In October, King’s High girls witnessed a great moment in the celebrations of the Centenary of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. They stood hushed, in the Winter Palace – bathed in red light, to mark the revolution – as the mantle-clock, which was stopped on the day of revolution, was officially re-started. “It was one of those tingle moments, that stay with you for ever, and bring history to life,” said Camilla Wellman, Head of History and Politics at King’s High, Warwick.
The Russia trip saw 32 girls arrive in Moscow with the first winter snow. They explored St Basil’s and the Kremlin, filed past Lenin’s embalmed body, rode the Moscow Metro, and marvelled at the brutalist architecture of Socialist Realism, before taking the overnight train to St Petersburg, where they saw Lenin’s coded instruction for the assassination of the Tsar and his family.
King’s High runs over 25 residential trips each year, with destinations ranging from China and Costa Rica, to India and the USA. Numbers range from 20–60 pupils, and many trips are run jointly with boys from Warwick School, King’s High’s brother school in the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation. In the course of a school year, King’s girls may be found riding horses and penning cattle in Arizona, donning crampons and climbing glaciers, consulting the Oracle in ancient Delphi, copying paintings in Venice and Florence, bicycling through Amsterdam, snowboarding in North America, doing drama workshops with the Broadway cast from Wicked, or teaching schoolchildren in India.
Alongside such adventures, girls say it is the opportunities for some deep thinking that remain with them, long after they have returned to school. Regular experiences include walking through trench systems at Passchendaele, visiting German and Commonwealth cemeteries, and laying wreaths at the Menin Gate; walking around Berlin, Munich and Nuremburg, tracing the Nazi rise to power, and hearing first-hand accounts from former Stasi prisoners.
While every school trip has an academic focus – whether it is art, classics, geography fieldwork or language homestays – it is the new experiences, new friendships and new opportunities pupils relish. There is also a vibrant programme of local trips – encompassing theatre, art, music, sciences, geography, history, maths, archaeology, politics – and it is a rare week that does not see girls heading out from King’s.
School trips are highly popular, but trips are not taken for granted at King’s High. Typically, most pupils will take around four trips in their school career, and girls and parents often negotiate between them, as to which will be their chosen ‘Big One.’
The jewel in the crown, for all King’s girls, is the Sixth Form trip to India. King’s High has a longstanding relationship with Dundlod School in Rajasthan. Girls raise funds for the Doorstep School for hearing-impaired children in Dundlod, through a series of events, including a themed dinner they organise for parents and staff. The two-week trip combines a week of sightseeing in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, and a week teaching in the school. Girls teach classes of up to 50 children, and love it. Each year, they say the same thing: “That was the highlight of my time at King’s.”
For more on King’s High, visit kingshighwarwick.co.uk