The trip, involving two groups of 25 Year 5 children from the Brighton school took place in 2019 and involved working with Sustrans cycling charity and the Sussex Wildlife Trust.
On arrival at the nature reserve, the children took part in a variety of activities such as painting with chalk, den building and bread making. The children then rotated around the activities and reconvened at the end to make a fire, and to bake and eat the bread they had made.
When planning the trip, Katie Eberstein from Sussex Wildlife Trust looked at the group’s overview for the year, and suggested some hands on activities to bring to life the topic of the Anglo Saxons. Having suggested a few locations we decided the Deneway best met the needs of the children and the planned outcomes.
There was makeshift toilets set up with a hand washing station made from recycled milk bottles. Our guide also sat us around in a circle to explain some of the things that the Anglo Saxons had to do in daily life.
Year 5 Class Teacher Mhari Smith explained: “On return to school the children wrote news reports about the activities they had taken part in and also diary entries imagining they were Anglo-Saxons and explaining the daily tasks they had to carry out. The children were also so enthused by the trip that they asked if they could do it again, but they asked to also camp and sleep over at the Deneway.”
She added: “We know that many of the children have since taken their families on this or similar bike trips, sharing their knowledge and being the expert.”
- To enable all Year 5 children to have the chance to learn to ride a bike or to improve their current skills. The children had a strong sense of empowerment and achievement and all the Year 5 children can now ride a bike.
- To raise awareness of the local landscape and experience cycling in urban and rural locations and experience the freedom and empowerment that this gives children. The children report that they feel confident to go on similar trip out of school time.
- To be inclusive, by incurring little or no cost. We had a 3 to 4 fares to pay on the bus journey which was our only cost. The children brought their own lunches or had a lunch made for them if they have FSM.
- To bring the topic of the Anglo Saxons to life, giving children knowledge through hands on experience of their daily lives. The children were able to recount all the activities and show their knowledge in the work they produced on return to school.
- To be authentic– to experience a whole day outside, connecting with their environment, bringing many positive benefits to their mental and physical wellbeing.
About the ‘My Best School Trip’ Award
This award, which comes with a £1,500 prize for a future school trip, recognises educational visits that achieve their objectives and give children a rich and rewarding experience. To enter, teachers submitted overviews of a particular school trip, telling us about the impact it had. The 2020/21 finalists were chosen by the judging panel because of how they covered a number of areas including value and inclusivity.
The winner will be revealed during the ceremony which is currently scheduled to take place in spring 2021, for more information about the School Travel Awards go to schooltravelorganiser.com/awards.