Drama and English Teacher and Head of Brooke House, Charlotte Wyndham:
During the half term break, 36 pupils and 5 teaching staff went on an incredible and unforgettable, creatives focused trip, to New York City. New York City is a hive of cultures, history and opportunities; it was a brilliant experience for our young people to explore this remarkable city, whilst having a wonderful time with their friends.
The trip began with a visit to the ‘Friends’ experience; an opportunity for pupils to explore the sets and to see some of the costumes and props worn and used by the iconic characters. Pupils and staff alike were also able to enjoy a coffee in the famous Central Perk. We then journeyed south and visited the International Center of Photography; pupils explored the state-of-the-art facilities which included black-and-white dark rooms and media labs.
Our trip also included visits to renowned cultural and historical institutions, including: The Metropolitan Museum on Art, The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and The Museum of Modern Art – all full of fascinating exhibitions and impressive displays of ancient and modern art. As well as the slightly more ‘traditional’ institutions, we also visited the Museum of Moving Image, which currently houses the Jim Henson exhibition, as well as a fantastic array of cameras and televisions, demonstrating how technology and the moving image has progressed. We even managed a quick visit to a Taylor Swift exhibit, which included some of her elaborate and opulent costumes and rhinestone guitar!
Pupils also had the opportunity to visit the poignant and moving World Trade Center memorial; offering time to pause and for reflection. Next up was a trip on the Staten Island ferry to get a closer view of the iconic Statue of Liberty.
No visit to New York City would be complete without a visit to Broadway. Midway through the trip we not only got to watch ‘Chicago’ but attended a question and answer session with one of the stars of the show. This experience left our pupils with a newfound appreciation for the performing arts. We also went to a cinema in Time Square to watch ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’, as well as visited the New York Live Arts Theatre to watch Gisèle Vienne's ‘L'Étang’.
A highlight of mine would have to be the visit to the Empire State Building – an opportunity to see New York City from the 86th floor. I also loved walking (and running!) through Central Park and its beautiful surroundings.
The trip of course was full of shopping and eating too, much to the pupils’ delight! Pupils and staff enjoyed browsing Macy’s, ambling around Time Square and the tourist shops, as well as trying many of the restaurants and foods New York City has to offer.
The pupils were a real credit to themselves and the school; it was a pleasure to visit this incredible place with such a brilliant group of young people.
Thanks must go to Ian Passam for organising such a fabulous trip and to Kabrie Adams, Richard Peters and Tim Ollivier for their support.
I am very much hoping to run this trip in October 2025, allowing more pupils a truly unforgettable experience!
U5 pupil, India Fox:
"The New York trip was one of the most interesting school trips I have been on. We visited many museums of which the one I most enjoyed was The Museum of Moving Image. I thought it was really interesting learning about the history behind how films used to be developed, video games (like Pacman) were produced and songs/sound effects were layered over famous action films, it also included a mini arcade which we had lots of fun on afterwards.
During the afternoon we were given some shopping time, which we majorly spent in the lit up times square before walking around the streets to find some delicious dinner. This was usually followed by the whole group coming back together to watch a show or film, each night included very different genres ranging from Halloween film to a contemporary dance. However my favourite part of the trip was the Q&A with an actor from the Broadway production of Chicago, which we later went to watch that evening. He offered so many different stories including his audition process and we discussed many topics within his background and careers which were so interesting to ask about as someone who is taking drama for GCSE. Overall this trip was very intriguing and a great few days of experience with school!"
U5 pupil, Sophie Millington:
"The creatives trip to New York that took place over October half-term was an incredible experience. In just under a week, we visited museums that ranged from the Met to an interactive spy experience, took in the view from the top of the Empire State Building, watched an amazing Broadway show and took part in a Q&A with one of the actors, walked through both Central Park and the High Line and of course, had time for food and shopping!
My favourite museum we visited was the Met – the building was stunning, and the collection was incredibly varied with ancient artefacts to some of the world’s most famous paintings such as Monet’s ‘The Water Lily Pond’. Another brilliant, and completely different, museum experience was Spyscape. This was an interactive museum that not only had exhibits about surveillance and spies across the years, but activities and games that told you what kind of spy you’d be which was such a fun experience for our last evening in New York! For me, the highlight of the trip was going to see the musical, Chicago, on Broadway. That morning, we had had a Q&A with one of the actors who has been in the show for 5 years and as someone who loves performing arts, it was so interesting to hear about what it’s like to audition for Broadway and perform eight shows a week! Overall, it was an amazing trip that I’d recommend to anyone in future years!"