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29 students left bright and early at 3.30am to board a coach during the end of term 1 holiday, to begin their adventures on the cross-curriculm trip to New York.

Hannah North, Danielle Jackson, Chloe Palmer & Charlotte Leesom  in Sixth Form report:

"After arrival at Heathrow Airport and an easy check-in, smooth security checks, and of course duty-free shopping, we boarded the plane ready for our approximately 7 hour flight. We were all very impressed with the in-flight entertainment and food- which included pizza and ice cream!

We landed in New York at 1.00pm local time and were all buzzing with excitement to begin our 'NYC' experience! We were greeted at JFK airport by our lovely tour guide Lynn, who gave us a fascinating talk on the boroughs of New York and the history of some buildings, as we entered Manhattan. On arrival at our YMCA we unfortunately realised it was not up to standard, and we were extremely fortunate in being moved to the extravagant Roosevelt Hotel on Madison Avenue. We all felt very lucky being upgraded to our luxurious suites with king-sized beds and ensuite bathrooms! After a long day of travelling and switching hotels we were all exhausted, and as soon as we received our room-keys we went straight to bed.

The next morning we were awake and ready to go exploring in 'NYC'. First on the itinerary was an open-top bus tour of Uptown Manhattan, we were so excited to see Times Square for the first of many times, to see boroughs such as Harlem, and we also saw where some celebrities were living. After a quick lunch in the peaceful Central Park, we made our way to the American Museum of Natural History; it was really exciting to see artefacts that were featured in the film “Night at the Museum”. While walking back through Central Park to return to our hotel, we paid a visit to the John Lennon tribute “Strawberry Fields” just opposite to where he was shot. In the evening we went to Planet Hollywood restaurant, which was very cool as it had memorabilia from big Hollywood films such as Titanic- not to mention the food was great. After our meal we quickly stopped in Times Square for our first night viewing, the bright lights and exhilarating atmosphere were very surreal and we all felt very lucky to be there. Feeling both full and again tired from our jam-packed day and buzzing from the New York excitement, we returned to the hotel to sleep! 

The next day we had a real 'American breakfast' in the Morning Star Café, a mixture of pancakes, eggs, bacon, maple syrup and waffles. After breakfast we rode the subway down to the dock at which we caught a ferry to the Statue of Liberty. We were so shocked by the magnificent size of 'Lady Liberty', and walked around the base to take lots of 'selfies' - one of the highlights was Mrs Hyde trying to work her selfie stick! After a group selfie and a  quick visit to the gift shop we hopped back on the boat and went to Ellis Island, the gateway for many immigrants into America. On return to the dock we were again met by our guide for a walking tour of Downtown Manhattan, she walked us down Wall Street and the financial district. Later we walked to the 9/11 Memorial, with each victim’s name engraved into it, this was extremely thought provoking and touching, we also saw the new World Trade Center, also known as the ‘Freedom Tower’. After this we caught the subway to Little Italy where we ate a lovely Italian meal. The subway ride home was one of the highlights of the trip; we had such a blast and laughed the whole way back to the hotel.

The following day we walked across the island to the docks where we went on a ‘skyline cruise’, we saw the breathtaking New York skyline, including sights such as the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, while aboard the cruise we also had a classic American hot dog for lunch- it was delicious!

Next on our adventure was a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the world’s largest department store- Macy’s Herald Square! It was intriguing to hear about the history of the store, they gave us 10% off coupons which we were very happy to take advantage of! After our shopping spree we walked to the Empire State Building and prepared to see New York from the 87th floor. We were lucky enough to get the timing perfect as it was sunset over the skyline- it was truly a beautiful sight. Feeling fortunate for our amazing experience so far we made our way to the Hard Rock Café, where we had a great meal surrounded by memorabilia such as the Beatles’ suits.

In the morning we had our last American breakfast at the Morning Star Café, and went back to the hotel to pack our suitcases before going shopping. We walked to Times Square for the last time, where we splashed out in all the large shops, before meeting on the famous red steps to eat pizza. We returned to the hotel, to try and squeeze our shopping into our packed suitcases- we just managed to fit it all in and stay below the weight limit, although there was some suitcase sharing! After our goodbyes, we boarded the coach to JFK, and had our last glimpse of the gorgeous New York skyline at sunset while leaving Manhattan. We were all really tired and although we were sad to leave New York, we were excited to see our families and friends.

We had such a surreal, and magical adventure in New York, thank you to Mrs Hyde, Mrs Hiron-Grimes and Mr Titchner for organising the trip and for being great company!

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