This school day, in Basildon, had been promised for some time. My lovely sister-in-law Maria works at this school as a TA and her youngest daughter, Lucy is a pupil in year 5 - the group I was visiting today! Maria has been pushing for me to visit this school for sometime, and on Friday 5th October it happened!
I arrived bright and early and got set up. It was a far bigger group than at Saffron Walden the day before - more like about 70-80 pupils. They were very loud and very excitable, and sometimes keeping them onside was quite an effort. But they were worth it and made the day very exciting and fun.
All the teachers, and especially the TA's (hello Maria!) were very friendly and welcoming. The afternoon session was climaxed with a rousing jousting tournament that went to the wire. The gents appeared to have won, but they had broken the rules on one of the change overs, so we had to go for the jousting equivalent of the penalty shoot out - one quoit on one target and just one chance to lance it. It was very close but the ladies JUST managed to sneak in and win. A good race.
After dinner at my parents, I hit the road at just after 8pm and was home in Somerset by 11pm. Next week sees me visiting Yate in Gloucestershire on Monday and Ruishton near Taunton and Tuesday. I am then back at the BBC on Wednesday for another news panel appearance on Somerset Sound.