5 anniversaries to tie in with school trips

Date Posted: 12/08/2015

In 2016 the UK will celebrate a number of historic anniversaries – from the dates of momentous battles to the death and birth of great writers. And all of them bring learning opportunities with them. Here are a five that are really worth jotting down in your diary.

950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings
When? 14th October
Curriculum link: Key Stages 1-4, History
Where to go: Battle Abbey, Hastings and Battle, east Sussex

Battle Abbey

Pictured: Battle Abbey, site of the Battle of Hastings. Photo credit: ©VisitEngland

Historic attraction Battle Abbey, the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings, provides teachers with the choice between free self-led school visits and expert-led tours for students).

Pupils are able to learn first-hand what it was like to be a Norman charging across a battlefield, or part of the Anglo-Saxon shield wall, or what a daily routine of an abbey Monk was like.

Students can stand on the battlefield where history was made in order to better comprehend events leading up to the Battle of Hastings, and learn why the site was built where it was.

The surrounding towns of Hastings and Battle are also worth considering for school trip potential, as they will be celebrating the 950th anniversary with a programme of cultural events including an exciting edition of its annual re-enactment of the battle, which takes place every October on the battlefield lying behind Battle Abbey.

400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death
When? 23rd April
Curriculum links: Key Stages 3 and 4, English and Drama
Where to go: Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire

Holy Trinity Church

Pictured: Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare's final resting place. Photo credit: ©VisitEngland

England’s renowned playwright will be commemorated in his home county of Warwickshire in 2016, to mark 400 years since his death. Students taking a trip to his home town of Stratford upon Avon can involve themselves in a programme of events celebrating his life and work throughout the year.

Highlight ideas for an English-related school trip can include seeing a Shakespeare play at either the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and or the Swan Theatre, visiting the playwrights grave at Holy Trinity Church on the banks of the river Avon, exploring the house he grew up in (Shakespeare’s Birthplace), or discovering Shakespeare’s school room which will open for the first time to the general public at King Edward VI School.

200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth
When? 21st April
Curriculum links: Key Stages 1-4, English, Drama, History
Where to go: Brontë Parsonage Museum, Yorkshire


Pictured: the moors of Haworth, Charlotte's home town. Photo credit: ©VisitEngland

English students of all ages can find something educational at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. The museum commemorates all things Brontë, and offers varying educational workshops, tours and bespoke packages for Key Stages 1 to 4.

Key stages 1 and 2 can enjoy historical artefact workshops, while a history walk (allowing students to question how children would have experienced life in Brontë’s day), is also available to KS2. Other activities for KS2 include inspirational writing lessons, and learning about the surroundings moors.

Teachers of Key Stages 3 and 4 can opt for workshops uncovering the background of the Brontë sisters, a walk across the moors to discover what motivated Charlotte herself to write, and a drama session exploring the emotional dynamics of a novel through drama (in the home of the Brontës on the edge of the moor).


150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth
When? 28th July
Curriculum link: Key Stages 1 and 2, English
Where to go: Lake District, Cumbria

The World of Beatrix Potter

Pictured: The World of Beatrix Potter; a celebration of the author's life and work.

Best known for her childhood tales of endearing animals, children’s writer Beatrix Potter spent much of her time as a child in the Lake District, before eventually moving there as an adult. The World of Beatrix Potter, an attraction dedicated solely to the life and work of the writer, offers an educational insight into the woman who created Squirrel Nutkin, Miss Tiggy-Winkle, Peter Rabbit and many more beloved characters. 

The attraction, as well as boasting an exhibition and a live chat with an actress playing Miss Potter, holds a partnership with other local attractions. Organisers can opt to combine a trip with Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Windermere Lake Cruises or Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre to make the most of a school trip to the author’s favourite part of the UK. 

0844 504 1233 (ext. 227)

100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth
When? 13th September
Curriculum link: Key Stages 2 and 3, English
Where to go: The Roald Dahl Museum, Buckinghamshire

Roald Dahl Museum

Pictured: children enjoying one of the interactive activities the Roald Dahl Museum has on offer.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is situated in the village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for 36 years. The author of James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Twits and The BFG, plus many others, is celebrated here with exhibitions, displays and mementos from his career as a children’s writer.

Geared towards Key Stages 2 and 3, the Roald Dahl Museum’s educational workshops aim to inspire students to write creatively (they have been designed to fit the Primary Framework for literacy and the Secondary National Strategy). Your class will find out how Roald Dahl wrote by visiting the replica of his writing hut, exploring biographical galleries, and taking part in a specially designed activity in Miss Honey’s Classroom.


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