Looking to give your class an experience of geography in real contexts and real life? We can recommend three of our best school trips that make sure that learning is an enjoyable, creative and magical experience for you and your pupils.
As a geography teacher you’ll be well aware that the United Kingdom has some amazing sites where the lessons you teach in your classroom can be brought to life in the field. For this subject and its curriculum, some of the best school trips are on your doorstep. We have highlighted three destinations in the UK that offer fantastic opportunities for outdoor learning.
Cornwall: Eden Project
We have sent many schools to the Eden Project, and the feedback is almost unanimous that this experience offers an amazingly comprehensive field trip for young geography students.
Combining themed accommodation with an educational programme, children enjoy an immersive learning journey during this residential trip. There are several options on offer, and, as the group leader, you are given complete flexibility to build the package that best reflects your lesson plans.
There are curriculum-based workshops designed for Foundation through to A-level. You can also sign up for the Eden Challenge which provides practical team-based activities, including challenges such as lighting fires and building dens. One of the benefits of being based at the YHA is that you’re close enough to participate in the Eden Evenings, events that are held for school groups on the site after the Project has been closed to the public.
The Eden Project has a wealth of resources that can help you prepare yourself in advance to lead one of your best school trips. They can be downloaded to distribute to your students when you get to the site.
- Eden Trails: these are colourful, illustrated maps of themed trails that guide children through the park, and highlight exhibits with questions and challenges to inspire learning.
- Tips on how to introduce outdoor learning to your class so that they get the most from your visit.
- Infographics illustrating scientific processes related to nature. This one on pollination is a lovely example.
Scarborough: Rotunda Museum & Robin Hood’s Bay
Taking your students to Britain’s oldest seaside town on the Dinosaur Coast is one of the best school trips for exploring the geological and coastal aspects of geography. We recommend a visit to Robin Hood’s Bay where you can show your class the effects of coastal erosion and see the physical evidence of shifting land and sea over millions of years.
Since this bay was originally many miles below sea, the beach is rich with fossilised sea animals. The Rotunda Museum where many of the more impressive fossils are exhibited, along with dinosaur skeletons that have been excavated in the area, makes a fantastic partner to the field trip to Robin Hood’s Bay. The learning experience is massively enhanced by placing the museum’s collection in the context of the land from where it was gathered.
The Rotunda Museum has developed downloadable resources related to dinosaurs and pre-historic peoples. These include maps, work sheets, self-led trails and inspiring teacher resources to help you direct the tour.
- We particularly like the teacher resource called How Tall is a Dinosaur – it’s a comprehensive lesson plan that will keep your students engaged and enthusiastic during the visit.
- The Rotunda Musuem Treasure Trail is a great way to incentivize the children to explore the museum’s collection and to observe details at each exhibit.
Snowdonia: National Park & Sygun Copper Mine
The geography teachers who vote for Snowdonia as one of the best school trips for their class do so with good reason. If you’re looking for a place that can inspire a passion for physical geography then a visit to Wales’ highest mountain is hard to trump.
A combination of the landscape itself and the excellent facilities in the Education Centre provide teachers with examples that can illustrate a variety of lessons to all age groups. And if you want to mix some political geography in with the physical, then the local tourism industry along with the thriving native Welsh population offer some interesting angles for your students’ studies.
Our team also suggests that a residential stay in the area include a stop at the Sygun Copper Mine. This site has been turned into a museum that demonstrates the intricate relationship between political and physical geography.
The Snowdonia National Park Education Centre has created specific website pages that introduce the park to different age groups. The pages prepared for Primary School children cover themes ranging from weather, lakes and geology to Snowdon, mountains and wildlife. It’s worth exploring this site with your class before you set out on the trip.
- You can download a booklet that covers the educational opportunities in the Park, but you’ll need an up-to-date version of Adobe Flash Player to access it.
- There are a series of leaflets that can be downloaded from the park’s website. They go into great depth but could be useful for you when you are planning the contents of any lesson to give while you’re visiting with your class.
As an island, the United Kingdom has a wealth of physical characteristics that makes it a source of some of the best school trips for geography students and their teachers. In addition, the well-established tradition of creative and extensive resources provided in many of these educational venues give UK destinations an added appeal for teachers who are stretched for time and who need to show parents and department heads hard evidence of the value of a residential trip.
Our team at The School Travel Company is experienced in helping teachers design and implement some of the best school trips out there. If you want to put together a learning experience for your geography students that will meet their needs and give them a trip that they will always remember, get in touch with us.