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History and Politics Trip to USA

Sixth Form students are currently across the pond in America on their History and Politics trip. This blog will keep you updated with all of their adventures that are written by the students and also a selection of photographs.

Saturday 13 February

After waking up at 3.00am and being waved off by the Headmaster, we set off for Heathrow Airport. Although the wait at the airport was extremely long, the flight was easy and we all caught up on some much needed sleep.  Arriving in America after an eight hour flight made us all very excited but we were all shocked by how cold it was.

Once we arrived at our hotel in Midtown, we were given free time to shop and in the evening we went to the flat iron building where we took photos. Everyone went their separate ways for dinner and we all went to bed very early because of how exhausting the day was.

The highlight of the day was Lily Taylor (Lower Sixth, Gascoigne) getting upgraded on the flight, which everyone else was very jealous of!

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)


Sunday 14 February

The first full day in America started with breakfast at 7:20 in the morning and although it was early, the food was amazing and very filling. We headed to Ellis Island via the subway. However, it was the coldest day in New York since 1984 which meant that we had to catch a ferry in minus eighteen degrees and nobody enjoyed that very much, especially Chantelle and Mrs Mason!

The historic museum on Ellis Island was very interesting and the film I watched explained the traumatic experience immigrants had to go through in order to live in America. Afterwards there was free time for shopping when people went for lunch at places such as the Shake Shack. Later we met up at the 9/11 memorial which was very emotional.

In the evening after a rest we all took a trip to Times Square to shop and eat as well as look at all of the billboards which were incredible. 

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)


Monday 15 February

On the last full day in New York we had an early start again. This time we made our way to Grand Central Station where everyone split off and explored, with some of us going to the bakery and the teachers getting Ali a cake for his birthday. We also found a whisper corner where people could stand on opposite sides of the room and still hear each other. From there we next went to the Rockefeller Center and were given four hours to shop and go sightseeing. The girls went on a carriage ride around Central Park and some of the boys went to the zoo. At 2.00pm everyone met again to go to the Top of the Rock, where you can see all of New York, and the view was incredible, although it was snowing so it was very cold. After returning to the hotel everyone went for dinner to celebrate Ali's birthday.

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)


Tuesday 16 February

Tuesday was the day for travelling. We took a coach to Washington at 10am after a morning spent eating breakfast and doing some last-minute shopping. The journey took 5 hours, which was quicker than expected. Once we had checked in and rested for a bit, everyone went out to eat. The girls went to the Hard Rock Cafe for an amazing meal and the Upper Sixth boys went to watch an ice hockey game which they loved.

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)


Wednesday 17 February

The first day in Washington was our last full day in America and it was filled with culture. The day began at 8.00am, when we set off on the memorial walk, starting at the White House. We saw memorials to commemorate people and events such as the Korean War and Presidents Lincoln and Washington. We next headed to the Capitol Building for a special tour with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski's Staff Assistant, Sam Rubino. We were lucky to be able to visit areas otherwise inaccessible to the public, for example the balcony of the Speaker of the Senate that looks out over all of Washington, the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. We are very grateful to Mrs Jellyman for organising this on our behalf. Although there was lots of walking today, the sights were fascinating and very meaningful.

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)


Thursday 18 February

The morning of Thursday 18 February was spent exploring museums. We first went to the National Archives where the original copies of the American Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and Constitution are held, as well as one of the four pieces of the Magna Carta. These were amazing to see. We next went to the Holocaust Museum which was extremely emotional and at times difficult due to the graphic and intense nature of the exhibit, with displays such as the shoes of the Jewish victims being particularly heart-wrenching. The rest of the day was spent in the airport and on the flight, with everyone returning home after a wonderful trip.

Bella Roberston (Lower Sixth, Harcourt)









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