From Wednesday to Friday last week Miss Timms and Mr Whaley took some sixth form students to London to enrich their studies.

On Wednesday the students spent some time in Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex and assessing the impact its development has had on the local town centre of Grays.

After dinner, they got to see the Proctor and Gamble factory standing alongside the church used in the film Four Weddings and Funeral (although the students didn’t know the movie it made Mr Whaley and Miss Timms feel old).

A late-night visit to Brick Lane in the East end allowed the artists/photographers to appreciate the street art as well as enjoy a hot salt beef beigel!

On Thursday the Geographers spent the day completing a transect of the Isle of Dogs; studying the impact of the development of the London Docklands and the Canary Wharf development.

The artist/photographers travelled into central London with Miss Timms to visit the Wellcome collection currently exhibiting two shows one called the importance of play an exhibition that encourages its viewer to consider ‘Why do we play? How important is it for all of us, young or old? What does it mean to play well? We invite you to consider the impact of play in our lives’. The second Show was entitled Misbehaving Bodies: Jo Spence and Oreet explore the representation of chronic illness and reclaim the idea of ‘misbehaving bodies’. In contrast to the more contemporary style questions being asked in the Wellcome collection, the afternoon gave us a visit to the national portrait gallery comparing and contrasting the inherent skill and beauty in a well-executed oil painting with the fast pace of capturing a portrait with the click of a camera shutter.

A whistle-stop tour next door to the national gallery to marvel at the skill of Hans Holbein and the surprise of a skull to found in the foreground of his famous Ambassadors painting.

The afternoon finished with a walk through Trafalgar, square to capture the iconic monuments and fountains. Before heading back on the tube to meet with Mr Whaley and the geographers, an excellent day with invaluable experiences to present in our sketchbooks when we get home.

In the evening the pupils not only enjoyed an all you can eat Chinese buffet, they also got to see the London Gateway port development, a massive container port on Thames Estuary.

The final day was spent at Stratford exploring the magnificent Olympic Park and Westfield shopping centre. A transect of the park and the facilities not only allowed for an appreciation of the sculptors and great photographic opportunity but allowed the geographers to decide if the “sports-led regeneration” of this part of London has been successful.

An exhausting trip but well worth it! Both Mr Whaley and Miss Timms agreed that the students were brilliantly behaved, a pleasure to be around and really appreciated the opportunities presented to them.