Snowscapes, Cityscapes and Glacial Landscapes on Easter Trips

The Easter holiday saw several exciting school trips for senior school students, taking in the slopes of the Alps, the culture of Paris, and the awe-inspiring landscape of Iceland.

A large group of students from Years 8-10 went to Alpe d’Huez, France at the start of the break for a week skiing. The group was blessed with perfect weather, waking up to plenty of sun and fresh powder most mornings. The contingent included a large number of beginners who were all confidently skiing full runs by the end of the week, while more experienced skiers were able to complete the Sarenne black run which at 16km is the longest in Europe. The exhilaration of the skiing was topped off with plenty of après ski activity including a luge run, karaoke, indoor climbing and table tennis and lots of hot chocolate.

Iceland, the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ was the destination for a Geography expedition for 45 students from Years 8-13. Millennia of volcanic, glacial and seismic activity has resulted in a country with a unique landscape of spectacular glaciers, mountains, wild gorges, black beaches, waterfalls, tunnels of lava and a raft of geothermal features, all wrapped up in centuries-old Norse culture.

The feedback below gives a snapshot of how much the group enjoyed the expedition; a full report of the trip can be seen here (Iceland 2024), :

Iceland is such a beautiful location and one I probably never would have visited if I hadn’t gone on the trip. While we were there we saw some of the best natural sites the country has to offer and we were fully immersed in the culture.
Alice, Y9

One look from the plane’s window and you could see the beauty of Iceland. The contrast between the glaciers and the martian-like soil trickling with lava flows already surpassed the high expectations of the trip.
Daniel, Y13

There were many highlights of the trip for me including the first night when we went to the Sky Lagoon. It was amazing to swim in a lagoon heated by geothermal heat and the view from the edge made it even better. Furthermore, the competition some of us had of who could stay in the freezing plunge pool the longest was great fun, especially when the teachers realised they had all been beaten by the students.
James, Y12

Teacher of Geography Flo McAuliffe said, “It was a pleasure to take the students to this amazing country to experience some of the breathtaking sights and learn about its dramatic physical geography. Seeing first-hand the extraordinary natural features, from a tunnel of molten lava and a rainbow waterfall to volcanic beaches and glaciers, brings the subject to life in the most powerful way. The whole experience was incredible, and every one of the students displayed wonderful attitude and behaviour throughout.”

French A level students, meanwhile, enjoyed a busy three days in Paris in a whirlwind cultural visit, the first that the department has been able to run to the city for four years, and it did not disappoint. The trip packed in a huge amount of activity, with an itinerary that included seeing Impressionist masterpieces at the Musée d’Orsay and seminal modernist works by Picasso and Matisse at the Pompidou Centre, a backstage tour of the lavish Opéra Garnier and a visit to Montmartre and Sacré Coeur. A special dinner was enjoyed at the singular Chartier restaurant where students sampled delights including cow’s tongue, snails and traditional boeuf bourguinon. A trip to the Grand Rex cinema and some Grands Boulevards shopping allowed plenty of exploration, while a leisurely bateaux mouche trip along the Seine gave the group a most serene view of the city.

Isis, Y12 said, “I most enjoyed going to the French Chartier restaurant; it was very traditional and the food was amazing with some great classics.  I would recommend going to the Galeries Lafayette which is the French equivalent of Selfridges and going to the viewing platform at the top to see the see an amazing view of Paris and the Eiffel tower.”

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