The International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) has now welcomed some 20,000 pupils to take part in its education programme, which has sparked volunteers to enhance its learning offer.

School children visiting the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire

Source: David Harrison Photography

Children of all ages can engage with history in an accessible and thought-provoking way at the centre.

To commemorate the Lincolnshire centre’s work in developing an exciting programme and hitting the school visitor milestone, the IBCC has revealed that it is developing and improving its educational offer even further.

Its learning officer team now includes a former primary school teacher, Leah Deen, who has come in to help enhance the visit experience for schools. The team is also fundraising for a new dedicated learning space separate from the main building that will enable them to teach a more encompassing programme that extends the range of human stories behind Bomber Command. 

“It’s always rewarding to see those light bulb moments of discovery when they make connections with the past.” 

Janine Smithson, IBCC learning officer

Nicky van der Drift, chief executive of the IBCC, said: “Hitting the milestone of 20,000 children through our doors to learn is an amazing achievement and testament to the team we have here who take immense pride in educating the next generation. 

“If we’ve sparked a lifelong passion for history in even one of those children, then I consider it a success, and we’re now looking forward to expanding and improving our offering further.” 

What can schools expect?

The sessions teach visitors about the history of Bomber Command’s personnel through first-hand accounts, artefacts, and state-of-the-art interactive displays.

This allows children of all ages to engage with the history in an accessible and thought-provoking way. Additionally, a ’10 Things to do at the IBCC’ guide has also been produced to help groups explore the inside and outside of the centre at their own pace while prompting conversations about Remembrance, Recognition and Reconciliation. 

The International Bomber Command Centre

A memorial spire is surrounded by walls containing the names of the 57,861 men and women who lost their lives serving and supporting Bomber Command during World War Two.

Janine Smithson, IBCC learning officer, said: “It is so important that children are aware of Britain’s past, and we hope that we can inspire and spark their curiosity to learn even more about World War Two after they leave us. This period of history especially is important for children to learn about as those with the last living memory of this time period will unfortunately soon no longer be with us. 

“We believe a hands-on approach allows the children to discover the past in an exciting way where our materials complement their imaginations in bringing the stories to life. We want them to come away from our centre with a new appreciation of our history, but to have had fun attaining it as well.  

“It’s always rewarding to see those light bulb moments of discovery when they make connections with the past.” 

The International Bomber Command Centre is dedicated to the hidden history of Bomber Command. During World War Two more than a million men and women served, or supported, Bomber Command. Originating in 60 nations across the world, they were united in their efforts to protect the freedom we enjoy today. 

The centre itself, located just outside of Lincoln, has a memorial spire surrounded by walls containing the names of the 57,861 men and women who lost their lives serving and supporting Bomber Command during World War Two, as well as an interactive exhibition and learning gallery. 

For more information about school visits to the IBCC, visit