The Passport to Learning

Inspiration for turning any public place into the ideal destination for learning away from the classroom.

Learning can happen anywhere. You don’t always need downloadable resource packs, tonnes of kit, and access to a schedule of pre-bookable workshops to make learning outside the classroom work.  

Proof for this has been demonstrated by Birmingham Airport’s Learning Hub. Opened in April 2016, the Hub is an educational facility that’s used to host workshops for Primary school students and CPD sessions for teachers.

It was set up as part of the Opening Doors project (established by the charity The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham) that was created to offer opportunities for bright children from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter five of the top free grammar schools in Birmingham.

In summer this year, the Hub created a Passport to Learning – a very simple activity booklet designed to get pupils exploring the airport and taking part in curriculum-relevant learning along the way.

The booklet offers learning opportunities linked to everything from Science and Geography to Maths, Literacy and engineering.

Yet, what it essentially consists of, is a few questions for pupils to answer as they walk about the arrivals hall and entry areas of Birmingham Airport.

The concept of the passport is simple yet effect and its format can be used to inspire your own ‘LOtC-anywhere’ experiences.

What’s in the Passport to Learning?

Character Strengths section

This section of the passport asks pupils to consider what jobs people do at Birmingham Airport. The passport booklet then provides a list of different character strengths, such as curiosity, perseverance, prudence and courage, and the children have to decide which of these traits are required of people in each of the professions they have identified.

Pupils can use a dictionary to look up the meanings of the words. Back in the classroom they could use these and other new words in a creative writing task.

Plane Spotting

Pupils are asked ‘where might some of the planes be going?’ and they then have to locate these destinations on a world map.

Children are also asked to find out what the currency is in these destinations and can use Maths to work out exchange rates.

The time taken to fly to different countries can also be linked to both Geography and Maths curriculums.

Luggage allowances and aeroplane passenger numbers can also be used to teach Maths.

Airport Symbols

There are signs and symbols all over Birmingham Airport. In the Passport to Learning pupils are tasked with identifying them, drawing them and discussing their meaning.

To find out more about the learning opportunities created at the Learning Hub visit