GCSE Residential Trip to London 2019
Every year, the MPW GCSE cohort enjoy a residential trip to London, and this year was no exception. As well as a fantastic opportunity for students to get to know each other, the activities also bring to life many of the topics discussed in the classroom. We managed to cover all of the bases: Shakespeare and J.K Rowling provided the literary delights, Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ supplied the drama, and a visit to the Royal Observatory indulged our scientific curiosities – with plenty of opportunity to exercise our creativity along the way!
Our trip kicked off with a guided tour of the Warner Bros Studio, where the ‘Making of Harry Potter’ tour whisked us off into the magical world of wizardry! This was of particular interest to our Art students who were able to learn more about the intricacies of set-design. Students enjoyed stepping onto authentic sets, discovering the magic behind the special effects, and learning some interesting facts about the stories behind the films. The opportunity to take a walk through Hogwarts Great Hall, encounter animatronic creatures in the Diagon Alley, and wander down Platform 9¾, was greatly appreciated by all.
Having worked up appetites that would rival that of Ron Weasley, the logical next stop was Maxwell’s Restaurant, Covent Garden. Students feasted on tasty burgers followed by delicious ice cream, before heading to the beautiful St. Martin’s Theatre to watch ‘The Mousetrap’. The show, thoroughly enjoyed by all, was a terrific testament to the talent of Agatha Christie. A few students donned their detective hats and successfully guessed the identity of the murderer from the start; however, they kept their detective skills a secret – thoughtfully allowing the rest of the group to draw their own conclusions.
After a hearty breakfast the following morning, we set off to the Globe Theatre to take part in a live-action workshop. This exciting and interactive experience, perfectly tailored to complement the AQA English Literature requirements, gave students the chance to take a closer look at ‘Macbeth’, which is the chosen play at MPW. The Globe’s very own educational practitioner led the workshop and helped students to explore the historical, social, and cultural context of the play, along with supplying insight into the plot, language, and characters.
Finally, we headed towards the Thames for a cruise along the river. The tour guide was wonderful – offering informative commentary about the landmarks we saw along the way. His curious facts and snippets of information gave the students a fresh perspective on the famous sights of the capital.
The views along the river were all-in-all spectacular, offering us an eclectic mix of historic architecture and modern developments – the Cutty Sark being one of the most fascinating highlights of the cruise.
After an afternoon of sight-seeing along the river, we had time for one last activity. Our final stop took us to Greenwich, where we paid a visit to the magnificent Royal Observatory. Our Art & Design students made the most of the photographic opportunities, capturing some excellent images from the various exhibitions we encountered – which will no doubt serve as useful inspiration for those all-important final projects!
Overall, it was a wonderful and enriching trip for all involved, and something that we at MPW believe to be an invaluable social and cultural experience for our students.