For teachers searching for school trip destinations that offer extensive educational prospects but are also highly accessible, there's no need to look further than our own doorstep. UK study tours to any of the fascinating and historically important sites around Britain provide a wealth of opportunities. Young minds are able to delve into a multi-layered history and discover the people, places and societies that have shaped our culture over thousands of years.
UK study tours can encompass educational attractions suitable for students of all ages and can be tailored to specific curriculum learning. Primary school pupils in particular can benefit from visiting these three historic destinations that, in some cases, may be just a short coach ride away from the classroom.
The Tudor Heritage of Stratford
UK study tours to Stratford-upon-Avon afford pupils at every level of the curriculum an insight into the life and times of the playwright whose influence still permeates the fabric of our society. Exploring the Tudor history of William Shakespeare's birthplace not only brings his work into sharper context, it also allows young learners to make a deeper connection with the man himself.
A behind-the-scenes tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre provides students with a grounding in the machinations of both contemporary and historical productions of the Bard's work. Workshops are available for school groups of all ages and can be adapted to specific learning objectives from Key Stages 1 and 2, starting with a first look at Shakespeare's life.
The Industrial Legacy of Bristol
The city of Bristol played a pivotal role in the British Industrial Revolution as the testing ground for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, one of the period's most influential engineers. A visit to the SS Great Britain makes for a valuable inclusion on the itinerary of UK study tours for primary-age pupils. School groups can tour the dry dock and ship, which sits in the Great Western Dockyard, take part in various workshops that reveal the scope of Brunel's feats of engineering, and learn the history of British trade and travel. The workshops can be tailored to Key Stages 1 or 2, covering an interactive ship building experience for the younger ones, and delving into the stories of former passengers and life on a sea voyage in the Victorian era for older children.
Viking History in York
Although founded by the Romans, it is the Vikings who took York to its pinnacle as a vital trading hub for Northern Europe. The Jorvik Viking Centre is one of the most comprehensive learning facilities in the country, bringing the Vikings back to the future in a very engaging way.
The centre stands on the very site of the original Viking city, which was known as Jorvik. The archaeological remnants of the tenth-century settlement provide an authentic ambience, as students take part in numerous workshops that delve into the culture of the Vikings. The workshops cover aspects from battle tactics and traditional medicine, to poetry, mythology and costume, providing an encompassing overview of the yesteryear of Jorvik.
The beauty of the UK's storied heritage is that so many of the pages of history are writ large on the landscape; cities and towns that are still a part of contemporary life. Visiting the site where such significant events took place will bring textbook learning to life with context and clarity.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in UK study tours for school and youth groups, as well as trips to destinations in Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.