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On Friday 29th January, Year 6 pupils from Sicklinghall and Goldsborough embarked upon an epic school trip... to London and back in a day! Sleepy faces arrived at Goldsborough at 7:15am, laden with packed lunches, packed teas, drinks and possibly a Haribo or two. Our journey was smooth and delay free but long and arduous- helped along (?) by renditions of several chart topping pop songs from the back rows. On arrival in London, our first task was to find a spot to eat lunch. We settled upon the Cloisters at Westminster Abbey; not often we can say we've eaten our lunch there!
We then began our Tudor Trail in Westminster Abbey, the largest church building in the country and venue for, perhaps, some of the most historically significant events in British history. We spent nearly ten minutes looking at and taking in the enormity of the Coronation Chair. It was difficult to get our heads around the fact that we were looking at a piece of furniture that King Henry VIII had once sat upon. On continuing our tour, we stumbled upon the tombs of Sir Isaac Newton, Mary Queen of Scots, Henry VII, Herny VIII's wife, Ann of Cleves, Queen Mary I and Queen Elizabeth I. We also took the oportunity to walk along the very same aisle that Princess Kate walked when she married Prince William in front of millions of onlookers.
Following our tour of the Abbey, we headed outside to begin our walking tour, first stop; Downing Street. The police officers spent 15 minutes talking to us about their roles and responsibilities and fielded some superb questions- pupils were staggered to learn that the police officer that we were speaking to meets and talks to David Cameron most days! We then moved on to Horseguards Parade and took the oportunity to have our photo taken with one of the guards. Soon, we found ourselves walking along the 'red carpet' of the Mall towards Buckingham Palace. So many brilliant questions were asked during our visit, some of which the teachers could answer but some of which need to be researched!
After a long and quick paced walking tour, we arrived at the Palace of Westminster for our tour. Following security checks (one of our teachers 'beeped' so it took a little longer than we anticipated) We entered Westminster Hall. To our surprise, Nigel Adams MP had waited in London to meet up with us and give us some background to the building that we were in and his role within it. Thank you Mr Adams. We were awestruck by the opulence of the House of Lords (and very tempted to sit down as our legs hurt but, unfortunately, we had not earned our seat as Lords and Baroness', so we were not allowed) and by the fact that we were standing in a building that had passed so many of the laws that we abide by today.
Following our tour, we headed out into the bustling London evening and headed towards the buses- just one more photo opportunity as our bus was waiting opposite the London Eye. After a long journey home, broken up by a warming hot chocolate at Peterborough Services, we arrived home, tired but full of the learning and sights of our great day out. How do we follow up this visit? Through developing our own democracy in school via the School Council, by researching Tudor monarchs to answer our questions and by taking a little time, in class and out, to reflect on the array of British history and culture that we experienced in just one day.