On Tuesday 4 February, a large group of our fantastic Year 12 & 13 Sixth Form students travelled to Rome, Italy for a week of cultural enrichment with the Humanities department. The focus of the trip was to provide an insight into Italy’s rich history and tradition, alongside a spiritual focus on the role of the Catholic Church. We stayed in the centre of the city, a short walk from the Colosseum.

We arrived in Rome mid-afternoon on Tuesday where it was a beautiful 18⁰C in the sunshine! We proceeded to walk into the centre to explore, then settled down to have dinner in a busy and vibrant Italian restaurant.

We began the first full day on Wednesday with a walking tour of the Colosseum and the ancient Roman ruins. Rome’s great gladiatorial arena is one of the most thrilling of the city’s ancient sights. Inaugurated in AD 80, the 50,000-seat Colosseum, was absolutely amazing to explore. We then went to through the sublime collection of historical Roman buildings bordering the Roman Forum, which included temples, government buildings, triumphal arches, and basilicas from Ancient Rome.

In the afternoon we went to the Altar of the Fatherland, a large national monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. Then onto the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest church in Europe, and also the Cathedral of Rome. After this we also crawled up The Scala Santa or ‘Holy Stairs’, a set of steps that Jesus supposedly once stood on the way to his crucifixion. Legend has it that the staircase was brought to Rome by St Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, around 300 years after Christ’s death.

On Thursday we spent the morning touring the Vatican City. The students developed a greater understanding of the religious centre of the Roman Catholic faith and admired the stunning architecture of St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican is home to a trove of iconic art and architecture. It’s Vatican Museums house ancient Roman sculptures such as the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.

After the Vatican, we travelled across the city to visit the Catacombs of Domitilla. They are a series of Christian cemeteries spread out over 15km underground. They were established on the private burial ground of Flavia Domitilla, niece of the emperor Domitian and a member of the wealthy Flavian family.

On the final day, we ended with visits to the amazing Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. Followed by free time for some shopping.

All our students were fantastic during the week, with several of our guides stating how engaged and enthusiastic they were.

Our annual international trip is an integral part of our Sixth Form offer. We teach our students about the importance of developing a global perspective and widening their horizons. Our trip is designed to develop independence, confidence and a greater understanding of the wider international community.

We are hoping to run another enrichment trip for our Sixth Formers to Berlin in late 2020/early 2021, so look out for this this opportunity. These types of trips are open to all students who attend the New Sixth.

Mr Leaman
Head of History & Politics, Educational Visits Co-ordinator