Last weekend, 17 Secondary students along with Miss Brazier and Mr Biddle took a flight to London for a 4 day cultural trip. During the trip, we explored many exciting and interesting sights. Students were not only able to see what some of the monumental landmarks of London look in real life, but also learnt how theatre can bring a play from the page to the stage, how London in times gone by shaped William Shakespeare’s plays and poems, how the Tower of London has stood the test of time and how art doesn’t have to be a drawing on a page. Everyone returned having experienced the best London has to offer, hopefully having learnt a great deal in the process.
Read what student Solenn Le Guyon from Year 11 thought of the experience:
London: capital of England; home of its Royal Family; the setting of thousands of novels, plays and movies from all ages, from all genres; a mix of the old and the new for all to witness. In 2016, the City welcomed 37.6 million tourists, and that figure is set to rise in 2017. Luckily for a group of BIS Abu Dhabi students and I, we were, a few days ago, part of them.
London is an amazing place. It was everything and more than what I’d hoped. Of course, a feature that I noted immediately was the greenery: even in the heart of the city, trees and plants grew everywhere! The air was crisp and cool, and it seems we had been accompanied by the sun. During our first day, we walked around the city; all the way to Westminster. On our way, we saw breathtaking buildings such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben (splendid, despite the ongoing renovation), and finally arrived at Buckingham palace. The intricate architecture and the sheer grandness of these monuments left a lasting impression on me. While Londoners walked by, following the steady path of their routine, we were gaping at what they see every day! It was certainly worth our aching feet and sore legs at the end of every day!
The Tube: what others call the metro, Londoners call the Underground. The teachers must have nearly gone insane while trying to gather us all up and rush us all onto the same carriage without leaving anyone on the platform. For some of us, it was an interesting first experience!
The next day, we started with a guided tour of London in Shakespeare’s point of view. It was very instructive and I learnt a lot: for example, most of the buildings Shakespeare knew in his life time were destroyed in 1666, during the Great Fire of London; St Paul’s Cathedral was much larger, for a much smaller city, and served as more of a market. I enjoyed the experience enormously. This was followed by Lunch on the steps near the Globe Theatre and the Thames, with the wind blowing the bits of warm sandwiches we threw at the pigeons away; then, the first play we were to see: Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The actors were spectacular; the music and the set helped complete everything! Watching the play in the emplacement where its writer’s work was originally performed only added to the magic: we stood near the stage as the eager audience of the Tudors’ time did! We also went to see ‘Matilda’, the Musical in the evening. It was also great, with catchy songs, enjoyable acting, and the hilarious realisation that Miss Trudgebull was a man!
The next day, our final day in London, we were taken to visit the Tower of London. A complex of stone fortresses, with people dressed in medieval attire guiding us in an interactive activity. We walked through the castles to see the torture chamber as well as the Crown Jewels that had rested upon several sovereigns’ heads. Next, a Tube trip to Covent Gardens, where we had delicious hotdogs before going out into the Jubilee Market to spend what was left of our allowance...and spend it, we did. After that, we went to watch the third and final play, the ‘Woman in Black’; with jump scares, sudden and mysterious apparitions and suspense to send chills down your spine, the entire play was very well acted out by two actors...and, hopefully, a third, as the ghost. Most of us left the theatre slightly spooked.
London was one of the best trips of my life: this stunning city, despite its crowds and rushing traffic, is unforgettable. Of course, some of us were rather confused when we drove on the left!
Written by Solenn Le Guyon, Year 11.