A group of TIS Puchong's Secondary School students had the opportunity to visit the UK for a Creative Study Tour during the April term break. This is a diary of their learning experiences during the trip.
Day 3
Another early morning saw us back in the coaches towards Warwick Castle and Oxford. 

We arrived at the magnificent castle and wandered around inside in awe of the armour, decor and sheer opulence of the era. We were even graced with some amazing blue skies and some sun! 

We walked around the castle grounds and saw the trebuchet and some ‘Knights in training’. Some students wanted to take part in archery while others decided to walk to the ramparts. The students who took archery had a lot of fun and some students even showed great natural talent hitting the target with the very first arrow! The ramparts students got a great ‘work-out’ as they climbed up and down the spiral staircase and enjoyed the views over the Warwickshire county.

Lunch was all you can eat pizza and pasta... need we say more?

Our next stop was Cherwell Boathouse where were all boarded boats and the students (and Mr Ian) took to punting down the river. There seemed to be much going around in circles and not so much punting - but many many laughs and a great afternoon on the river was had!

A short trip later we were in Oxford and on a very informative walking tour of the campus of Oxford. Students were able to hear about the inspiration of various Harry Potter filming sites as well as the inspiration for 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. 

The students were able to walk around the various Oxford colleges as well as beautiful Exeter College where they were treated to a choir rehearsal in the chapel. 

After dinner we headed back to our accommodation for a much earlier night. The anticipation of Harry Potter studios and a tour of Arsenal’s football stadium is sure to get the hearts pumping, warming everyone up for another great day our tomorrow!

Day 4
There was much excitement in the house this morning as many of the students were looking forward to the afternoon’s adventures to Harry Potter Studios. Equally excited were the boys because of the planned trip to Emirates Stadium, the home of Arsenal football team. 

We left the house early (yes, we are training the kids well!) and arrived at Emirates Stadium where we were able to tour the stadium, Director’s boxes, the Diamond Club, change rooms and dugouts. We even held a press conference in the press room! 

After the tour we began a mad rush to meet our Harry Potter bus which was to take us to the studios outside London. There was a great atmosphere and excitement as we made our way across town to be able to reach the coach in time. Luckily we had 10 minutes to spare and were soon on our way. 

Arriving at the studios, we were amazed at the sheer scale of what were there already and what was still to be built in the background - no spoilers, promise! 

The studios are a must for all Harry Potter fans and indeed anyone who is enthralled by the magic of theatre and film. The studios are filled to the brim with all Harry Potter’s famous props, sets, costumes as well as various “Making of” videos and readings. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They all split up and decided to explore at their own leisure. The first half of the tour took us through the Great Hall, Hagrid’s Hut, various sets and props from the various ‘classrooms’ in the films and even Dumbledore’s office. Through the scary Forbidden Forest we enjoyed finding the famous Platform 9 ¾  and the magnificent Hogwart’s Express! Meeting at the half-way point we all compared notes, shared experiences and even enjoyed Butterbeer (no alcohol involved!).

The second half of the tour took us to Privet Drive, the creatures workshop as well as the brand new (as in opened the day before we arrived, brand new) Gringotts Bank which featured in the films as well. This was a special treat as we saw the set immaculately reconstructed and even managed to see the vault door unlocking, just as it did in the films! 

The students (and staff) spent a wonderful afternoon at the studios and have come away with great new insight into the making of the films, as well as much lighter wallets because of the gift shop!

We returned back to our accommodation and had a traditional English Roast Dinner with all the trimmings. We even managed to get extra Yorkshire puddings for those who wanted! 

Tomorrow holds new adventures as we prepare to make pasta at Jamie Oliver’s Cooking School and begin our sojourn into the music part of the tour when we visit the Music Museum and listen to evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral this evening.

Click here for Day 5 and Day 6