More than 50 Ilkeston students took to the slopes during a memorable ski trip to the USA.
The students, from years nine and ten at Saint John Houghton CVA, spent five days in Killington, Vermont, followed by an overnight stay in New York.
The academy usually runs a ski trip once every two years to France, but changed the destination to America as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.
Students Anna Pancisi and Jade Charlton, both 15, said it was a holiday that they would never forget.
Anna said: “We were really excited to go to America and try skiing as it’s something that we hadn’t done before. We practised at Swadlincote Ski Centre before we went but it was a lot harder on real snow in the mountains.
“It was great though and we grew more confident each day so that by the last day we were looking at the first slope we had been on and wondering why we’d been so nervous about skiing on it.
“It’s hard to sum the trip up in just a few words but it was incredible. My favourite memory is sitting outside in the hot tub with my friends whilst it was snowing, with frozen bits in my hair and eating cookies.”
Jade said the students on the trip were of mixed ability and everyone was split into groups.
She said: “There were some students who had skied before but most of us hadn’t. When we first arrived there wasn’t much snow just a lot of ice but while we were there they had massive snowfalls which were great. I really enjoyed it, it was an amazing experience.”
After spending five days in Killington, the group travelled to New York where they went to the top of the Rockefeller Centre and the Hard Rock Cafe.
They also went on a walking tour and saw the sights including the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 memorial and Wall Street.
Anna said visiting New York was overwhelming. “There was one point when we were stood in Times Square at night and with all the lights it looked just like it does in the films. As well as just being an amazing experience we also made lots of new friends on the trip. It had been planned for two years and it was definitely worth the wait.”
Staff members Dave Warden, Kirsty Joslin, Andy Ritchie and Jasminder Bacall accompanied the students on the trip.
Mr Warden said: “We had an amazing time, it was hard work yet so enjoyable. We would like to thank our students for making our week run so smoothly and engaging with each other in such a friendly way. I would also like to thank Mr Ritchie, Mrs Bacall and Mrs Joslin for everything they did during the week.”