During the October half term, 40 students from New Hall School, Chelmsford, visited India on a trip organised and led by the school’s Theology Department. During their time in this incredible, culture-rich country, students explored the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Delhi provided the opportunity to visit Gandhi’s memorial and the Jama Majid Mosque, whilst the students enjoyed the palaces of the pink city, Jaipur, as well as meeting a friendly group of elephants, the Agra Fort was a particular highlight, as was Sarnath, the birthplace of Buddhism. They also visited Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world and spiritual capital of India, where they took a boat ride along the River Ganges.
Rebecca Jeffrey, a Year 12 student, said: “This was the trip of a lifetime. India has opened my eyes to the spirituality and way of life of a country so very different to the UK. I feel so privileged to have been able to visit the Taj Mahal which took my breath away. I will never forget the Aarti prayer ceremony on the banks of the River Ganges; thousands of pilgrims gathered together in prayer and worship was an amazing experience.”
Paul Bray, Head of Theology at New Hall, said: “This is the third time in the last six years that the department has led a trip to India because it provides our students with an appreciation of such diverse religious traditions. India is the birthplace of many religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. As a Catholic School, we are acutely aware of the importance of faith and spirituality as part of a rounded education and, in today’s increasingly diverse, multi-faith society, a trip of this kind opens students’ minds to appreciating the religion and way of life of those beyond our own faith tradition.”
Maria Webb, Second in Theology, led the trip and said “It was such a pleasure to witness the impact of this trip on our students. There were so many memorable moments from tuk-tuk rides, boat rides along the Ganges and, of course, visiting the majestic Taj Mahal and all of these experiences have clearly left a lasting impression on our students.”
Katherine Jeffrey, Principal of New Hall, also joined the trip and said “At New Hall, we aim to provide the best start in life for our students through a rounded education that includes an ambitious and varied programme of educational visits. Recent international visits include a Politics trip to Washington DC and New York City, a Spanish visit to Costa Rica and a Science expedition to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.”