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YEAR 12 VISIT TO WATCH THE KINGS SPEECH The Year 12 visit to watch The Kings Speech at Ilford Cineworld was one of the best trips that I had ever been on with the school, mainly due to the fact that it was the cheapest trip that the school had ever offered. This trip was funded by Mr Curcio as part of the new enrichment program that has now begun for the Year 12’s as this program will enable us to show a more social and interesting side to our personalities, which would come in handy when writing up our UCAS forms. The trip was organised and put together in quiet a short time with the aid of Ms Johnson who helped us organise and sort out the administrative aspects of the trip such as the writing and typing up of the letters and the consent from those higher up in the school due to the care that she has for us and also because she wanted to watch the film. The trip begun without a hitch as we all live close to Cineworld, the times that we had to get there and settle down was not an issue, as soon as we arrived there, Ms Johnson was at the door prepared to give us our tickets so that we could all go off individually or with our friends which was a good thing as it no longer felt like a school trip but a regular outing with friends. We had to buy our own popcorn and drinks which was understandable, however, the only bad thing about this was the portions that we got the food in as I personally think they were not big. However, the trip as a whole was successful and the Film was good also as it not only gave us a low cost outing with our friends but it also became a learning trip as we all got an insight into the early years of our present queen when her father was king and how he dealt and overcame his communication barrier to rule England through the war times. This film has taught me that no matter what may come in our way we can always triumph over it and do the unthinkable. Ruth Oteh – 12.X

HEAPS Trip to Oxford University As one of the University trips that Heaps has planned for some students at Loxford, we had the great opportunity of visiting the most prestigious Oxford University. On Friday the 4th of February, seven Loxford students were forced out of their beds at 5am in the morning in order to reach Barking Station on time. After our journey to Victoria Station, we were easily able to access the Heaps Coach that was waiting for in Bressenden Place. Finally, after two hours of exhilaration and excitement in the coach, it halted next to one of the colleges at Oxford University, St Hughs College. As soon as we walked in through the doors, we all immediately approached the refreshments table, as many of us had no time for breakfast at 5am in the morning! At around 10:30, we began the sessions with a few quizzes and games to wake us all up for the rest of the challenging day that we awaited. After succeeding in the first task, group 3 received an appetizing Kit Kat each! Next, we participated in an activity sharing our own pros and cons of going to university with other members of our group. This was also beneficial as it enabled us to refresh our memories of all the open opportunities that studying at a University would bring. Next, as an obvious con to many of the prospective undergraduates, we were given the opportunity to discuss our own views of the new Government scheme. Following this, was a session on issues on finance and we were introduced to the myths that have been circulated about the new plans. If any of you are concerned, I would advise you to go onto the following link; it gives you the real facts on the tuition fee rises. Despite the fabulous starting session to the day trip, after lunch we were able to meet and shadow a current Oxford undergraduate student. Of course, this is probably what most of us were anticipating for weeks! Myself and another student was given a second year undergraduate to shadow, who escorted us around the town of Oxford. Very surprisingly, it took us around an hour and a half to swim through lecture halls, libraries and colleges. Unfortunately, the fact that I had to look like an undergraduate failed to work, as I did not have an Oxford card. However, a few metres away was the Christ Church, which was where part of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. (The end of the Philosopher’s Stone where Harry manages to seize the stone from Professor Quirell, and the ballroom dancing in the Goblet of Fire). Furthermore, as we were on our way to the Social Sciences library, we came across a history library, which was relatively smaller than the magnificence law library that we later visited. Both the Social Sciences and Law libraries were one of the largest libraries (3 floors) in the whole of Oxford. Altogether, Oxford contained every single book published in the UK! Finally, just as we were on our way back to St. Hugh’s college, the undergraduate showed us around St. Catherine’s College. It is currently the most modern college, built in the 1960’s. To end the thrilling experience, some other students were able to remove the myths of Oxford students; wealthy, arrogant, and workaholics! Of course, we learnt that all three of these lies are in reality, not true! Although we only stayed at Oxford for a few hours, I learnt so much in such a short amount of time. It was my first visit to any university and I felt privileged that it was Oxford, the most prestigious University! Meha Sachania – 12.Y

On the 19th of November 2010, we visited the House of Commons with Mr. Coffey on a Critical Thinking trip. Despite early travel troubles, the day was a stimulating insight into what makes our country tick. We arrived at the House of Commons in good time and faced thorough security checks. All our electronic items were taken away and so were our bags. At first we were quite intimidated by the fact that there were many police men with guns, highlighting that we were at such an important place in the country. After passing through the security gates, we found ourselves amidst a modern courtyard in which we were given an introduction by the tour guides and split into two groups in order to be led into the Houses. Next, we were taken through a tunnel, linking the courtyard with the Houses. As we passed through the tunnel there was an apparent change in scenery and the environment began to look more gothic. We were taken into the viewing gallery for the House of Lords. The view was breathtaking as the seats were so high enabling us to have a stadium-like view into the House of Lords. While in there, a debate was taking place but the House was particularly empty and the topic was not too important. The tour guides then brought us into the central lobby, a grand staple of Gothic English Architecture. The ceilings were beautifully adorned with intricate paintings and each wall seemed to be alive with pieces of stone work. Following our tour of the Houses we were taken to a room, where we were given an insight into how our government actually works and what steps we should take in order for our voices to be heard, including a meeting with our local MP, Mike Gapes. The day proved to be very successful and gave us more reason into believing that our voices maybe heard. Well, we can hope... Daniel Toby – 12.Y and Mariam Nabi – 12.Y

Oxford University Day Trip! The Oxford University trip was an exhilarating opportunity, particularly quizzing undergraduates about all of the amazing aspects of university life, but also the very ugly! Primarily, the HEAPs team had a few activities to warm us up, before diving into the introduction to Higher Education and Finance. It was particularly fascinating to hear a variety of views regarding the recent rise in Tuition Fees, and knowing that not everybody is as depressed regarding the change in the government system! Understanding the myths and realities of the new system was pretty beneficial to all of us students. But probably the most wonderful opportunity was the afternoon in the life of university students- shadowing undergraduates. I was chosen to shadow a second year History Undergraduate. As she had no History lectures, she took me on a journey to all of the various (and in fact, the most oldest) colleges, libraries, the Oxford Natural History Museum, but most importantly, the magical streets of Harry Potter! The colleges were beautiful and traditional, (with dinner halls like those you see in Harry Potter!). In fact, it was fascinating to know that there is an argument regarding which college is the oldest one standing! The colleges are relatively compact, with some consisting of as little as 300 students; therefore the trip to the library was very sinister indeed. In actual fact, there is a library in Oxford containing all of the books ever published in the UK. Pretty impressive! Also, due to the strict ‘No Visitors’ sign, I had to confidently act as a university student to prevent getting thrown out! The undergraduate and myself had a little sneak peek at the History and Law books before undertaking a tour to the land of Harry Potter! The student showed me around the ‘Harry Potter like’ aspects to Oxford University, which included a variety of very surreal sweetshops (Mr Sims Ole Shop), glamorous dinner halls, and distorted lanes. Finally, we embarked on a journey to the Natural History Museum, after spending some time in the University Common Room. It was a little riotous there, as the students had only recently received a Coffee Maker, of which they were consuming cappuccinos and hot chocolate to death! The Museum was also fascinating as it contained almost every aspect of human nature you could possibly think of, from artificial monkeys to real-life (but shrunken) human faces (Yes, astonishing)! To round off the day, we returned to St. Hughs College (the HEAPs base), where we engaged in conversations from admissions tutors and summer school advisors, to members of the student union and university students. Considering I had to wake at 5am, it was a wonderful experience, and I would advise anybody to try and organise a day trip for themselves. Misha Sachania