Students at The Ripley Academy were given a trip to remember as part of an innovative initiative to boost their writing skills.
Staff took 17 year 11 students on the train to spend the day negotiating their way around London.
The trip was part of the academy’s ‘Experience Literacy’ project, which aims to give students memorable experiences that they can write about. Carey Ayres, the academy’s new principal, led the trip and said it was an extremely valuable and worthwhile exercise.
Mrs Ayres said: “We were finding that some of our students hadn’t really experienced trips or activities outside of Ripley that they wanted to write about so we thought we should do something about that. We wanted to show them that there is so much more to life and help them to explore that.
“As well as hopefully helping to improve their writing, it also taught them life skills. They had to plan the whole day and decide where they wanted to go and they had to negotiate the Tube, which was a great experience for them.
“They also really enjoyed the train journey because some of them hadn’t been on a train before.”
The students saw all the sights including Leicester Square, Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square.
Mrs Ayres said: “They were really amazed by the sights which they might have only seen in books or on television before. They also enjoyed the shops, M&M World was one of their favourites. We were the first people in the store and the staff gave us a round of applause, which was lovely.
“They were very excited on the train journey back home, which was great to see. The idea is that they will use descriptive language to write about their trip and another activity will involve them putting together a tour guide.”
Student Michaela Mayes, 15, said she thoroughly enjoyed the day.
She said: “I was really excited about going to London as I’d never been before but I was a bit worried about getting lost. It was definitely even better than I thought it was going to be, I loved seeing all the sights and visiting the shops. It was amazing.”