Students on Iceland school trip see learning come to life before they even get off plane

Geography students on a school trip to Iceland saw their textbook learning come to life before they even got off the plane.

From the plane windows, the 52 students from Haslingden High School and Sixth Form could see geography in action as the volcanic eruption from Mt Hagafell and Stori-Skogfell, just north of Grindavik, was visible. The eruption also changed the planned itinerary and instead of visiting the Blue Lagoon which had been closed, they instead went to the Secret Lagoon, another naturally heated outside geothermal pool.

Ben Curran, 15, said: “It was like going into a jacuzzi. I found it very relaxing going from the cold outside and completely submerging in a heated pool.”

Jude Marsden, 16, described how they stayed in three different hotels and took a road trip around the southern coast of Iceland.


He said: “We went to Reykjavik, the capital city. The population of the whole of Iceland is only around the same as Manchester, and Reykjavik looked empty and there was a lot of building work going on. In our free time Franco Tonioli paid for himself and I to ride some electric scooters which were for hire, a bit like Boris bikes in London.

“We went down the Rainbow Street, but they ran out of charge and an alarm went off. We had to push them all the way back.”

They also got to visit Hallgrímskirkja, a huge Lutheran church in Reykjavic which impressed both Ben and Jude. Wearing crampons, the students, mostly from Years 10 and 11 and a few Year 12, got to follow a guide and scale a glacier.

Ben said: “We drank water from the glacier and it was so fresh.”

They were shown a video of Justin Bieber’s ‘I’ll Show You’, which was filmed at the stunning Fjadrargljufur Canyon. The students then got to walk where it was filmed. They both said they were surprised by how warm it was in Iceland and they spent most of the school trip in T-shirts, not needing the warm coats they had packed.

“One minute it was snowing and the next it was sunny,” said Jude. “They say if you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait five minutes because it will change.”

On the last night, the students and staff enjoyed a final meal together. They made new friends and furthered their interest and knowledge of geography.

The trip could not have ended better. When they looked out from their hotel balcony, the students witnessed the aurora borealis – the northern lights.

Jude and Ben are continuing to study Geography at A level. Jude is excited to continue his studies at Haslingden Sixth Form in September.