by the end of October and should be given to Mrs Coppola in D205 (please include child’s name and form on the back of the cheque). For security reasons we like to look after the students’ pocket money in a ‘party bank’. Deposits to the party bank should be made in Euros at least a week before the trip. We recommend children carry the Euro equivalent of about £10 with them for the journey and pay £40 to £70 into the party bank.

European Health Insurance Card:
All participants will require a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which should be handed to Mrs Coppola before the end of January. The easiest way to obtain your free card is either to apply online at or by telephoning 0845 606 2030.

Website and e-mail:
You can keep up to date by visiting the ‘PateSki notice board’ at or via the link on the extra curricular section of the school website at . If necessary you can contact me by email

Mr. S Dandy & A Houlton (Party Leaders)

Printable version of Dry slope permission slip

Printable version of Personal Details form

Printable version of Passport form (born in UK)

Printable version of Passport form (born outside UK)


Final Details (Feb)

Dear Parent,

According to the Internet it has been snowing in Austria, so the prospects for good skiing are most encouraging. There are links to Internet snow reports and live web cameras on the ‘PateSki Notice Board’ [].

Itinerary: (All local times and dependant on road)

Fri. 12 th  
Load coach.
11.00 Depart School.
14.00 Refreshment stop at motorway Services.
15.45 Check in with P&O Ferries, Dover. .
16.45 Depart Dover, Dinner on ferry
18.00(local) Arrive Calais for a couple of films & overnight travel to resort.
07.00(approx) Refreshment stop at motorway Services, probably in Germany.
11.00(approx) Arrive in resort for ski/boot fitting, dinner and early to bed.
Six days skiing  
Fri. 19th  
16.00(approx) Depart hotel after early dinner, overnight journey to Calais.
04.55 Check in with P&O Ferries, Calais
05.55 Depart Calais
06.30(local) Arrive Dover.
10.00(approx) Start telephone chain
11.00(approx) Arrive school.

Communication details:
Please check that your details are correct on the attached phone tree, which will be used to spread news of our arrival in Austria, to pass on any important messages while we are away and give you about an hour's warning of our ETA at school. If you will not be at home during the trip please you should have already let us know how you can be contacted if it is necessary. If there is an emergency you may contact Mr D Bruce 01242 251583 / 07814489351 or Mr S Locke 07815 101484 but please do not contact them about return times as, if there is any significant change in plans, we will contact you via the phone tree. We will carry a school mobile so if you have an urgent message it will be possible to text us 07841360594. Hotel address: Gutshof zum Schluxen, Nahe der Königsschlösser, Unterpinswang 24, 6600 Pinswang, Tirol, Austria. Tel from UK: 00 43 5677 8903. Please be prepared to leave a short message, preferably in German, and we will endeavour to ring you back later. We advise pupils to use public pay phones to phone home, rather than the hotel phone which may prove very expensive, and to remember that there is an hour time difference. We discourage students from taking mobile phones.

Pocket money:
We recommend that pupils take about £5-10 to buy food on the ferry (English change is also useful on the coach to purchase drinks etc.) and a similar amount in Euros for the journey (small change is useful as it is now the norm to have to pay 50 cents to visit the service station toilet). The majority of your spending money, (£50 to £75) in Euros, should be placed in an envelope, clearly labelled with name and form, and handed to Mrs Coppola in D205 by Friday 5 th February. Money will be stored in the school safe until departure .

If you have not already done so please hand in your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), to Mrs Coppola and ensure that you have let us know of any medical condition that may affect your child while they are in our care. We prefer students to hand in medication for safe keeping, however this does not apply to inhalers or travel sickness pills. Vegetarians or people with a special diet should already have told us but if not they must make sure that we know about it before we leave. It is worth cutting your toe nails before we go as this can prevent some problems with ski boots.

As space is limited please restrict this to one large bag/case (not exceeding 20kg), which will not be accessible during the journey, plus one smaller 'soft' item of hand luggage. Please pack your ski helmet inside your case and ensure all items are marked with your name (especially ski gloves & goggles) as items are frequently mislaid and it is difficult to reunite owners and un-named items.

Suitcase Hand luggage
Ski clothes (see parent’s evening notes)
Ski helmet
Indoor & outdoor shoes
Jeans or trousers
Shirts & jumpers
Socks & underwear
Toilet kit & towel
Towelling wrap or dressing gown
Swim wear
Food for journey (see below)
Pillow for journey
Pen & paper
Phrase Book
Entertainment (see below)
Ski socks (see below)
Personal medicines (e.g. travel sickness)
Money (see below)
Passport (if not included on group passport)

Parents wishing to see their children off should not park in front of the school, so that the coach has room to manoeuvre, and should stand well clear of the coach during loading.

The coach will be equipped with a DVD player and any films clearly marked with the owner's name and suitable for general consumption should be handed to Mr Houlton by Friday. You should not inflict your taste on your fellow travellers so please use earphones to listen to your own music/films. Books, games etc. help to pass the time.

We recommend you eat an early tea on the ferry where English currency is accepted. Sufficient packed food to cover snacks on Friday plus Saturday breakfast and lunch should be taken. Please bring sensible packed food, avoiding any food or drink that may make you feel unwell and avoid containers that may leak or get broken. It is forbidden for pupils to smoke or drink alcohol at any time. The coach will be equipped with a toilet but other facilities should be used whenever possible.

On arrival:
We will pass news of our safe arrival via the phone tree. Skis and boots may be issued before we have time to unpack, so ski socks must be included in hand luggage. Rooms will be finally allocated on arrival but any preferences should be handed in on the coach so that a provisional room list can be drawn up. Rooms should be checked carefully on arrival and any damage reported to a teacher immediately otherwise the occupants may be held responsible for the cost of repair. Note that the hotel rarely provides towels.

There will be four hours skiing per day with a qualified instructor plus a one-hour lunch break. At the end of the day a little extra practice may be possible, supervised by Mr Dandy or Mr. Houlton. This will be at the discretion of Mr Dandy or Mr. Houlton if, in their opinion, the pupils are capable and conditions are suitable and then only on marked pistes that pupils have skied before with their instructor. All participants are expected to follow the rules of the skiway code, which will be explained again on the coach. There must be no unsupervised skiing at any time.

The lift pass covers several areas that collectively make up the Zugspitz Arena. Click map to show the skiing areas included and we will ski in as many different areas as we can during the week.

Return: We should arrive in Cheltenham around 11.00am on Saturday 20 th February if we manage to catch the correct ferry. To avoid long queues at pay phones we will use the phone tree to give about one hour's notice of our ETA and would be grateful if parents would help to spread the news of our return via the phone tree.

The cost of the trip includes ‘school journey insurance’, which includes winter sports. Full details of the cover are available from Mr Houlton but a summary is given below. Pupils are advised not to take articles in excess of the cover and to make sure all possessions are marked with their name. Any losses must be reported immediately to staff, as the local police must be informed if a claim is to be made.

Personal luggage and money £1500
Party bank money held by teacher £1000
Cancellation due to illness Final invoice cost
Medical expenses & repatriation £2,000,000
Personal liability £2,000,000
Please note there is an excess of £35 on most claims.

If you have any queries and the website [] doesn’t help, please phone Mr Houlton at school (01242 523169 ext.222) or e-mail . Any final details will be posted on the notice board outside B205 and on the PateSki web site. I hope you enjoy a restful week while we are away.

S Dandy & A Houlton (Party leaders)


Final Details (April)