New York adventure excites Perse English students

New York provided a thrilling backdrop to an educational adventure for Perse Lower Sixth English literature students.

Fourteen students made the trip to the Big Apple, organised to complement their A level studies and focusing on F Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic novel The Great Gatsby.

The first highlight of the trip was a visit to Old Westbury Gardens, which was the inspiration for Tom Buchanan’s mansion in Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of the story.

Built by the Phipps family in 1904, students enjoyed a private tour of the mansion and grounds and learned about the ‘Gilded Age’, as well as the growing power of the United States in the early years of the 20th Century.

Following the tour, they travelled to Times Square for a theatre workshop before visiting the Empire State Building in the evening.

The next morning the group caught the ferry to Liberty Island to visit the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of freedom and aspiration for migrants entering the USA, before heading to the Museum of Modern Art to see an exhibition of American art that coincided with their period of study, 1880-1940.

They then watched Broadway show Hadestown, which certainly made an impression with its rotating stage, brilliant set design and superb choreography.

On the final day, students had breakfast in Central Park and had the opportunity to explore Fifth Avenue and Times Square.

Perse English teacher Tim Lunn, who led the trip with Head of English Sarah Church, commented: “It was an enriching experience and we returned home with memories to last a lifetime.”


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