Berlin visit inspires Ron Dearing English and Creative students

Almost 40 English and Creative students from Ron Dearing UTC visited Berlin as part of an inspiring trip to support their studies.

The 37 Year 10, 12 and 13 students and five staff flew from Birmingham via Amsterdam for the four-day trip, which included visiting the Brandenburg Gate, the Topography of Terror history museum, various war memorials and museums, Checkpoint Charlie and art galleries.

The English students are currently reading and studying The Handmaid’s Tale and Berlin is where the author, Margaret Atwood, wrote most of the popular novel.

Jack Campbell, Head of English at Ron Dearing UTC, said the author’s observations whilst living in West Berlin during the Cold War inspired her construction of the totalitarian state of Gilead. She drew inspiration from the control imposed on citizens under Soviet control, such as Checkpoint Charlie, to create the book.

The novel is based on some of the darkest parts of human history and the opportunity for Ron Dearing UTC students to explore Berlin brought parts of the book to life.

Ron Dearing UTC students in Berlin.


Jack said: “It was fantastic to see our students engaging in mature discussions around the context of the novel and applying these discussions to the text.”

The Creative, Photography, Fine Art and 3D Design students took inspiration from art galleries including Berlinische Galerie, Konig Galerie, East Side Gallery, Hamburger Bahnhof and Neue  Nationalgalerie.

Lynn Garland-Collins, Director of Creativity at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The students were amazing and got so much from the trip.

“This was our first international creative visit and everything went really well. We organised a photography competition on the last night and the students will be able to bring everything they saw and learnt back to school to support their studies.”

Year 12 student Matthew Bestley, 17, who is studying Fine Art, 3D Design, Graphics and Digital Media, said: “I took so much inspiration from the art galleries and culture in Berlin.

The students enjoyed an ‘amazing’ trip.


“I’d love to be an artist in the future, or go into animation and graphic design. This trip encouraged and supported that. It was a great experience.”

Fellow Year 12 student Taylor Beaden, 17, who is studying Photography, Graphics and 3D Design, said: “It was an amazing trip and a brilliant opportunity to see and appreciate so much art.

“The trip helped me to grow in confidence with meeting new people and it opened my eyes to understand more about art. I didn’t realise Berlin is such an artistic place. I loved it.”

Year 12 student Fearne Hepworth, 17, who is studying England Language and Literature, Art and 3D Design, added: “We saw the Berlin Cathedral and the visuals inspired our artwork, and we visited the Jewish Museum as part of our English work.

“Visiting Berlin helped me to understand more about The Handmaid’s Tale and what inspired the author. I’m really pleased Ron Dearing UTC offered us this opportunity.”