During Half Term, thirty Classics pupils were lucky enough to visit various archaeological sites throughout Greece, accompanied by our teachers. Although there was an early start on Sunday morning, we were excited to visit Thorikos and Sounion after landing, exploring the Temple of Poseidon and an ancient theatre in remarkably good condition, where we received a detailed description of the area’s history from Mrs James. We enjoyed walking around the sites in the warm weather, and had the first glimpse of the Acropolis from the hotel after a relaxing supper.
The next day was spent walking through Athens, seeing the agora and climbing Pnyx Hill. It was a special experience to walk around Delphi, where the remains of many treasuries, temples, and the running track could be seen. The view down the Pleistos River Valley was one that will not be forgotten any time soon.
The following day offered a lot of activities, with the original Olympic Village, the temple where one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World once stood, and finally enjoying a walk along the beach in Tolo.
Next on the itinerary was the ancient sanctuary and theatre of Epidavros, and a viewing of the only surviving piece of Mycenaean sculpture, the Lion Gate.
Finally, we returned to Athens, climbing up to the Acropolis and learning about the Parthenon, surrounded by other visitors who also stopped to listen to Mrs James. It was a fascinating trip. We promised ourselves that we would visit again. by Bridget (D)
Fifteen pupils renewed our annual Kenya trip, with an emphasis on education and conservation. We mainly partnered with the Marafiki Trust in Nairobi, Kiteghe Primary School, the charity African Promise in Kasigau, and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Nanyuki. A lot of wildlife was seen, work accomplished on our garden project, and partnerships rekindled.
The first item on the itinerary for Art pupils on the trip to Amsterdam was the Lovers canal cruise (not for lovers, it’s a family name). With beautiful views of the city in the sunshine, we passed the 17th century canal homes, both Anne Frank and Rembrandt’s house, as well as the huge opera house and the Western Church.
For our first lunch we went to a traditional Dutch restaurant where we tried bitterballen for the first time, which I would describe as the Dutch equivalent of Tapas. They were very good!
We then met at the Rijksmuseum, home to a vast collection of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. Of course, we went to see The Night Watch, Rembrandt’s most famous work, painted in 1642.
The next morning we went to the Kröller-Müller museum, an incredible sculpture park and museum set in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. We split off into small groups to wander around the park, and my group did what we called “interpretive sculpture”, where we took a series of pictures of us copying the shapes of the sculptures, including works by Barbra Hepworth and Rodin. The museum has the second largest collection of work by Van Gogh, and includes multiple sketches of The Potato Eaters, an artwork we are studying. We also had a tour of the Kröller-Müllers house, with amazing tiled interiors and views over the lake.
We spent the evening in Rembrandtplein, the centre of the city, where we split off for supper. We went to an Australian burger place where they offered us kangaroo. The next day we looked at more contemporary artworks in the Stedelijk museum, many by Picasso and Matisse, up to the modern day.
Next door was the Van Gogh Museum, where we saw many works that we are studying, including the finished version of The Potato Eaters. On the final day we went to Rembrandt’s house which we had seen in the canal tour.
At the end we had a few hours free time to explore more of the city. We went to the famous flea markets where we all expanded our wardrobes, and made a pilgrimage to Tony’s Chocolonley factory for a bar of chocolate. We travelled back home in style, wearing “I heart Amsterdam” t-shirts. by Isla (D)