Gone are the days when an end-of-term treat meant a class visit to the local duck pond at lunchtime. Both primary and secondary school teachers are seeing the pastoral and educational benefits of a school trip to a theme park – but with so much on offer, which one do you choose?
Here at The School Travel Company we have years of experience planning theme park visits, both at home and abroad. We have collated a list of the parks that we feel offer the most to school groups looking for a reward trip with an educational twist. Scream if you want to go faster!
Close to Home: Alton Towers
Alton Towers Resort is one of the UK’s biggest and best-known amusement parks, so it’s no surprise that it gets pride of place on our list. It nestles in a 500-acre country estate in the middle of rural Staffordshire – you will feel the children’s anticipation building as the coach wends its way along the quiet lanes of Alton to reach the park’s gates.
With 12 themed areas, ranging from the spine-tingling Forbidden Valley to the bright and bustling CBeebies Land, there’s more than enough to occupy your group, whatever their age or thrill-seeking threshold.
Bring Business to Life
Even though Alton Towers is a household name in the UK, many teachers aren’t aware that the resort has been awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. The onsite educational centre offers more than 30 different workshops and lectures for school groups, including a highly successful ‘Business of Leisure’ programme that introduces students to the real-life business and marketing considerations ofthis FTSE 100 company.
Across the Pond: Parc Astérix and Futuroscope
While there’s plenty at home, UK schools are beginning to set their sights on France’s fantastic choice of theme parks as an option. Parc Astérix is just 22 miles from Paris, making it the perfect end to a cultural trip to the French capital. Futuroscope is not as well known by British teachers, but also offers incredible educational opportunities for students and we’ve received excellent feedback from groups we have sent there in the past.
A Fun Romp Through History
Parc Astérix will whisk you and your students 2000 years into the past to the Roman occupation of Gaul. The park is inspired by the French Asterix and Obelix comic books and is organised into 6 historical worlds: Rome, Gaul, Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Vikings and ‘Travel Through Time’. Although its lessons are not exactly historically accurate, it provides a fun and engaging theme park experience for history students who deserve a well-earned treat.
Superb Scientific Insight
With its futuristic architecture, interactive rides and incredible cinematic experiences, Futuroscope is like no theme park you will have visited before. It offers a wealth of educational opportunities, which is why we recommend a 3-day trip to experience everything it has to offer – from a journey through the human body in the dynamic ‘Virus Attack’ experience, to the IMAX showing of ‘A Space Adventure: Through Thomas Pesquet’s Eyes’.
Further Afield: Phantasialand
Phantasialand is asprawling, Disney-like theme park situated in Brühl, in eastern Germany. Its themed areas, huge rollercoasters and costumed characters make it a fabulous immersive experience for any school party.
A Treat for Linguists
We offer day excursions to Phantasialand on a number of our trips to Germany, including our 4-night itinerary to the Rhine Valley and our 3-night trip to Cologne. The park is very popular with German school groups, so there’s a chance your class will be able to practice their language skills on people their own age during a visit.
If you’re planning an end-of-year – or even end-of-trip – theme park visit with your class, get in touch with our expert team. They can craft the perfect itinerary for your group, enabling you to get the most out of your trip, wherever you choose to go.