Rachel Underwood, headteacher at Langdale CE Primary School in Cumbria, tells us how they spent their prize money after winning the 2023 ‘My Best School Trip’ Award. 

The cast of Pinocchio the pantomime at Newcastle Theatre Royal

Source: Crossroads Pantomimes.

Langdale CE Primary School used their ‘My Best School Trip’ prize money to take the whole school to the theatre.

We used our prize winnings to take the whole school to see the award-winning pantomime Pinocchio at the Newcastle Theatre Royal. The theatre is renowned across the North East for its high-profile performers and script writing, which engages and inspires young children right through to adults.

It offered a completely different experience to the trip to Liverpool, which won our award last year, but equally offered a range of cross-curricular learning opportunities while embracing our strong curriculum focus of offering learning beyond the classroom.

“It was the best performance I have ever seen. It was really funny and had good improvisation.”

Vivienne, Year 6

It was a real cultural experience for the children as many had never stepped foot inside a theatre which gave us a great opportunity to talk about the architecture, seating and staging. The show itself offered our children, aged three to 11, the chance to watch a live theatre performance alongside a live orchestra.

The exterior of the Newcastle Theatre Royal

Source: Graeme Peacock

The Newcastle Theatre Royal was the first theatre many of the children had ever been inside - they loved it! 

The fact that we had to travel from Cumbria to Newcastle also offered staff and children a great opportunity to communicate with one another within a different environment to the classroom.

“I really liked the audience participation with the camera at the start! I wish we could have been part of it. The effects used were great, especially the plane and the fire.”

Daisy, Year 4

Our higher-level teaching assistants (HLTA) talked to our Year 6 group about the phases of the moon and our Year 4/5 children spoke to our student teacher about the sinking of the Titanic and how the iceberg likely floated from Greenland. One child said: “we even debated if we should take artefacts from the wreck or if we should leave them in their resting place”.

“The auditorium was lovely. It had some great statues and historical paintings. My favourite part was when Pinocchio couldn’t stop singing and when he got stuck in the balloon.”

Lydia, Year 5

The younger children enjoyed singing songs and looking out the window at the changing landscape as we crossed the border into Northumberland before making our way into Newcastle city centre.

Langdale CE Primary School

The school won the ‘My Best School Trip’ Award in 2023 for their Key Stage 1-2 Our Place in Space trip to Liverpool.

It was such a wonderful opportunity to be able to share a theatre experience as a whole school. The awe and wonder etched across the children’s faces, the laughter from the staff and the general sense of enjoyment was magical.

Langdale Primary School won the 2023 ‘My Best School Trip Award’ for their KS1-2 day trip to Liverpool. Read more about what they did here

To find out more, and enter into the 2024 Award, click here