At the start of the November, 12 Sixth Form students flew out to Philadelphia on the annual American Exchange programme where they visited Radnor High School and were hosted individually by Radnor students and staff. The first couple of days were spent shadowing lessons until the Friday afternoon where all students and staff went to the main hall in pursuit of the school’s band who called students from their lessons by playing up and down the corridors. This was the beginning of the infamous PEP rally which can only be described as organised chaos where students showcase some of their talents and the schools American Football team are announced individually into the middle of a screaming audience. The noise is deafening! This is all in celebration of the annual game against local rivals, Lower Merion. A fixture that has remained on the schools calendar for 121 years!
Students spent the weekend with their host families and then returned to school on the Monday for lessons and the ‘BIG’ game in the evening. With a crowd of around 2000 supporters, Radnor won with a superb second half performance, giving all students a half day on the Wednesday. The day after the game was an in-service training day so as a large group, they visited Philadelphia and had an opportunity to see the highlights of the city, including the Liberty Bell and the Reading Terminal Food Market.
On the Wednesday, students and staff said their goodbye’s until the return visit in June and headed off on a coach to the ‘Big Apple’. They arrived in New York mid-morning, checked in and had a guided tour of the city, visiting most of the famous landmarks. In the evening they ate at Ellen’s Stardust Diner where Broadway singers entertain guests by singing and dancing on the tables whilst guests feast on some hearty American cuisine. It was a brilliant atmosphere and a great experience.
The Thursday morning included a visit to the ‘Top of the Rock’ (up the Rockefeller building) with amazing views of New York followed by a walking tour of 5th Avenue and Central Park. Students then had some free time to explore and shop before travelling on a coach to JFK Airport for our flight home.
The whole trip was phenomenal from start to finish and some students enjoyed it that much that they didn’t want to return home. Friendships were made that will last a lifetime and it’s safe to say that we’re already looking forward to welcoming Radnor for the return visit.
A huge thank you to students, staff, Radnor High School and especially to parents for allowing this trip to run. What an experience!