Between the 3rd to 5th March, a group of Senior High history students visited Berlin to enrich their IGCSE and IB history studies which have a significant focus on life in Nazi Germany and political tension during the Cold War.
We arrived in Berlin at lunchtime on the 3rd and in the afternoon spiraled up the dome of the Reichstag to gain an outstanding view of the city and the parliamentary chamber. We then visited key sites including the Holocaust Memorial, the site of Hitler’s bunker, and the Topography of Terror museum. We finished the day with a group salute at Checkpoint Charlie and an evening meal in the spectacular Sony Centre in Potsdamer Platz.
On the Friday we had a guided tour around the 1936 Olympic Stadium in the morning sunshine, ascended the heights of the TV Tower and carried out an art project, led by Miss Macleod, alongside the East Side Gallery where the wall still stands. One of the highlights for students was the visit in the afternoon to the GDR museum which gave them a ‘hands on’ experience of what life was like in East Germany. Students particularly enjoyed driving the Trabant Car simulator and spying on each other in the ‘bugged’ GDR living room.
During the trip, I was deeply impressed how students showed quick transitions between the excitement of activities such as going up the TV tower and then showing respect and sensitivity at sites like the Bernauer Strasse Wall memorial where we were guided through stories of some of the escapes and failed escapes of the Berlin Wall. Despite having tired feet from the distance we covered around the city, all students were outstanding representatives for the school and all came back with a deeper and more personal understanding of the topics covered during their studies. My sincere thanks goes to Mr Celosse and Miss Macleod for accompanying and supporting the trip.