Our trip to Winchester

On Wednesday 23rd June, we went to Winchester. It was fantastic! I must say, before this trip I really didn’t know anything about Winchester: to be honest it really wasn’t at the top of my priority list but, little did I know, it should have been!

On Wednesday morning we were all ready and set to head off. We got on to the coaches and began our journey. Finally, after around two and a half hours we arrived! As we drove in, I was blown away, it was nothing like I had expected: I knew it would be a nice area but I had no idea how just how nice!
You know when you see something and at just one glimpse and you instantly adore it, well that’s exactly how I felt when we made our way to the beautiful park. The grass was a perfect green, not one weed in sight, the gorgeous flowers rustled in the breeze. Their stunning detailed petals floated away, it was like a painting in a fairy-tale book – it was mesmerizing, oh and by the way we hadn’t even started the trip yet! We then split into our groups and started a treasure hunt, searching for different clues found in a booklet we had received about the history of Winchester.

We passed some incredible shops whilst looking for clues, made entirely of wood, and might I add everyone was so friendly. When we had a question about a place we needed to find, we asked a random person who looked pretty knowledgeable and a few seconds into the conversation she and the teacher were having a full blown chat!

Once we had finished our hunt we went back to the delightful park and had lunch there, and we even got some cute little keychains with a picture of Winchester on it! Back to the coach and on to the next place! At this point I had no idea where we were going but, if it was anything like the place before, I was very glad.

As we arrived there was no surprise to me that it was just as beautiful as the place before … if anything it was better! I then saw a sign saying ‘Jane Austen’s house’. Her real house! Wow! So that was awesome but you know what was even more awesome … we got to go in! As I entered I was astonished this place was absolutely delightful! We saw her room, her kitchen, her garden, let me just say that was very enchanting, we even saw her dining room and everything else in her house. It was all so old and most of the things were original, it was just amazing! After a really good look at her charming house, we started to head back.

Another two hours to get back and finally we arrived at school. I’m so glad I went: it was a trip I will never forget – I couldn’t wait to get home and tell everyone about it!

Thank you to Mrs Abecasis for organising this amazing trip and to all the staff who joined Year 7 and Year 8 to make the day such a success.

By Dinah Bernadout Year 8


Girls’ School Event – AJEX

We feel extremely privileged to have interviewed Jewish veterans and family members of veterans who have served or are currently serving in the British armed forces. Through AJEX, this opportunity provided us with valuable insight into the Jewish experience of the British armed forces, and we learned that antisemitism in the army is not as common as one may predict it to be. In fact, other soldiers often demonstrated increased respect and interest for their Jewish colleagues.

This was very interesting to learn, and perhaps a fact that should be shared as a means of encouragement – the veterans interviewed all felt that they represented the Jewish community in the military world. The experiences of those being interviewed were vast. We spoke to a surgeon who practised in the context of battle, and learnt that most wounds he treated were disease and sickness related, rather than injury related. Of course, it was particularly insightful to hear first-hand descriptions of the 6-day war in 1967, and another interviewee spoke of his experiences of living in London during the Blitz.

Many questions were addressed to Dan Fox, who is still serving in the military, and he answered questions regarding confidentiality. He taught us of a 30-year “mark” that should be passed before soldiers share details of their experiences, and described the various rankings of the army and ways in which ranking is prohibited from speaking of their experiences. Another interviewee described his time in submarines and gliders, and revealed that he would often return from missions unable to speak of them to his family. He said that this was difficult, but also very necessary.

Some questions surrounded the veterans’ feelings towards their experiences. A common denominator of all those interviewed was their warm feeling towards their former or current colleagues, who they referred to as their “brothers.” Each of them spoke fondly of their memories, and described the friendships that serving in the British military evoked. Overall, this was a rare and extremely interesting experience, which we found both intellectually stimulating and heart-warming.

Thank you to Mrs Yaros for rising to the challenge of Zoom and creating this event.

Written by Alyssa T, Year 13