There comes a point every term where burnout seems to settle in equally for both teachers and pupils. Although it cannot be used frequently, teachers do have the ultimate weapon in their arsenal that can instantly capture even the most wandering minds; the class trip that gets everyone out of school! Residential trips in particular create quite a stir among students and that excitement can be the key to your and their success.
One of the most rewarding and impactful class excursions is one to when your group is studying World War II in school. Residential trips are the most effective use of a class’s time when venturing abroad and the lessons to be learned from this historic event are still incredibly important and relevant to our world today. Conveying the gravity of the situation to a group of children can be challenging which is why travel to historic sites of relevance can be the best way for a class to appreciate the magnitude of the war experience and its importance.
Don’t feel daunted by the idea even though the thought of travelling with 30 kids may sound about as easy as taking the entire school. Residential trips are best coordinated with the help of a specialised educational travel tour operator. Let them take care of the logistical details while you focus on the best itinerary to suit your class’s syllabus.
Key Sites of Interest
D-Day Landings Museum
This traditional-style museum is full of unique war artefacts and curiosities. With its large windows it offers panoramic views, come rain or shine, of the Mulberry Harbour. Inside are a variety of small-scale models, various military uniforms of the time, a restored jeep and even some memorabilia from the recent movie ‘The Longest Day’ that will certainly capture the attention of all your students.
The Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema is an amazing learning tool that manages to speak directly to modern students in a highly profound visual way. With nine HD screens, visitors are taken back in time to the scene of battle through actual raw footage taken during the D-Day operation. Even the most technologically-savvy pupils will be impressed by this almost virtual experience which will definitely leave an indelible mark on them even once they return to school. Residential trips to this area benefit not only from a large number of relevant historic sites to visit but also ones that utilise a variety of different teaching modalities.
Learning about the tactical battle strategies of WW2 is an amazing experience when brought to life and off the pages of a book. This 3-acre park and museum is dedicated to the operations conducted by the 6th Airborne Division and their role in the Normandy landings. Within the park students will see a life-size replica of a Horsa glider, the original Pegasus Bridge and memorials to the participants of Operation Deadstick.
It is imperative that the horrific experiences of WW2 are taught before the passage of time causes them to fade from memory. The impact of learning about history in a physical and tactile way makes the information far more personal; the experience will last long after your students return to school.
Residential trips to Normandy, with its vast array of teaching opportunities, are best organised through a dedicated school travel company. Leave all the technical and logistic details to the travel professionals as you prepare your pupils for an experience that will not only reach their minds but their conscience as well.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in school residential 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.