We’ve researched ideas of where to go on your next visit to enhance geography studies and how to give context to the subject.
1. The Living Rainforest
Voted the Best Geography Learning Experience at the 2023 School Travel Awards, The Living Rainforest in Berkshire offers students the chance to explore and learn within an immersive experience. They can soak up the sights, smells, sounds and humidity of a rainforest first-hand, while tour guides use plants, animals, and rainforest habitats to illustrate a wide range of topics from how animals adapt, to how climate change impacts both humans and nature.
There’s a choice of four tours: Amazing Adaptations, Edible Forest, Sustainable Future and Human Impacts of Climate Change. These each include links to geography, as well as science and citizenship, and are supported by teachers’ resources, tour notes and worksheets.
2. West Midland Safari Park
West Midland Safari Park’s new Defining Deforestation session is aimed at Key Stage 4 and is a walking safari, based in and around the Lemur Woods habitat. The guided tour enables students to understand deforestation, using Madagascar as a case study. It explores concepts such as the carbon cycle, how deforestation impacts different species, adaptations to forest habitats and how we can act to protect forest biodiversity.
Other options for trips with a geography focus include guided tours of the Safari drive-through (Safari Rangers) to discuss biomes and animal adaptations from across Asia and Africa.
3. Go Ape
Learning while having fun is key and for Key Stages 3 and 4, there’s an option for the combination during a visit to one of Go Ape’s locations. A free downloadable resource for geography studies encourages students to gather soil samples from the forest and use several techniques to assess their contents back in the classroom.
They’ll explore the water, humus and air content in the samples alongside discussions about the chemical and physical processes affecting the forest in a geographical way as well as biodiversity in the forest and how urbanisation affects the forest environment. There’s an outdoor adventure for all ages across Go Ape’s 36 locations.
4. Lost Earth Adventures
Bespoke programmes are tailored to your learning objectives supporting the geography curriculum. The Lost Earth Adventures’ team use outdoor and adventurous activities that inspire young people to explore. Hill walking and navigation activities look at topographical features, scale, grid references and can encourage students to seek out evidence of past land uses, from the Ice Age through to today.
If you’re after something a bit more adventurous, caving, climbing or gorge walking delve into geological processes, timescale, tectonics, rock types and glaciation.
5. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
WWT’s sites throughout the UK provide unique opportunities for learners of all ages and abilities to get close to wetland wildlife from the UK and across the world.
Their educational visit packages, devised alongside educational experts and teachers, include curriculum-linked learning sessions, pre and post visit session plans and a range of interactive resources that can be used to enhance children’s learning.
The charity encourages children to learn through real-life experiences and hands-on activities, making use of its extensive range of resources and equipment and exploring the wonderful natural environments on site.