Independent Schools Cultural Alliance - ISCA – Summer Programs in the UK

Day 20 – Houses of Parliament & the final BBQ

An extremely early start saw many bleary-eyed students eating breakfast at 7:00 am in order to avoid heavy traffic into London. We were rewarded with gorgeous weather and fantastic views over the River Thames looking across towards Parliament (Westminster Palace) and Big Ben. A leisurely stroll took us across Lambeth Bridge and into Victoria Tower Gardens to await our entry into Parliament.

Like a large woven tapestry, our experienced and extremely well-informed guides took us on tours of Parliament, sharing their knowledge whilst weaving many of the historical strands that we have learnt about on ISCA together to form an exquisite masterpiece. Having seen the site of the signing of the Magna Carta a few days ago at Runnymede, it made perfect sense when the functioning of British Parliament was explained to us. We learnt about the 3 stages of Parliament made up of The House of Commons, The House of Lords and The Monarch as well as the functions of the different rooms within Parliament. The architecture was exquisite whilst the grandeur of the Robing Room was astonishing. We were fortunate enough to see a fresco depicting, ‘The Death of Nelson’ aboard HMS Victory, and another one showing, ‘The Meeting of Wellington and Bulcher,’ notable as we are staying at Wellington College. The gunpowder plot is a favourite story in many British households and further details about the event were revealed today, together with other stories about when Parliament burnt down.

Amongst other facts, we learnt about the colour code of the rooms at Parliament, the tiles on the floor, the statues dotted around and what happens when the Queen comes for her parliamentary visit. It was the perfect end to our wonderful ISCA Journey. Arriving back with plenty of time to pack and get ready for the BBQ and dance, some puzzle enthusiasts were able to place the final pieces of the 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle that has been a magnet in drawing people together throughout the 3 weeks. The final BBQ and dance were enjoyed by staff and students alike. Great fun was had by all including celebrating the birthday of Marcus. The evening ended with our traditional Auld Lang Syne and some very emotional farewells. Good night, take care and thank you everyone for making ISCA 2017 so amazing.