Boasting a range of excellent exhibition spaces that offer dedicated school programmes tailored to your students’ curriculum, London is a fantastic city for educational visits. Plan your trip carefully and you could cover a range of subjects and topics in a relatively short space of time.
The Natural History Museum
This wonderful Victorian exhibition space has so much to offer students of the natural world (from biology and physics to geography and history) that you could take up residence here for an entire term and still not see it all. Thankfully the exhibits are divided into easy to navigate zones so that you can find the topics you are interested in quickly and easily. Depending on age, highlights include the animatronic dinosaurs, the man-sized model of a human foetus in the womb, and an escalator ride through the Earth’s core.
The Science Museum
One of the most interactive exhibitions on offer in the capital, there is no end to button pushing, lever pulling, immersive simulator rides and other fun scientific exhibits spread out across the building’s seven floors. Perfect for educational visits, the curators here do their best to enthuse students about all facets of science from space exploration to basic scientific principals. From the IMAX cinema, which brings scientific education to life for the students, to the interactive Apollo 10 flight simulator and command module, the venue uses the very latest technology to bring science out of the classroom and into students’ imaginations.
London Transport Museum
Whether your students are interested in the iconic design of some of London Transport’s posters, maps and logos, the development of transport through the ages, or the role public transport played in the city, this exhibition has it all. Pupils of all ages will love the interactive elements: repairing a tube train, busking on the busking spots, sailing the Thames Nipper, driving a London bus, or taking on the Northern Line simulator. Set in the heart of London’s bustling Covent Garden, this is a great place include on any educational visits to the capital.
Imperial War Museum
A fascinating insight into military history, the Imperial War Museum gives students the chance to see some of the machines of war in close proximity. From the Harrier GR9 Jet hanging from the ceiling in the entrance hall to a Snatch Land Rover used in Iraq, younger pupils will enjoy the physical elements of the exhibition. For older history students there is the harrowing Holocaust Exhibition (which is recommended for visitors of 14 years and older) and the Crimes Against Humanity exhibit (recommended for 16 years and older).
London has a wealth of exciting educational museums and exhibits to explore across the city so it is worth taking the time to talk to a specialist educational tour operator before you plan your trip to ensure that you and your class see as much as you can. From booking tickets to arranging accommodation and transport, a tour operator can deal with the details so you can concentrate on planning an educational and inspiring trip.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational trips for school and youth groups to the UK, 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.