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Year 11 Sociology Trip to New York

Twenty Two Year 11 pupils and three teachers had a fantastic trip to New York from Thurs 14th March to Tues 19th March 2024

We met at school at 3am and made our way to Heathrow, where one teacher and student were very excitedly told to check in via first class but sadly the same seating was not meant to be! They reported back that the first class check in desks had lemony water available but that was the only perk. 

After a long flight, first long haul for many, we landed in New York and Declan got to briefly sit in the pilot’s seat and have a chat with the Captain. We met a very friendly customs dog who was trained to find agricultural products to protect the ecosystem of the US. He was very interested in one student’s bag where it turned out they had a cheeky BLT sandwich they had to hand over to said officer who also received some treats for his find. We then made our way into the city where we reached our accommodation and got our keys to rooms and explored our home for the next few days.

Our first few hours were spent having a walk of the local area, grabbing some water from the local Duane and going to dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. We were very pleased to see our beds after a long day travelling.

Fri morning saw us go for breakfast on 8th Avenue, take a video of us running outside the Plaza hotel in support of Mr Spooner back home and then head down to see the sights of 5th Avenue. We rode the escalators in the Trump Tower and walked down to Rockefeller Centre. We then headed to the Empire State building for our ride to the top to take in the incredible view. Declan watched a plane landing at JFK from his vantage point and the rest of us enjoyed the beautiful sunny day and views across the city.










From here we had lunch and then jumped on our first subway to head down to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. A little early for our slot, we investigated the nearby Occulus centre, nosed around the shops and looked at the animal sculptures that are there as part of a wildlife protection art instalment. After some context from Mr Horton, we headed into the 9/11 Museum and Memorial which was both informative and very moving. Everyone conducted themselves respectfully and asked some interesting and pertinent questions during and after and much was learnt about how the world has changed as a consequence with impacts still felt today.

Dinner meant back to Times Square to sample the delights of Bubba Gumps and a weary tribe headed back to the accommodation.

Saturday morning met us with glorious weather and blue skies to head down to Liberty Island and Ellis Island on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and the National Museum of Immigration. The museum was excellent with an audio tour to take around and some pupils did a little family research whilst there to trace roots back. We headed back into Manhattan in the afternoon and took a walk around Wall Street to see the famous Bull, the Fearless Girl statue and visited the graves of Alexander Hamilton and his family in the Trinity Churchyard as well as the Bell of Hope, given as a gift to NYC from London after 9/11. We returned to our accommodation briefly before heading back out to Little Italy for our pizza dinner at Café Palermo.

On Sunday morning we headed down the city to explore Washington Square Gardens, Greenwich Village and the famed StoneWall bar and discovered the Friends apartment building where we took a group shot with our hoody slogan in view.


Pupils then had some time on 5th Avenue to get some souvenirs whilst the teachers accidently found the piano from Big in Macy’s and spent a very energetic 20 mins trying to play some tunes. We then headed to the Lower East Side for our excellent food walking tour with the Big Onion Guide. A fascinating and enlightening walk around the diverse Lower East side neighbourhoods combined with eating samples of food from each area. We tried some interesting pickles, beef jerky, Chinese ice cream, canolis, cheese and meats.

Having walked nearly 13 miles we then headed back to our last stop – Central Park. We explored the Literary Mall, danced to some drummers, Bethesda Terrace, Alice in Wonderland statue, Bow Bridge, Strawberry Fields, took a whistle stop to the YMCA and back to Times Square for dinner at Bubba Gumps and then back to pack for Monday.

Monday morning we packed up and checked out of the YMCA and headed to the UN building for our tour to find out about the history, work and goals of the UN. We sat in the General Assembly room where a few of us had photos taken as the Commonwealth representative. It was an interesting and eye opening opportunity.

We then grabbed some lunch before heading back to the YMCA to await our coach to take us the to Mall for some last minute shopping and on to the airport. A weary bunch arrived back in Heathrow Tuesday morning and headed back to school to be reunited with their parents.