GCSE History students visit Berlin

A group of keen History students from Ruislip High visited Berlin from Saturday 15th February to Tuesday 18th February. 

The 60 students from Years 10 and 11 visited several sites linked to their GCSE studies. Key sites included the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the Holocaust Memorial and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.

Students were accompanied by Ms Woodall, Mr Maud, Ms Horton, Mr Amos, Mr Karimi and Ms Harkin-Bullen.

Trip leader Ms Woodall said, As the capital of Germany, Berlin is a modern, vibrant city with a complex past. The people of Berlin experienced great turmoil in the 20th century, including the rise and fall of Nazism and the Cold War that emerged after 1945. I believe all of our students have gained a much broader and deeper understanding of Germany’s history by visiting the actual sites where significant events of the past took place. The unexpected emotions and feelings that this experience evoked have provided a new awareness and meaning behind the printed words in the class textbook. It is a trip that both the staff and students greatly enjoyed and one that we will never forget.” 

Luke in Year 10 said, “My favourite site was the Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion). It was intriguing to find out how it went from an Olympic Stadium to a battle ground to a football stadium. We had a big debate with Ms Horton about whether it should be used now for football!

“At the Sachsenhausen concentration camp it was unbelievable to learn more about the treatment some people experienced. The Holocaust Memorial was also interesting and emotional to explore. The trip led to a lot of historical debate and deeper understanding.”

Alfie in Year 10 said, “My favourite part was when we went to the Reichstag seeing the mix of old and new parts. We also went to the glass dome on top which was an incredible piece of modern architecture. We had a great view of the city from there! All the history was very interesting too, and the trip was very beneficial for my GCSE.”

Head of History Mr Maud said, “It was wonderful to engage in so many historical conversations – our Ruislip High students love a debate! The students showed great interest in all the sites we visited and also real empathy with the lives of people in the past.”