International Women’s Day: school trip ideas

Date Posted: 15/01/2016

Suffragette Study Day London

International Women’s Day (IWS) is on 8th March this year and the annual event can be used to teach a number of subjects.

IWS first began in 1908 and ever since has been a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

School Travel Organiser has rounded up a mixture of workshops, exhibitions and school trips for each Key Stage that will introduce children to the ideas of IWS and tie into the curriculum, too.

Key Stage 1, English, History and Drama

A visit to Brontë Parsonage Museum will introduce children to the world of the Brontë sisters and, in particular, Emily Brontë who changed the course of English literature.

One Key Stage 1 workshop is Hands-On History, where students can learn about what life was like in the Parsonage when the Brontës were growing up. They’ll learn about how the Brontës spent their free time, how the sisters lives compare with their own and how life may have been different for other children in Haworth.

Brontë Parsonage Museum is also home to The Brontë Parsonage Library, which holds the largest collection of items relating to the Brontë family in the world.

A pit stop here after a workshop would be helpful for children to listen to and discuss a wide range of poems (of which Emily Brontë was also known to write), which ties in with Key Stage 1 English.

The Museum of London has a large mixture of workshops, performances, visits and tours for schools. One drama performance for Key Stage 1 is based on the story of Mary Seacole.

An actress playing Mary Seacole will teach students about her experiences as a black woman in Victorian London and how, during the Crimean War, she set herself up as an independent supplier and ‘doctress’ to the army. Children will hear about her different adventures around the world, and how cultural diversity was present in Victorian London.

The visit includes a half hour performance followed by a 75-minute self-directed Expanding City, Victorian Walk and People’s City gallery visit.

Key Stage 2, History, Citizenship and PHSE

Southbank Centre is running a whole variety of workshops, events, talks, debates, live music and comedy in March, including a Feminist Corner.

This particular session is a great way to introduce both girls and boys to the idea of the kind of problems women face in the modern world. It’s a great way to involve boys in IWS too, and although the interactive workshop is named Feminist Corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to present the ideas of IWMto children without being too overbearing.

The National Centre for Citizenship and the Law runs a suffragettes study day including visits to both the Museum of London and the Royal Courts of Justice.
Children will spend time at the Museum of London whilst exploring one of the UK’s largest collections relating to the Suffragette movement, before developing source analysis skills through the investigation of original printed materials from the museums’ archives.

Then, they’ll head over to the Royal Courts of Justice and take part in a mock trial based on a real Suffragette’s case, with the experience taking place in a working courtroom.

This engaging session will develop critical thinking skills as the class have the chance to take on the roles of judge, jury, barristers, witnesses and defendant. They’ll also learn about the motives behind the Suffragette’s actions and determine their guilt to decide their sentence.

Key Stage 3, History and Citizenship

Women’s Information Northern Ireland is hosting a range of events for IWS and specifically welcomes school groups. One event is the Women’s Heritage Bus Tour of Belfast, which will be all about the women who helped to build and shape the city of Belfast.

The tour will celebrate their heritage and highlight the contribution women have made to key political events. Other subjects touched upon will include the struggles of women in the linen mills, campaigns for the vote, the development of political activity amongst nationalist and unionist women, women educational reformers and women in the arts.

Another Southbank Centre workshop is a day spent exploring and celebrating heroines for Secondary school girls. The day will be spent discussing who the heroines of science, sport, literature and politics are, and speakers will pitch their ideas for the women they’d like to see added to the school curriculum.

Pupils will have the chance to cast their own votes for an unsung heroine, also.

Schools can bring a maximum of 60 students aged 11 to 18 and tickets are £2 per student.

For more information visit www.internationalwomensday.com.

School Travel Organiser's Guide