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Monday began as we left for Southbank on the tube. When arriving, my group waited for a short while, then left to go to the first place – an amphitheatre named the Olivier Theatre. This beautiful set up holds around 1,100 people, and the seats were all set back 118 degrees. The setting was based on a Greek amphitheatre called Epidaurus. Next, we went to a different theatre. It was simply decorated, with a proscenium arch, and it holds around 800 people. After a few short tours of the workshop, we left to eat and take walks along the river. My group decided to go via Starbucks when walking, and then we sat down in a park. After taking the tube back, we returned to school early and entered the Pavilion, where some went to the field and some played tennis. This day was enjoyable and full of spontaneity!
Museums and film screening
A hugely enjoyable part of Activities Week, the museum trip, was a wonderful opportunity for us to immerse ourselves in one of two very different, but equally fascinating, worlds – that of the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, whilst also simply having fun in our friends’ company. I was fortunate enough to be allocated my first choice of the V&A, an experience which both my friends and I hugely enjoyed, allowing us to contemplate the depth and meaning behind the art, and what it served to show about society at that time and place. The jewellery section was a particular favourite, allowing a major insight into the class systems of different countries and the values important to them.
Upon entering the Victoria and Albert Museum, we were immediately struck by its grand architecture and impressive size. We were given worksheets to note down information on certain areas of art, such as the Islamic Middle East and jewellery (our own choice). In our sub-groups of four or more, we wandered around, amazed and fascinated by the art (and later the gift shop!). But that was not all. We travelled back to school, and eagerly awaited the end of lunch for the in-school screening of The Parent Trap. The audience shifted between cheering and chuckling, and by the end we were in fits of laughter.
Hindu Temple in Neasden
One of my favourite activities in the MIV Activities Week was the visit to the Hindu Temple. As soon as we arrived, I was struck by the splendor of the structure. The temple was majestic and had very intricate designs and patterns all along the outside. The inside was also very detailed, and we soon found out that everything was hand-carved, which left us all in awe. The experience was wonderful, and it felt so peaceful to be in a place of worship.
I found this trip extremely educational too. I learnt so much about the Hindu religion. We got to see the Mandir (room of individual worship), saw an exhibition and watched Aarti. Aarti is a ceremony that is performed to thank the deities by waving around a lamp. It is performed in the Mandir. Overall, I had an amazing time! I hope I will get to do something like this again.
Hampton Court Palace
On Thursday 25 May, the MIV went to Hampton Court Palace. There were three different activities we could do, however we could only choose two: Real Tennis, a politics talk or a tour of the Tudor kitchens. I chose Real Tennis and the politics talk; it was a blast! You may be wondering, what is Real Tennis? It is where modern tennis originated from, and they are therefore quite similar. However, the rackets are shaped differently, and the balls are much harder, some of the rules are different as well. In fact, there is a box in the corner of the court with Henry VIII in it, which you get extra points if you hit!
After we played Real Tennis, we went to a talk on politics during the Elizabethan era and we had a very interesting debate! In 1562, Elizabeth I had a horrible case of smallpox, to the point where people were sure she wouldn’t live. She had no children nor husband, so people were looking for the next successor. They came upon two candidates: Catherine Grey and Mary Queen of Scots. We were split into two groups, and we were given a candidate to debate in favour of – we concluded that Catherine Grey should be the next successor!
After that we had a tour of the palace, it was very grand and majestic, with gorgeous paintings and elaborate statues. I would like to thank all the teachers for organising this amazing week and all the effort they put into it.