The last 12 months have been an exciting time for school travel. We look back at the most popular news stories and features online in 2018.

National Memorial Arboretum

Counting back from ten, here are the most popular articles, as read by you, on the School Travel Organiser website this year.

10. Kingswood expanded its offering with an improved centre

Early 2018 saw the announcement of a major investment by Kingswood into the Grosvenor Hall adventure centre in Ashford, Kent. The company revealed the £1 million newly refurbished centre at an open day which was attended by local schools and groups in April. It’s now open for school bookings so get planning those trips! 

Read more here>>

9. Five types of trips to support pupils’ mental health

During Children’s Mental Health Week which took place between 5th – 11th February 2018, we ran a feature on attractions and school trip ideas that teachers should consider for their pupils when looking at mental health. 

Trips we suggested included visits to farms such as Sacrewell to give children the fresh air and outdoor adventures that instil happiness; residential experiences like Kingswood and Outward Bound Trust centres; and music and theatre trips such as going to see Wicked, Dreamgirls and Matilda.

Read more here>>

8. Teaching children about World War One in its centenary year

 2018 marked 100 years since the end of World War One, a pivotal point in history which pupils can learn about on a school trip. We looked at a number of military themed attractions which all help children learn and understand war and its effects.

Destinations we recommend include the National Memorial Arboretum, National Army Museum and Imperial War Museums. Offering a range of sessions and guided visits, there’s plenty for schools to do on a visit to these locations.

Read more here>>

7. A Q&A with LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

A firm favourite with teachers, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, was a big hit in 2018. We asked schools’ executive, Jamie Lawrence about what was on offer for schools visiting the park. 

We asked him why LOtC is important and how LEGOLAND® utilise it in which Jamie replied: “The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is an ideal destination for learning outside of the classroom as it brings students together in a unique learning environment. This not only engages them with curriculum links but also highlights how learning can be fun. All of our workshops utilise LEGO® bricks and cover key curriculum targets including English, Computing and STEM.

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6. Study by Oxford education group revealed positive effect of school trips

Research conducted by Oxford Home Schooling included data on how many trips children at different levels in the education system attend, alongside parents’ thoughts on the value of these trips, and the benefits of educational versus fun school outings.

According to the survey, which asked 1,697 UK parents of children aged 16 or younger in full time education, 46% said they believed children learnt more from school trips and visiting places than they did in the classroom.

Read more here>>

5. Next Generation Travel expanded its offering

The news broke in 2018 that Blackpool-based Next Generation Travel (NGT), had taken on Study Experiences, Sport Experiences and Remembrance Travel, all based in Surrey; adding to its portfolio which already includes WST, FHT and Anglia Tours.

The parent company described itself as the driving force behind some of the UK’s fastest growing educational travel brands, offering immersive tours to young people from age 10 - 21 years-old, which are designed to offer unique and empowering learning experiences outside of the classroom.

Read more here>>

4. Five autism-friendly school trip ideas

Making sure your school trip is suitable, accessible and catered to all children and all abilities can be difficult. Autism Awareness Week took place between 26th March to 2nd April and to mark the week we rounded up some attractions which cater for children with autism.

Our suggestions include ThinkTank which offers resources such as ear defenders for those who are affected by loud noises as well as a chill out zone. Theatres and the cinema are also good ideas as often autism friendly performances are scheduled.

Read more here>>

3. School residential was successful despite heavy snowfall

During the infamous beast from the East in early 2018, residential organisation Conway Centres, revealed a school trip which took place despite the weather conditions.

The Anglesey centre welcomed two Cumbrian schools, Millom School and Sandgate School, for the week as the easterly airstream brought cold and snowy weather conditions. The snowy trip highlighted the importance of letting children experience residentials not only in summer months, but winter too, suggesting that going at this time of year offers just as many benefits.

Read more here>>

2. Six great ideas for a Music themed school trip

We selected a handful of attractions that offer Music trips for schools, from visits to see musicals, to percussion sessions. The feature looks at The Beatles Story in Liverpool to inspire the next generation of musicians, trips to the Horniman Museum to learn more about unusual instruments and visits to the Royal Albert Hall for educational workshops.

Read more here>>

1. Inspiring school trips recognised at School Travel Awards

It comes as no surprise that the most read article on School Travel Organiser this year was our School Travel Awards winner reveal story.

BBC TV news anchor and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce hosted the UK’s biggest event for school travel and learning outside the classroom on Friday 16th November at the Royal Garden Hotel. 

The awards celebrated attractions, tour operators, teams and individuals who go the extra mile to provide life changing experiences and learning outside the classroom. Amongst the winners announced was the World Rugby Museum at Twickenham, voted Best Sporting Venue, the V&A London, which picked up the award for Best Museum Visit, while Cheddar Gorge & Caves in Somerset won Best Venue for History Learning.

Read more here>>  

Lead image: The National Memorial Arboretum.