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Posted on: 11/10/2016

Sixth Form Induction Trip

IMG 0353As part of the Hope Academy Sixth Form induction programme, Mr McGeown, Mrs Vernazza and Mr Gent led our Year 12 students on a trip to London at the beginning of term.  The trip was packed full of activities and experiences that supplemented the subjects studied at Sixth Form.

Day one began with an early start from college to our first stop at City University in the centre of London.  Students were given an introduction to life in a university with a talk from a university lecturer.  Students asked searching questions of the student ambassadors who were their tour guides around the campus.  The students were given a thorough tour of the different university facilities ranging from the vast lecture theatres, flexible classrooms, restaurants, libraries, student union, careers centre, sports centre, right down to the smallest tutorial rooms. Students left with a thorough understanding of life in a university setting and possible courses to study as an aspiring student in the future.

The next stop was to the National Gallery at Trafalgar Square.  Students were amazed by one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world.  Students were captivated by the brilliance of painters such as Titian, Cézanne, Monet, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Constable and Turner to name but a few.  Students marvelled at the sheer scale of the collection and the individual paintings that filled some rooms.  The group left discussing their favourite paintings and what they had seen that fascinated them.

The day finished with a trip to Planet Hollywood restaurant where the students dined amongst the memorabilia from Hollywood greats such as Charlie Chaplin, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis. 

Day two began early with a trip to Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC.  Students were shown around the press room and took turns to answer the media.  Students toured the dressing rooms with the current squad shirts on display.  They followed down the tunnel into the technical areas and sat in the team seats by the pitch.  Students left with extensive knowledge of the sporting achievements, economic and commercial enterprise of this historic football club.

The students were then given a walking tour of some of the sights around the capital. They walked through Horseguards, stopping for the occasional photo opportunity; past the Cenotaph where they observed a few moments of reflection for those who lost their lives in the great wars; past Downing Street where they watched ministers driving out under police escort, and back around past the edge of Parliament to Westminster Abbey.

The next trip was to the Natural History Museum where students came face to face with amazing specimens of living and dead animals from around the world.  Students were dwarfed by the huge skeletons of Stegosaurus, Diplodocus and Tyrannosaurus Rex, amazed by the vivid colours of the birds of paradise and humbled by the variety of living creatures on the Earth.  Students left the museum with a greater awareness of the plight of endangered animals and a greater understanding of the intricacies of nature.

Students visited the Westminster Cathedral, centre of the Catholic Church in Britain.  Students were able to light candles and take time to reflect on the beauty of the building and consider their own faith.

The day ended with a trip to see a West End show.  The students saw the award winning production of ‘Wicked’, the untold story of the witches of Oz.  Students were won over by the brilliance of the costumes, sets and singing in this ‘wonderful’ play.  Even the most sceptical of students conceded that it was ‘really good’ and they had ‘enjoyed the show’.

Day three began with a photo opportunity on the banks of the Thames by Tower Bridge and next to the Tower of London. This was followed by a river cruise along the Thames looking at all the famous landmarks.  Students rested and enjoyed the tour as our guide pointed out all the famous London bridges, HMS Belfast, The Shard, Cleopatra’s Needle, The Globe Theatre, The London Eye, Tate Modern, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.  Students left with a greater awareness of all the London landmarks and the amazing architectural diversity of the capital.  The trip finished off with a short shopping trip on the way home with the students arriving back to school ready and motivated for their studies and their future at Hope Academy.

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