Collyer’s students and staff have just returned from a five day stateside trip, where they studied the politics and history of the USA.
The group stayed near Pennsylvania Avenue, ideally located for them to visit all the key sites and quiz experts about each institution.
The highlight for many was being welcomed into the White House. This was arranged for the college by Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, the home state of Collyer’s politics teacher, Nick Cowell. The students even enjoyed access to all the rooms of state.
Following this visit, the group travelled to the Pentagon, the home of America’s armed forces and department of defence. After the tour, the group were able to visit the 9/11 memorial, which marked the spot of the terrorist attacks of 2001.
The packed programme also included a behind the scenes tour of the Capitol building, the Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian museum complex.
The group also saw the new Martin Luther King Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Kennedy Memorials, Vietnam Memorial and the iconic Lincoln Memorial. In addition, the group visited Ford’s Theatre, the site of the assassination of President Lincoln.
The day after the visit to the House of Representatives chamber, President Trump made his State of the Union speech.
Student Lochlan McGregor said: “I really liked the range of places we visited, and personally was stunned by the Capitol building. We then visited the Supreme Court, and sat in the main courtroom to hear a talk on the work of the court, as well as asking questions of our expert guide.
“One of the more interesting facts was that there is a full size basketball court in the room directly above the courtroom, installed at the request of the judges - Washington locals fondly refer to this as ‘the highest court in the land’ for obvious reasons!”
On the final day of the trip, the group journeyed to the Trump hotel complex, which offered a spectacular panoramic view over Washington. The group then went on to the National Archives to see the originals of the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. There was even one of the earliest versions of Magna Carta to see. The final trip was to the ‘Newseum’, a museum covering the reporting of the major news stories of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Student Grace Addison, said: “I felt the trip gave me a really good introduction to American politics and the history of America. I particularly enjoyed visiting Arlington cemetery and seeing the Kennedy memorials.”
Head of politics, Kevin Coomber, said: “The teachers and I are so proud of our amazing students; they were complimented everywhere, particularly by the White House and Pentagon staff, who noted their excellent conduct. They really were great ambassadors for Horsham and the UK.
“A massive thank you is also due to Nick Cowell, who organised much of the trip, including the White House tour which is not usually available to schools or colleges from outside the USA. We certainly hope to run the trip again in early 2019!”