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Year 6 visit London

Year 6 enjoyed a once in a lifetime trip to London last week.

After an early start (we left school at 5am!) we finally arrived at Bletchley Park – the wartime home of Britain’s greatest minds, all tasked with cracking codes and defeating the German Enigma Machine. It was here that Alan Turing essentially invented the world’s first computer. On returning to school, the Year 6s will be diarising two days in the life of a codebreaker, firstly they will be conveying the frustration of not breaking the code in the 24 hours before it reset and all of the associated guilt (heavy stuff), and later they will be reflecting on the glorious day in which the code was finally broken!

From Bletchley, we made our way into the capital, accompanied by a guided tour of London thanks to Mr. Kelly (and the odd cameo from Mr. Johnson). We arrived at the bank of the Thames just in time to catch our boat, which took us from the London Eye all the way to the Tower of London (taking in a lot of sights along the way). The children enjoyed seeing the MI6 building and New Scotland Yard, but they enjoyed waving at bemused bridge users even more!

By the time we made it to the hotel, the children were ready for their evening meal. Following this they enjoyed a London Pub Quiz where they answered questions about what they had seen and learned that day. The children retained a remarkable amount of information (especially considering the fact that they had been awake for a long time at this point).

Wednesday began with breakfast at 7:30, before heading (packed lunches in hand – apart from Mr. Johnson, who left his in his room) to the British Museum. Here, the children saw some incredible pieces of history from across the world. They were fascinated by the Ancient Egyptian mummies (having learned all about them during lockdown last year) and the Polynesian statues. In truth, there was too much to list here – they were fascinated by everything. We could have spent the entire 3 days in the museum! In the coming weeks, the children will be putting themselves in the shoes of some of the tomb raiders that discovered some of the incredible artefacts we saw.

After the British Museum, we raced across London to the London Eye. We got on early (thanks to the wonderful staff there letting us use the fast pass lane) and enjoyed some marvellous views of London (my group were particularly interested in the Ministry of Defence building).

With time to spare after the London Eye, we marched across Westminster Bridge and arrived, unannounced at Westminster Abbey. We owe a huge thank you to the wonderful staff there who let us have a look around, despite not having a booking. They were incredibly accommodating and provided the children with incredible memories of the grave of the Unknown Soldier, the stained-glass window commemorating the RAF pilots of the Battle of Britain and the various resting places of some of the great and good from our history. This part of the trip gave us an incredibly poignant moment when one of our children lit a candle of remembrance and we all silently paid our respects in this marvellous building.

A walking tour of Parliament Square followed as the children enjoyed having their photos taken with (and learning about) some of the incredible historical figures that have statues in that area. This walking tour took us past Downing Street, the Cenotaph and, in a remarkable stroke of luck, a changing of the guards! We saw Trafalgar Square too, before heading for our evening meal at Bubba Gump’s near Leicester Square. Following our meal was a now infamous trip to the M&M shop (if you know, you know), before a mad dash through Leicester Square to the Cambridge Theatre, where we saw my personal highlight of the trip – Matilda The Musical. A fantastic show that has inspired many of our children ahead of our very own performance of the same show in the summer term.

The final day of the trip saw us walk down the road to have a look at Wembley. Sadly, we weren’t as lucky as we had been at Westminster Abbey and had to settle for a look around the outside of the home of football, still a very cool experience for the children.

Before heading home, we squeezed in our final trip of the trip – a look at the RAF Museum. This coincided with the 2 minutes silence for Remembrance Day which we observed in the shadow of a Sunderland Bomber. A memory none of us will soon forget.

The trip was a massive success, and gave everybody memories that will last a lifetime. The children were absolutely fantastic throughout, from 4:30am Tuesday until 6:30pm Thursday. The teachers couldn’t have asked for a better group to take on HRPS’ first trip to the capital. The trip itself has inspired the children and I am sure they will produce some fantastic work in the weeks to come.

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