When talking about London, I immediately think of busy streets, the tube and crowds surrounding Wembley Stadium. Despite living so near to the city, it seems I know very little about the capital and the type of issues related to the location. But my understanding and view of London broadened after our recent trip to the Olympic Park and other surrounding areas.

We arrived in high spirits at the London Aquatics Centre. Stories of previous year groups spotting Tom Daley made us realise how important this area still is. We took a look into the sustainability of the location and discussed the affects the Centre has had on the local community. I was particularly surprised to be told that 30,000 tonnes of recycled material had been used to build the Centre. Other interesting topics, such as the economic and social impacts gave me an insight into just how significant the Olympics was for our country, particularly local areas surrounding the facilities.

We then walked through London to see many residents using the area for exercise. The setting took a sudden change as we entered the less economically developed parts of London. An important part of our next activity would involve questionnaires with local residents. When mentioning the Olympics and the regional impact, I was surprised to see how positive they were, despite their difficult situation. Despite the street having a community centre and multiple shops, it seemed the facilities were limited for those living there and more work could be done.

We followed this with a walk through Fish Island. After noting the conditions of the housing, it was clear that the Olympic Park had a positive effect on surrounding communities. This was shown through the views of the public and the obvious economic changes surrounding the Olympics. One Year 9 student, Adam Winstanley, was especially impressed with how the Olympic Park had helped this part of London. He said, ‘It’s great to see that there are so many positive effects of the Olympics, many of which I didn’t know about until today. It’s interesting to see how other people living nearby are so impressed with how their lives have been benefited, even if they are not living in the best conditions.'

After visiting the local communities, we explored the Copper Box Arena and the Olympic Park itself. I personally enjoyed looking at the ArcelorMittal Orbit whilst walking around. It was great to see so many people use the incredible facilities to this day, especially as our groups would then finish the day by eating lunch in the Velodrome.

Overall, the trip was a huge success and an important learning experience for all of Year 9. Thanks must go to the Geography Team for making this possible.