Fifth Form Historians Visit Washington DC | Epsom College
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Fifth Form Historians Visit Washington DC

On the morning of the 29 October, 21 Fifth Form Historians gathered in Heathrow Terminal 5, waiting in anticipation for the following 5-day trip to Washington DC.

After a busy day of travel on the Sunday, we immediately immersed ourselves in the history of Washington DC with a tour of the National Mall by Dr Dalton. The experience to walk, learn, and reflect amongst some of the most significant monuments in the world, provided an invaluable opportunity for the closely related History GCSE course, and one’s interest.

That afternoon, we further learned about the history of the USA when we ascended the Washington Monument and the National Museum of American History. Afterwards, the highlight of the trip for many arose when we watched an NBA match between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics.

Despite the action-filled day on Monday, we didn’t slow for Tuesday when we attended the National Museum of African American History, Arlington National Cemetery, and the Pentagon 9/11 memorial. I found this day one of the most interesting of the trip, as one could learn about the mistakes and atrocities of the past. Moreover, the information-filled and immersive nature of the African American History Museum provided a great opportunity to act as a revision for History GCSE, whilst adding to my general historical knowledge.

Another trip highlight was the Big Bus Tour on Tuesday evening, in which we were excellently toured around Washington DC by our fun and ebullient guide. Turning towards the more political aspects of Washington DC, the trip to the United States Library of Congress and Capitol, was excellent as I learned about the American political system and its history whilst being in the very heart of its democracy. To add to this voyage of political history, we went to the National Archives where we saw the original founding documents of America, which shaped today’s world.

With the prospect of the dreaded journey home, on Thursday morning before an afternoon of shopping in Georgetown, we went to the International Spy Museum. Here we learned about the influential yet hidden past of many of the world’s spies, whilst enjoying having our own ‘spy journey’ throughout the museum. As final souvenirs were purchased in Georgetown- Washington DC’s academic hub- we traversed into the state of Virginia where we would later board our flight back home.

I can easily speak on behalf of all students, that the 5-day history trip was one of great joy, fun, and learning. I managed to further my knowledge in vast swathes of American history, whilst even having the opportunity to be immersed in much of the GCSE history curriculum.

On the behalf of the group, I would like to thank Mr Dunn, Mr Fisher and Dr Dalton for organising such an amazing trip.

John Gartside