Arts & culture

Fairy Tale of New York

Some of our Year 7 and 8 pupils took an extraordinary and enriching trip to The Big Apple in March to experience first-hand its rich art, architecture and culture. The five day whistle-stop tour took in art, cuisine, dance, theatre and music, creating memories that will last a life time.

Teacher, Mrs Sally Trim shares her memories of their fairy tale trip:

The children were buzzing before they even landed in the US when they spotted the impressive New York skyline emerge on the horizon from the plane. And the buzz didn’t stop.

On the first day our pupils enjoyed a myriad of cultural experiences. Prior Park Prep alumnus, Geoff, organised a theatre workshop for us with a professional dance director. He had the children performing a piece from Matilda in just one hour! That afternoon the pupils enjoyed an awesome tour of graffiti art by contributors from around the world. In the evening, the children were captivated by the acrobats and actors flying above their heads in a jaw dropping performance of Cirque du SoleiL Paramour, their day drew to a close against the backdrop of the lights in Time Square.

After a night’s rest the adventure continued with an exploration of the city’s architecture. Starting at the hustle and bustle of the Chelsea Market, we were taken, by our friend and former pupil, Geoff, along the High Line, the disused railway link that has been transformed to a city walk where streets and buildings can be seen from on high.

Moving swiftly on, the children experienced the iconic architecture of Grand Central station (reminded them of the Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts) before absorbing more art at the iconic Guggenheim Museum. After the gallery, the children frolicked in central park playing on a sculpture of Alice in Wonderland before meandering by Apple HQ and Trump Tower and watching the sunset from the top of the Rockefeller building.

The pace and wonder was maintained on the third day when the children enjoyed the unique experience of breakfast at Ellen Stardust, an American Diner with a difference. Here the waiting staff sing to perfect their craft whilst waiting for their big break on Broadway. The children not only enjoyed the performance, but had the chance to give a very special singing send off for Lydia, one of our pupils that will be leaving the school.

Riding the subway to Ground Zero they were moved by this significant event in the city’s recent history. They took time to read the names of those lost, to contemplate and to pray.

Taking the ferry over to Ellis Island, we had the chance to learn about how the rich tapestry of cultures had been born out of the diversity of those immigrating to the city, whilst taking in the great magnitude and glory of the Statue of Liberty.

In the evening the children showcased their talents, performing at Our Lady’s Queen of Martyr Church in Forest Hills. Singing and playing before a congregation of over 200, our pupils were great ambassadors for our school. On the subway home the children even provided impromptu entertainment for the commuters with another rendition of their singing. It was much appreciated. The day closed with a prize giving at the renowned Bubba Gump restaurant.

There was no slowing down on the final day. We toured the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and the children were absorbed in the greats like Van Gogh, Matisse and Andy Warhol.  Our whirlwind tour drew to a close with more local treats - the essential Dunkin Donuts!

It was an extraordinary trip; a feast in every sense of the word, a completely enriching experience, and one that would be indelibly marked in our memories for a long time to come.

Mrs Trim
Portrait Image Graffiti