July 25, 2023
During the final week of the academic year, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley celebrates Term Project Week, an enriching experience for students across all grade levels. This week provides a unique platform for collaborative, multidisciplinary projects, and engaging activities or trips. Students are grouped with dedicated teachers who guide and facilitate their learning throughout the week.
Each year, we offer a diverse range of project options, continually seeking to expand our offerings based on the interests and input of both our faculty and students. This Term Project Trip was to Ireland and the UK and consisted of 61 students and 10 chaperones.
Day 1: The first day of the trip was dedicated to travel.
Students and chaperones at SFO for their AM flight to Dublin, Ireland
Students and chaperones at SFO for their PM flight to Dublin, Ireland
Day 2: Upon arrival at the airport, the morning group was greeted by their assigned tour guide, who would be one of two tour guides accompanying and guiding our students throughout the duration of the trip.
Having arrived in Dublin, Ireland ahead of the afternoon group, they took advantage of their early arrival and explored Bunratty Castle. It was a great opportunity for them to immerse themselves in the rich history and cultural heritage of the region while awaiting the arrival of the afternoon group.
Shortly after the morning group’s excursion to Bunratty Castle, the afternoon flight group landed at the airport and was welcomed by their dedicated tour guide. Both groups began to make their way to meet each other at their first hotel in Killarney, Ireland. They had their first dinner together as a group and called it a night.
Day 3: Our students went on an exciting adventure to Killarney National Park, where they rode on a horse and carriage through the park. The journey took them through lush greenery and landscapes, ending at Ross Castle on the lake.
Following the exploration of Ross Castle, our students then headed to West Ireland along the scenic route of The Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is known for its rolling green hills, rugged Atlantic seascapes, and quaint Irish villages. Along the way, they had the privilege of visiting Kerry Bog Village, where they traveled back to 18th-century Ireland and witnessed traditional thatched cottages and rural life from a bygone era.
They ended their excursion around the Ring of Kerry at Kissime Sheep Farm, where they witnessed an authentic sheepdog and sheering demonstration. Our students really enjoyed observing the skilled sheepdog commander’s whistle calls and the obedience displayed by the sheepdog as it herded sheep down the hill.
Day 4: Students ventured to Blarney Castle, where they explored its gardens and participated in the tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone. Following their time at the castle, they proceeded on a short walk to Blarney Woollen Mills, renowned as the largest Irish store in the world. Here, they went shopping for authentic Irish goods such as wool caps, chocolates, and flutes.
Day 5: During their time in Dublin, students went on a guided bus tour led by a local Irish expert. As they drove through the historic streets of Dublin, they learned about the Georgian Squares, witnessed the hustle and bustle of O’Connell Street, and walked Phoenix Park. A highlight of the tour was their visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an architectural gem steeped in religious and historical significance.
They then went to EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin. The immersive experience featured the history of the Irish people, shedding light on their struggles, triumphs, and enduring resilience throughout the ages.
For their last stop of the day, students went to The Irish Dance Party. Dancers dressed in traditional Irish attire and played Irish-made instruments. Some of our students even had the chance to learn some traditional Irish footwork.
Day 6: The group departed from Dublin to Holyhead by ferry boat. After a couple of hours of travel, they arrived in Wales. Their first destination was Conwy Castle, where they walked across ancient walls and explored the guard towers of this historic fortress.
Day 7: The group began their day with a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. They first explored Anne Hathaway’s cottage, followed by the Shakespeare Centre and Birthplace. Afterward, they split into smaller chaperone groups to further explore the city, with some visiting the Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried and others exploring local markets and eateries.
Continuing their exploration, the group stopped in the city of Oxford on their way to London. Our students had time to explore the campus of Oxford University, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the Oxford City Centre.
Day 8: On their first day in London, they began with a guided walking tour. During the tour, they visited notable landmarks including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey.
Following the tour, the group split up into four mini excursions: The Harry Potter London Experience, The London Dungeon, The London Tower, and Hyde Park.
Later in the day, a portion of the group attended a captivating performance by Eddie Izzard, while the remaining members went shopping at the M&M and Lego stores nearby.
Day 9: On their last full day of the trip, the group traveled to the Tate Museum as their first stop. They then walked along the River Thames to the famous Borough Market in South London to have lunch. After lunch, they proceeded to the Globe Theater to watch a performance of “The Comedy of Errors.”
Following the performance at the Globe Theater, they explored the British Museum, where they viewed famous artifacts firsthand, including the iconic Rosetta Stone.
To conclude their trip, the group enjoyed their final dinner together at a Japanese fusion cuisine restaurant in London.
Day 10: Both groups departed from London and traveled back to San Francisco. It was a great trip that our students will remember forever!
Some students arriving at SFO from London to greet their parents