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Claremont High School Academy

A spectacular and memorable experience

Ms Affum reflects on the recent Year 9 and 10 trip to Berlin

A cold and dark Monday morning in November… 4.30am to be precise! Twenty-three excited students from years 9 and 10 met at Luton Airport to travel to Berlin in Germany. This was the first Modern Foreign Languages trip post-Covid, and the first to be shared between two year groups.

We were staying in a youth hostel in the leafy surroundings of Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, and had an opportunity to see many historical sights, as well as getting a feel for the city. On the first day we went on a guided tour of the House of The Wannsee Conference, where so many devastating decisions were made during World War Two. The students were very respectful, drawing on their knowledge of history to engage with the tour guide. We also saw a monument depicting empty shelves on the Opernplatz, to remember the books burnt during the Nazi regime and their censorship of the arts in general.

The following day we explored modern Berlin, visiting a Turkish market, the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. We walked inside the glass dome of the Reichstag and enjoyed the views of the city by day, seeing them again later at night from the top of the TV Tower. Justin Chen in Year 10 was impressed: ‘The view was phenomenal! I loved seeing the whole of the city from above. It is huge!’

The final day was dedicated to the Berlin Wall and the division of Berlin as a city. We walked through a park where the wall used to be, admiring the murals at the East Side Gallery and learnt a lot about the fight for freedom at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Tired but happy, we then began our journey home, recalling all the many things we’d seen and done.

‘We did a lot of amazing activities in Berlin,’ says Year 10 student Himani Mepani. ‘It was a spectacular and memorable experience.’ Muhammad Ahmed, also in Year 10, agrees: ‘Germany was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Not only did I see landmarks, I also made new friends.’ Justin thought other students would enjoy the trip too: ‘I’d definitely recommend it to my friends, so they can visit all the historical sights as well.’ Lucky Chauhan in Year 9 is already considering a return trip: ‘If I had the chance, I would definitely go back!