The Perse School

Travelling to the Prep

Year 6 English Enrichment Group
27 Jan 2016

Travel writing evokes a sense of wonder, creates insightful vignettes and allows the imagination to wander to distant times or faraway places. It is known for exploring ‘otherness’ or ideas which are unknown to the reader – what a Moroccan market might smell like, what snow might feel like to someone who has never felt it before, or just the best place to get a coffee in the middle of Milan. This term, the Year 6 English Enrichment Group (students who are particularly enthusiastic about or able in the subject) imagined the Prep to be an exciting destination to travel to, expressing their ideas to a reader who has never seen a place quite like it. Here is their response.

As you approach the Prep, the sturdy oak gates spring into life to welcome you inside. For over a century, small faces have looked up at the imposing stone façade of Leighton House, craning their necks to see the very top of what was once one of Cambridge’s finest residential addresses. Although its magnificent structure can dwarf you at first, inside it quickly feels like home. Pushing open the heavy green doors is always followed by that reassuring hit of warmth and colour as life in a busy school comes into focus. Learning, playing, sharing and enjoying all line up to take their turn as the bell shrilly rings and lessons begin.

Take a walk along a metaphorical timeline and move from the ‘old’ of Leighton House to the modern New School. Slanted roofs and wide sections of glass reveal classrooms shouting about knowledge, skills and understanding. The Library is the beating heart of the school and children visit to refresh their knowledge and learn things they could never dream of. Artwork flows up the stairs as you walk past in a colourful cascade with masterpieces suspended from the ceiling inviting you to walk through its canopy, like curtains parting to reveal a stage.

Children scatter to cover the playground at Break. An observer is just as likely to notice girls walking hand in hand down the path talking and dreaming, as they are to see rhythmic games of table tennis and adventures of the imagination. A moving picture forms before your eyes, coming to life as actors don beautiful costumes and fanciful headdresses to take audiences to faraway worlds. A mellifluous harmony can just be made out in the distance as the school orchestra hone their craft.

Vast expanses of green stretch into the distance, with tall trees towering above you, each with stories to tell of the many children who have played in their midst. This is The Perse Prep School, a school proud of its past but excited about its future.

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