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History in Harlem!

During the February half term break, the St John’s history and politics departments took 30 Sixth Form pupils to the United States. Through their history and politics A level courses, these pupils are exploring different aspects of the political system and the economic and social changes which took place in the USA during the 20th century and this fascinating trip was planned to give insights into many of the topics they are studying.

Pupils and staff arrived in a cold New York, with a packed itinerary ahead! The first adventure of the trip was a walking tour of Harlem with a highly knowledgeable and well-connected guide, who took chance opportunities to introduce the pupils to a local politician and a pioneering hip-hop musician. The first day also saw pupils visit the top of the stunning Empire State Building. During the rest of the stay in New York, the pupils had the opportunity to visit the city landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the 9/11 memorial and Central Park.

A coach transfer to Washington DC followed, with a brief stop in Philadelphia to view historical sites such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Unfortunately, a snowstorm in Washington meant tours of the Capitol building, the Supreme Court and the national museums were cancelled. However, the pupils made the most of the day and were able to see the White House and explore a nearly deserted National Mall.

The final morning saw a guided tour of the National Mall, with pupils visiting stunning landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King memorial. Despite the weather, it was a fantastic trip with the pupils enjoying visiting the historical and political sites that are so relevant to their A level studies.