Pictured: The Jurassic Coast.
The YHA outlines four ideas for school trips in spring 2016, featuring Geography, History and Biology.
As the nights draw in and temperatures start to drop, it might seem strange to begin preparing your spring school trip programmes. However, making decisions about your destinations now will ensure you beat the busy booking periods and secure a place at one the UK’s most desirable school trip locations. So whether it’s adding a new interactive dimension to your KS2 Geography syllabus or introducing your students to the wonders of modern art, we’ve listed four destinations that will enhance your lessons and introduce your class to something a bit out of the ordinary this coming spring.
Explore Britain’s Jurassic Coast
Britain’s Jurassic Coast makes an ideal school trip destination for young Geography students, with the milder spring weather really showing off the area’s natural beauty.
With unique geological features and ongoing coastal processes to study, it’s not surprising that this 95-mile stretch of coastline between Dorset and East Devon holds the title of England's first natural World Heritage Site.
Fossil hunting provides another educational delight, with the specimens on show here ranging from between 250 and 65 million years old. Charmouth beach offers the best opportunity for pupils to discover new fossils of their own and the nearby Visitor Centre provides guided walks and a wealth of information.
Walking tours also run along the Jurassic Coast, giving students the opportunity to collect sediments, study coastal processes and marvel at some of the area’s most famous landforms including Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
The YHA Swanage organises a number of trips to the area, providing students and teachers with a place to stay and workshop activities, so if the spring weather disappoints there’ll still be plenty for pupils to see and do indoors.
Pictured: YHA Eden Project
Get Tropical at the Eden Project
Spring is the season of growth and rebirth and there’s no better way of demonstrating that to your students than with a trip to the tropical paradise of the Eden Project.
For Biology students, the site emphasises the diversity of plant wildlife in existence across the planet. Each of the domes, or biomes, is host to a unique ecosystem that would normally be found in a far-flung exotic location, but instead has been carefully developed in the heart of Cornwall.
The Rainforest Biome is teeming with over 1,000 varieties of plant and lets teachers and students take in awe-inspiring views from the canopy walkway.
The Mediterranean Biome is similarly exotic, although with a temperature range of 9 to 25°C it shouldn’t be too much hotter than the UK at the time of your visit. Further educational delights are on offer at the Core, which contains a number of interactive exhibits for younger students on evolution, climate change and more.
The YHA Eden Project offers a great opportunity for teachers to co-ordinate their visit with the KS2 curriculum, providing self-led or organised trips, alongside affordable accommodation.
Delve into York’s Viking History
Let history come alive through a trip to the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, where 1,000-year old remains and interactive workshops combine to create a school trip that students will never forget.
The Jorvik Viking Centre is located on the site of one of the most significant archaeological finds of recent times, with hundreds of Viking-age artefacts discovered and on display.
The time capsule experience will also allow children to encounter Norse speaking citizens and see how they lived their lives.
The Jorvik Dig will help students imagine what it is like to excavate rare historical artefacts, but don’t worry if the spring air is a little on the cold side, all of the excavation pits are situated indoors.
If you’re looking for a residential visit near to the Jorvik site, YHA York offers on-site activities, well-maintained grounds, a handful of activity rooms and is perfectly located for any trips looking explore the area’s unique Viking past.
Explore the vast caves and caverns of Cheddar Gorge
Featuring stunning underground caverns and cliff top walks, the dramatic landscape of Cheddar Gorge makes for an ideal curriculum enhancing school trip.
Gough's Cave with its subterranean chambers and spectacular collection of stalactites and stalagmites, lets students witness geological processes at work.
The accompanying audio guide will also inform children of the cannibal Horse Hunters that lived in the cave some 14,000 years ago, along with the Cheddar Man, the oldest complete skeleton ever found in Britain.
Cox’s Cave takes students into a similarly beautiful underground world, but when you’re ready to embrace the open air, the gorge’s eye-catching cliff top walk is nearby. Enjoy the springtime weather, and some of the finest views in Somerset, while helping pupils identify the local karst limestone geology and wildlife.
With plenty of local museums and tours available in the Cheddar Gorge area, there’s no shortage of educational benefits available for teachers and students.
To find out more about the full range of YHA trip opportunities visit www.yha.org.uk/school-trips.