Wrexham students experience cultural ‘trip of a lifetime’ to New York Ysgol Bryn Alyn

New York is a dream destination for a large number of people…with so much on offer, a visit to The Big Apple is something that features on many people’s ‘bucket list’.

If you’re one of these folk, we’re sure that for all of the ways you could’ve imaged fulfilling your dream, a school trip would’ve probably been pretty near the bottom of your list.

But, for a number of lucky Ysgol Bryn Alyn students, that’s exactly how it came to be, as they got to visit New York as part of a cultural Expressive Arts trip, led by their teachers, Mrs Noon and Mr Gordon.

The ‘trip of a lifetime’ took place from February 10-15 and for many of the students it was their first time abroad…not a bad place to start!

And it most certainly didn’t disappoint 🙂

The students got to see and do the things you might expect, but with everything tailored to developing their skills. They’ve returned full of ideas and have took inspiration from many parts of their visit.


Applied learning

The Expressive Arts department are very keen for students to experience ‘applied learning’ as a fun, hands-on experience, which engages them much easier than a classroom setting would.

Amanda Noon, Head of Expressive Arts at Ysgol Bryn Alyn, said: “This was a fantastic trip for both teachers and students alike…the students were a credit to the school and their parents.

“Experiencing these things first hand in this ‘applied learning’ context meant that students engaged with issues and posed questions enthusiastically about things that they had previously only encountered in books, films or through conversations with parents.

“I’m particularly excited about the students’ proposed plans of creating a New York mural for the school and an Expressive Arts New York-inspired outside classroom space; a legacy for a trip of a lifetime that will help benefit all our students at Ysgol Bryn Alyn.”

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Discovering history

The students began their five-day trip with a visit to The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island, discovering the history of the colossal sculpture as well as learning how America became known as ‘the land of the free’.

They also took in an emotional stop at Ground Zero; the memorial site of 9/11. Students were moved by the touching tributes to those who sadly lost their lives on the day of the attacks.

A movie tour!

Another part of the trip was a movie tour of New York City where students got to see locations from hundreds of well-known movies and TV shows.

Media students were able to ask questions about how films and TV shows are constructed. Stopping by Trump Towers, Washington Square Park, Grand Central Station, Central Park and The Plaza were some of the highlights from the day!

Art students were inspired by an afternoon visit to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art where they saw pieces from Van Gogh, including his famous ‘Sunflowers’ painting.

They also took in the Egyptian, Modern Art, Fashion and American History exhibitions before riding the subway home.


A definite highlight of the trip was when the students got to see Beetlejuice on Broadway, as the students were mesmerised by the fast-paced, physical and comedic Musical. They noted the technical theatre aspect of the show, in particular the clever use of lighting and set design.

They were incredibly impressed by Times Square as they got to walk down the same streets as many icons have done before them, feeling like movie stars themselves, with every inch of the shops lit up in neon and flashing lights.

Graffiti Art tour

A subway journey took the students to Brooklyn for a guided walking Graffiti Art tour. They received an education on the history of Graffiti Art and were so inspired by the tour that they have put together a proposal to their headteacher, Mrs Slinn, to create their own New York-inspired ‘Street Art’ in one of the outside breakout areas at Ysgol Bryn Alyn.

Seeing the students so passionate and taking ownership to create this plan made the trip even more of a success.

‘Top of the Rock’

The trip finished with a visit to ‘Top of the Rock’ in The Rockefeller Centre; the vision of famous businessman and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller.

Students were treated to a stunning 360-degree view of New York City, whilst finding out about ‘The Great Depression’ in 1929.

This trip allowed students to become more globally aware and appreciate the origins and culture of a country so famous and influential.

It’s something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives 🙂

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