10 school trip ideas: Business Studies

Date Posted: 29/07/2014

School trips to provide inspiration for tomorrow’s young entrepreneurs.

It is vital for pupils to gain an understanding of the business world to prepare them for the jobs market. In addition to equipping students with practical skills, Business Studies is a dynamic subject that also covers communication, problem solving, team work, decision making and time management.

In a recent speech education secretary Michael Gove said: “For each individual young person, for each individual business, and for the wider economy, it’s never been more important to provide skills that lead to employment.”

Here are ten ideas that offer memorable learning opportunities and introduce pupils to the world of business.

1. Chelsea Football Club

The Business of Football provides an exciting insight into matchday and non-matchday operations at Chelsea Football Club. Aimed at complementing GCSE studies, students complete an education workbook with answers provided by an experienced guide.

The tour and case study focus on merchandise, marketing, finance and staffing. It’s also a good resource for coursework and revision related to sport, leisure and tourism.

Teachers can also combine the session with a guided stadium tour that gives pupils access to areas of Stamford Bridge normally reserved for players and officials. All stadium tours include entry to the onsite museum.

2. Blenheim Palace

The ancestral home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace combines history with modern subjects such as Media and Business Studies.

The education department offers talks and tours which look at the palace as a tourist destination and the issues it faces as both an international attraction and World Heritage Site.

The 18th century palace has starred in historical films including Hamlet and The Young Victoria, and more recently it can be seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Gulliver's Travels.

Looking behind the scenes, pupils are asked to consider the pros and cons of allowing film crews to use the palace.

3. Cadbury World

Learn about chocolate and the corporate world at Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham.

The attraction has downloadable worksheets for students to use as they tour the attraction, with two devoted to business studies for KS3 and above. They both focus on different facets of business, including production, merchandising and display, marketing and promotion, people in organisations, customer service and retailing.

Pupils will find out how the UK confectionery market is broken down into five different categories, such as snacking, sharing and giving, and learn how identify sales and promotions techniques. Educational talks are available to groups of 30 or more students.

4. Alton Towers

A variety of talks are offered in the dedicated education centre at Alton Towers, including a business-themed session. Keeping customers happy is vital to a theme park’s success, and KS4 and KS5 pupils will find out how Alton Towers motivates its staff to deliver excellent customer service and how the park manages visitors’ expectations.

Using Alton Towers as a case study for the hospitality industry, students will explore the products and services the resort has to offer. The talk also covers employment, the variety of roles and their structure, providing an insight into a ‘day in the life’ of a staff member. Workshops end with a question and answer session.

5. Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

On a visit to Wales make tracks to the Ffestiniog Railway. Founded by an act of parliament in 1823, it’s the world’s oldest independent railway company and was formed to bring slate from the quarries of Blaenau Ffestiniog to the newly created harbour town of Porthmadog.

In more recent years, the tourist traffic has made a significant impact on the social aspects of the area, bringing in money and creating jobs.

Its sister heritage line, the newly completed West Highland Railway, was a huge engineering project covering some of the most sensitive areas of Snowdonia.

Pupils will learn how the railway worked with wildlife agencies such as the Countryside Council for Wales and the RSPB as well as local landowners and government bodies. For schools interested in following the story of ‘slates to the sea’ a joint visit with Llechwedd Slate Caverns is recommended.

6. RAF Museum London

Situated on the historic site of Hendon’s London Aerodrome in Colindale, this north London museum is one of two – the other is located in Cosford in the West Midlands - that tells the story of the Royal Air Force through its people and collections.

The London collections include some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern day jets and military aircraft. At a Business Studies session for KS5 and above, students will find out how the museum markets itself and functions as a business through a presentation followed by a question and answers session.

A separate workshop focuses on the museum’s operation in the leisure and tourism sector and includes a SWOT analysis session where students learn how to evaluate a business venture’s strengths and weaknesses.

Sessions can be tailored to suit specific needs and also linked to a self-guided visit with the help of downloadable museum worksheets.

7. Spinnaker Tower

Soaring 170-metres above Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent, the Spinnaker Tower is taller than the London Eye, Blackpool Tower and Big Ben and will make a lasting impression on students.

The tower’s education resource pack provides many cross-curricular links, including Business Studies. For example, KS3 pupils can study the effects of tourism on the local economy and learn how to interpret statistics and diagrams.

For KS4 and KS5 the tower has teamed with Action Stations, based in nearby Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, to offer an informative workshop that focuses on aspects of two contrasting attractions. This includes customer service, different types of businesses working in competition and as partners, marketing and media. 

8. Twycross Zoo

A trip involving animals is always popular and Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire combines lessons on wildlife and the natural world with insightful sessions that help pupils focus on business and careers.

The extensive range of GCSE sessions include taking an in depth look at business and customer services at the zoo, marketing and careers. Older pupils can have first-hand experience of what it is like to work in a zoo through four themed career days.

The structured programme of activities and presentations cover zoo keeping, veterinary practice, animal behaviour research and conservation. They can be booked individually or as a series of days for the same group. All the sessions allow ample time to explore the zoo, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Set in 80 acres, Twycross is home to around 650 animals and is renowned as a specialist primate zoo.

9. Warwick Castle

One thousand years of history is put into context with today’s marketplace at one of England’s biggest and best-know castles. After stepping back in time on a castle visit, pupils are brought right up to date with an insight into the various marketing techniques implemented by Warwick Castle.

Worksheets help provide pupils with an understanding of how the castle utilises different tools to find out who their customers are, and what they want, in order to target them effectively.

Warwick Castle offers four levels of admission prices; off peak, peak, combination tickets and annual passes. This is used as a springboard for pupils to understand how businesses set a suitable price for their products or services, and that if the price is too high customers will not be prepared to use them.

They will examine how to balance value for money with the need to make a profit.

10. Wimbledon

From humble beginnings to the world’s most coveted title in tennis, the facts and figures behind Wimbledon add up to a winning experience.

The secondary and further education programme is flexible in order to meet the needs of different schools, and packages can be adapted from an introductory talk to a more detailed analysis of chosen topics.

One business linked session examines how Wimbledon maintains its position as the world’s premier tennis event, and during the visit students will discover how a careful balance of tradition, routine and innovation has enabled tennis to flourish at Wimbledon.

All tours and workshops include a self-guided visit to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, where more than 15,000 objects tell the story of lawn tennis from a pastime to a global sporting phenomenon.

Artefacts date from 1555 to the present day and include unusual items such as tennis-themed toys and teapots.

School Travel Organiser's Guide