During the Easter break over one hundred GCSE History students travelled to Berlin.
For Year 10 student Ashish this memorable four day trip to the German capital provided him with a great opportunity to expand his knowledge and understanding of the city’s history, participate in a range of activities and relax with friends.
“My time spent on the recent School History trip to Berlin with Year 10 and Year 11 was four days full of not only engaging, informative, and enjoyable activities, but also a time I could unwind with my friends and, most importantly, experience new ideas and expand on those that I learnt in class.
One of the main objectives of the trip was to get a firmer grasp of the history of Berlin, and Europe as a whole; namely during the two World Wars. As a result, many of the spots we visited were dedicated to those affected by the war, such as Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This experience of being surrounded by a place known for the death of thousands made an impact on us, with everyone’s cheery selves being replaced by a much more serious and respectful manner. The information inside strengthened our understanding of the events that took place there, and we came out as better-informed people. Other spots that we learnt a lot from included museums, The Reichstag Dome, and the Memorial to the Murdered Jew of Europe. The trip educated us on the past of Germany in these places and many others along the way, constantly bringing in facts and testing our knowledge every step of the day.
Of course, a trip can’t be a trip without relaxation, and we definitely were content with what we were given. Staying at the Schulz Hotel was a comfortable experience, with snug beds, ample room space, and a variety of options for breakfast and dinner. Along with a TV and a good-quality shower, our time at the Schulz Hotel was always something to look forward to after a day of walking and taking in information. However, we were also given plenty of free time during the day. For around 2 hours of a day out, we would be able to explore the malls of Berlin, have lunch, buy clothes and souvenirs, and slow down the pace of the day. I can clearly remember this time of day to have put smiles on everyone’s faces, and it refreshed our minds for the rest of the day ahead.
Finally, the last objective of the trip was to let students have a close look at present day Berlin, its culture, and what makes it famous. Throughout the day, we were introduced to new parts of Berlin that only someone who’s went there before could have experienced first-hand. From the food to the people, we slowly began to realise that maybe Germany wasn’t as similar to England as we thought it was. The signature Currywurst of Germany was something we were all eager to try out during free time. Some loved it, some hated it; but we all tried something out that we’d never before, which is always fun. Talking to residents of Berlin in the malls was an exciting opportunity to see how someone outside of our country thinks, and we gained a better understanding of the city from this. While it felt like we focused on the past during the trip, we visited many modern structures such as the TV Tower, one of the tallest structures in Europe, and when we used the Berlin Underground to get from location to location.
Overall, this trip met its objectives of expanding students’ knowledge of History, making us more familiar with the city of Berlin, and making the experience fun for us as well. With this perfect balance of gaining knowledge and enjoying ourselves, I’m thankful I chose to go, and we encourage future year groups to take the opportunity as well.”
Year 10 student, Ashish