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Posted on: 03/03/2017

English students step into the pages of their A-Level texts on New York Literature trip


During half term, the English department took forty Sixth Form students to New York for an unforgettable week. It was incredible to be in the city and to see some of the places featured in the texts we study at A-level, as well as in films, TV programmes and books that we’ve seen or read for leisure. We also got a tour around New York Public Library, an institution which owns more than 51 million items as well as being home to the original Winnie the Pooh creatures owned by A.A. Milne.

Of course, the trip was not only about English – there was plenty of sightseeing and shopping to be done. We made the most of the short time we had, and each day was full-on. My personal highlights were visiting the Statue of Liberty and shopping around Times Square. A fellow student, Yumnah Awan, said that her favourite part was seeing the city, at night, from the top of the Empire State building. Other visits included the top of the Rockefeller Centre, shopping at Macy’s department store and seeing the Broadway show, Paramour. We also got to try a number of well-known restaurants, including the Hard Rock Café and Bubba Gump Shrimp, both in Times Square, and Wendy’s fast food.

The week was, thankfully, much warmer than expected, with many of us walking around in t-shirts, which was particularly surreal, given that there was still snow on the ground from storms the previous week. The warm weather and   sunshine made for some beautiful photo opportunities, some of which can be seen on the English department’s Twitter and Instagram pages.

(By Samantha Wrapson)




A seven and a half hour flight and one coach ride later, we caught our first glimpse of New York City and it was every bit the concrete jungle it’s rumored to be.

Although we partook in typical tourist activities - visiting Liberty Island, the Empire State Building and discovering my first croughnut – we couldn’t forget that it was, of course, an English trip and many of the places we visited were the settings of our A Level texts.   

Walking up Wall Street undoubtedly reminded us of the Great Gatsby and Broadway of Catcher in the Rye, but the emphasis placed on ‘what it is to be American’ and immigration illustrated the American Dream, a literary theme we’d all become familiar with. Although our failed attempts of trying to navigate the subway was unforgettable, some would say our visit to The Met and first time experience in watching a Broadway show, gave us a look at American art and culture and were two of the most popular excursions.

Others enjoyed the historical insight into the life of immigrants offered to us in the Tenement Museum, seeing it as both engaging and emotional.

Overall, while it is difficult to claim which activity was the favourite beyond question, we can definitely say that our time in New York was memorable; everything was thoroughly enjoyed and we all returned with something new – most noticeably stamina, walking around Central Park will do that to you.

(By Antonia Isernia)