The principal and the staff work together exceptionally successfully to improve the school and track how every student is getting on.

- Ofsted Inspection 2010

William Morris Sixth Form

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Social Sciences visit Berlin!

      
(Visiting the memorial for the Christmas Market lorry deaths)        
(Group photo from the hotel next to the Hauptbahnhof!)

Social Sciences trip to Berlin!

The social sciences trip to Berlin took place from 22nd February until 25th February. The aim of the trip was to understand some of Berlin's history especially the period during the Cold War when it was divided by the Wall and how the two systems of capitalism and communism clashed side by side in this city. 

We visited the Checkpoint Charlie Museum on the first day and had a tour given by a 'personal witness' to this reality: a journalist from the West who helped smuggle over 100 people out from the East until his best 'friend' in the East betrayed him and he spent almost nine years in prison in East Germany, two of which were in solitary confinement. In the evening we ate at the Hofbräuhaus - a mini Bavaria in the centre of Berlin under the Alexander Platz television tower. 

          
          (Visiting Checkpoint Charlie- an iconic historic site)        
(Enjoying dinner in the Hofbrauhaus)

 

The next day we moved to contemporary issues surrounding freedom, power, politics and conflict by having a session just for William Morris Sixth Form students at the International Civil Society Centre in the morning and then a talk at the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights in the afternoon. Both events were excellent and highlighted the situation today in which advocates for human rights are facing captivity and death for standing up to the activities of various TNCs and Governments around the world who are ignoring indigenous rights and/or environmental concerns.

In the evening we ate in a Turkish restaurant, which was an excellent bargain at €7 each!

 
(Visiting the International Civil Society Centre) 
(Enjoying dinner in a fabulous Turkish restaurant)
 

On the third day we visited the Sophie Charlotte School in Charlottenburg. Our students were made very welcome as they joined various classes. They found out that the pupils in Germany have many more lessons than we do, as well as being impressed by their excellent English! In the afternoon we spent some free time shopping for souvenirs as well as visiting the memorial site for the Christmas Market lorry deaths and the Gedächtniskirche, which was bombed in 1943 and the damaged spire now serves as a reminder of the atrocities of war. In the evening we ate some fantastic pizzas in a buzzy Italian restaurant. The students were later joined by many of the German pupils from the school.

        
(Our students enjoying integrating into a classroom at the Sophie Charlotte School.)

Next day we took a bike tour of Berlin. This proved to be quite a challenge! However, most students managed to cycle to and through the Brandenburg Gate, as well as past the Reichstag and around the centre of some of Berlin's main monuments. We had some very good guides who explained much of the history, including showing us more sections of the former Wall. 

                                       
(Brave students embarking on a cycle tour around Berlin- well done!)                                                                                                                                                               

We stayed in a hotel right next to the Hauptbahnhof, which gave us brilliant views over central Berlin and also meant we had a shopping centre right on our doorstep to meet any additional culinary needs: perfect!

All in all, a very successful trip combining history, politics and social and economic issues facing our contemporary society.

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