School trips – The ultimate teacher guide
There’s lots to think about when organising and leading an educational excursion, but these pointers will help set you on the road to success…
- by Teachwire
- Find the perfect school trip
- Start planning school trips early
- Educational and learning value
- The cost of school trips
- Helping parents budget for school trips
- Free UK school trips
- Risk assessments and school trips safety
- School trips insurance
- Accredited providers of school trips
- Getting assistance from the school trip venue
- Inspection visits
- Adult to pupil ratios
- Preparing the children
- Make time for reflection
- School trip ideas
Find the perfect school trip
Find perfect school trips in an instant with our school trip finder. Explore school trips by subject, region, type or simply browse our extensive school trip directory until you find something your pupils would love.
Start planning school trips early
It falls under the category of ‘common sense’, but in teaching, where time is often in short supply, it bears repeating: allowing adequate time for planning a school trip is essential, as rushed school trips, planned days or weeks before rather than months in advance, will be both a more stressful experience for you as organiser, and at risk of underperforming educationally.
One of the key findings of Ofsted’s 2008 Learning outside the classroom report was that learning outside the classroom (LOtC) was “most successful when it was an integral element of long-term curriculum planning and closely linked to classroom activities”.
Gill Harvey, chief executive of the School Travel Forum, says that many school trips don’t get beyond the planning stage because teachers “haven’t gauged parental interest and got approval from the headteacher first.”
Making an enquiry with school trips venues or providers should be “the last step in the process”, she continues.
Educational and learning value
As the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) highlights in its guidance, “the objectives for [your] visit should be defined carefully and must relate closely to classroom work.”
In its 2008 report, Ofsted noted that, “Too many residential and other visits […] had learning objectives which were imprecisely defined”.
When thinking about educational school trips, headteacher Tracey Bowen stresses that its “vital to be clear about why you’re going. What’s your intention? What do you want to get out of it?”.
She continues: “We spend a phenomenal amount of time planning school trips, checking what the content of a workshop is, explaining what our needs are.”
It’s important to think carefully about where you choose to go – as Tracey points out: “You can get brochures through and think, ‘Oh, that looks great – we’ll go there!’, but unless you’re careful, you can end up thinking, ‘That’s not what it said on the tin!’.”
“Unless you’re careful you can end up thinking, ‘That’s not what it said on the tin!'”
More fundamentally, for a successful school trip, your choice of destination should be informed by your learning objectives.
The CLOtC advises that if your outcomes can be “successfully achieved in the grounds of your school, or within easy access in the local area, then it is unlikely that travelling for hours to reach a more distant venue will enhance the learning experience” – but of course there will be many instances in which an external provider located further afield will be essential.
The cost of school trips
Steve Craven, director of NST Travel Group, recommends being flexible with your travel dates, transport options, departure points and accommodation location to get the best price for school trips, and recommends not being afraid to ask for advice on making your financial resources stretch a little further.
Consider the length of your school trip, too – the longer the trip is, the more expensive it will be. If you’re going on a residential school trip, filling your itinerary with a mix of free and paid-for options will help to keep the cost down.
When it comes to the cost of transport, Sylvia Holland, a KS4 lead practitioner at Impington Village College and Impington International College who regularly organises MFL school trips abroad, says, “Since Brexit and the pandemic there has been a noticeable increase in the costs of flights, but being flexible with our travel dates has enabled us to benefit from the best prices available.”
Her school has also benefited from community and charity funding, government grants and school fundraising. She recommends looking into The Turing Scheme.
Helping parents budget for school trips
Schools usually take pride in offering an array of trips – but that may ring alarm bells for some parents, says Nikki Cunningham-Smith…
According to figures from Gingerbread, a national charity supporting one-parent families, lone-parent families are five times as likely to have an income of less than £200 per week. This makes it very difficult for them to cover the cost of school trips.
The cost-of-living crisis can’t help but loom large in this kind of conversation. And it’s not likely to be going away any time soon.
One demographic it hits particularly hard are, of course, parents of nursery and school-age children. The National Foundation for Educational Research recently found that over the past year, there have been significant increases in the numbers of pupils requiring additional welfare and financial support. This is simply so they can access basic learning, social and extracurricular provision.
As you’d expect, the financial pressures are greatest in special schools and the most disadvantaged mainstream schools. Special school senior leaders are reporting especially high increases in need for pupil welfare support (from 28% to 36%) and financial support (33% to 43%) over the last year.
Spikes in support
Households are now under strain when paying household bills. This is combined with food costs soaring to their highest point in 45 years. Plus there’s the impact of rising interest rates on mortgage repayments and rents. This has resulted in households everywhere having far less disposable income.
Many more households hence have less in the way of savings. They’re increasingly living pay cheque to pay cheque, affording little wriggle room for unexpected expenses. (Though one thing that hasn’t changed is the threshold for Pupil Premium in light of these developments, in a way that might enable more families to become eligible for it).
Because it’s not just children currently eligible for Pupil Premium who are receiving extra support. In 63% of secondary schools, leaders report that just over half of those pupils receiving additional support from their school weren’t PP-eligible.
The same could be said for around 42% of special schools. This suggests that the current eligibility criteria for free school meals may be too restrictive.
One parent of a SEN child once highlighted to me how difficult it can be to access trips due to the additional costs incurred from having a pupil on the SEND register. This is something other parents and teaching staff may not realise.
The example she gave me was having to buy three sets of ear defenders priced at £30 each at the start of a school year. This is one cost that not all parents will face.
Another parent told me how she had previously tried to keep her daughter off school in the week leading up to one trip. This was specifically so that she’d miss the building buzz and excitement, and hence not know the extent to which she’d be missing out because the parent couldn’t afford to pay.
In a post-pandemic climate, where pupil attendance is still giving us significant causes for concern, how can we tackle these anxieties that seem so closely associated with paying for school trips?
One thing we can do is provide parents with clear timetables at the start of the academic year that record proposed trips and upcoming costs. This help with parents’ budgeting.
If your capacity extends to it, you could even look into setting up financial literacy support sessions for any parents needing to improve their ability at budgeting successfully.
Where possible, look to provide a monthly payment system. Here, parents regularly deposit small sums in a dedicated account, before then making withdrawals once a trip has been arranged.
There’s scope to subsidise the trips themselves using Pupil Premium and/or SEND funding. Or you can approach your PTA about supporting funded places.
A good way of getting parents to engage can be to research any local financial support organisations. Share details of these in your school newsletters and parental forums.
The onus is on schools to embed these kinds of practices into their daily routines. If a school can demonstrate that their parents’ financial status is an area they’re sensitive to, this will help build a sense of openness.
Because we all want schools to be places where no child need miss out on exceptional learning experiences – whatever their socioeconomic status.
Support for parents
- Consider helping parents access financial literacy workshops from a local support organisation. Or provide them yourself in after-school sessions
- Ensure that parents feel able to inform you in the event of financial concerns or shocks that might be affecting them and their families
- Engage with charities that might be able to offer financial support to struggling families. Pass on any useful advice or guidance
- Some LAs can provide support with additional school expenses in ‘exceptional circumstances’
Nikki Cunningham-Smith is an assistant headteacher based in Gloucestershire
Free UK school trips
Of course, you don’t always need to travel far to find an appropriate setting for your school trip. Staying local helps you save on travelling time and costs but also helps children to engage with the local history of their community. Check out a great range of free school trips here.
Risk assessments and school trips safety
The very thought of being responsible for the wellbeing of 30+ unleashed kids can be enough to put teachers off school trips for life, but there has never been more guidance available for those responsible for carrying out risk assessments.
So what exactly is a school trip risk assessment?
According to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, a risk assessment is “an essential element of any school trip – not to mention a legal requirement.”
“If you are the group leader, always be prepared to trust your own judgement”, advises the NEU.
“If you think that to continue an activity or a school trip would compromise the health and safety of the group, you have the authority and responsibility to cancel it.
“The teacher/group leader is expected to apply the same standard of care as would a ‘reasonable parent’ acting within a range of reasonable responses.”
If you need help with your risk assessment, each local authority has an outdoor education advisor who is there to help and support you.
School trips insurance
It’s vital that all staff and pupils are fully and correctly insured for your school trip. NEU says that it’s important to “study insurance policies carefully – they should include cover for possible personal liability and ‘third party insurance’ for all responsible adults.
“Group leaders must ensure that they do nothing to jeopardise their insurance cover.
“When negligence is alleged, the case will nearly always be taken against the employer, who is vicariously liable and carries insurance for third-party liability.
“Claims are seldom brought against individuals and, if individual employees are sued, they may bring in their employer as a co-defendant.
“Some employers provide a specific indemnity which protects staff against any liability if a claim is made against them personally.
“The courts do not rush to find schools and teachers negligent, they accept that accidents do happen.
“However, schools must demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to plan school trips thoroughly and assess and control risks, and individual teachers must demonstrate that their responses to an incident were within the range of the reasonable responses of a parent.”
Accredited providers of school trips
It’s easy to underestimate the time and energy needed to organise a school trip, especially if you’re taking a ‘DIY’ approach and arranging all the separate elements yourself.
Using an accredited provider or tour company gives you financial protection in the form of ABTA or ATOL bonding, but another benefit, as Gill Harvey from School Travel Forum explains, is that reputable tour companies will have “first-hand knowledge of your destination and a good ‘bank’ of suppliers from which to choose appropriate services for your school trip, and can offer 24-hour help and support in the unlikely event that anything should happen – from flight delays to last minute cancellations.”
Using an accredited provider can save you time when it comes to paperwork and “gives you peace of mind that the elements of the school trip have all been carefully checked on your behalf”, according to Gill.
Jamie Walls, product development and delivery manager at YHA, recommends looking in particular for the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge.
He says: “It’s the only nationally recognised indicator of good quality educational provision and effective risk management.
“Having this quality standard means the red tape associated with a school trip is reduced.”
Getting assistance from the school trip venue
If you can’t quite find what you’re looking for when browsing school trip ideas, don’t be afraid to ask venues for assistance, advises deputy headteacher Grace Shaw.
Many museums, galleries, zoos and the like are more than willing to be flexible.
Grace says: “Rather than picking off the menu, you can tailor-make what you need. Museums in particular are usually very happy to adapt their offer, because they’re so thrilled to share what they’ve got to share.”
On school trips where venue staff are taking the lead in guiding students, don’t be tempted to switch off. Grace says: “Some teachers think, ‘I’ll get to my workshop, then the workshop leader will have the children and I’ll get them back at the end.’
“Actually, you need to work with staff, because while they’re experts in their field, you’re the expert in your children. You’ve got to develop a partnership.”
Gill Harvey adds that to maximise the positive impact of your trip and help gain approval from parents and the school to run the trip in the first place, ask your operator how they can support you to promote the learning benefits of the trip to your stakeholders.
Planning a school trip checklist
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers lays out the following checklist for planning a school trip.
- Obtain approval from your school and the local authority, if applicable
- Undertake or obtain a risk assessment
- Detail staffing, supervision and training needs
- Ensure that the trip is adequately insured
- Plan transport
- Obtain written parental consent for medical treatment and brief parents
- Conduct an exploratory visit
- Prepare contingency and emergency arrangements
- Brief staff in preparation for the trip, including responsibilities and emergency arrangements
- Prepare children for the trip discussing arrangements, expectations and safety
Making time to head to your destination ahead of the trip proper can help clarify issues as trivial as where you need to park, as well as more important issues relating to health and safety.
In its National Guidance, the OEAP notes that while accreditations and other sources of information provide essential assurances, “they are not a substitute for a preliminary visit and being able to clarify issues face to face.”
Jamie Walls from YHA says that by arranging a pre-visit, group leaders can get a feel for the residential destination. “They can also talk to staff, get assistance with any paperwork necessary and see the activities first-hand,” he says.
If you’re planning a school trip residential, a visit will allow you to assess catering and sleeping arrangements. “Ensure that your groups have dedicated rooms and that the catering is not only offered but of good quality, with any dietary requirements catered for too”, suggests Jamie.
Adult to pupil ratios
According to NEU, there’s no precise formula for the ratio of adults required on a school trip. “It’s down to reasonable judgement”, it explains.
“You should take into account the nature of the expedition, and the number, age and aptitudes of the children. School trips which involve hazardous activities require more adults for a group.”
“There’s no precise formula for the ratio of adults required on a school trip”
Many venues will state their own ratios for school trips on their website.
Government guidance on ratios
On its website, the Health and Safety Executive states that pupil to staff ratios for school trips are not prescribed in law.
It states that “those planning a school trip, on the basis of risk assessment, should decide the ratios, taking into account the activity to be undertaken and the age and maturity of the pupils.”
Preparing the children
Before embarking on your trip, set out your expectations about behaviour and lay out your learning outcomes and how they will be used in the following weeks.
It’s also important to set out to children what will happen on their school trip – emphasising the times when they’ll need to focus and the opportunities for free time available.
Giving children a clear idea of what will happen on your trip and when can help to alleviate anxieties about the unknown, according to experts at PAC-UK.
They propose providing a timetable of the trip, breaking it down into its component elements, the more visual the better.
Other ways to help anxious children include:
- Looking at images or the website of your destination
- Arranging a pre-visit with a caregiver, if possible
- Giving pupils the chance to discuss any worries with a key person in school
Read more advice from PAC-UK about reducing trip trauma.
Another important aspect of preparing children for a trip is making sure that they already have a basic knowledge of the topic you’re looking to focus on.
Teacher Sylvia Holland says that many school trip venues “have a plethora of resources available online that are designed to support learning in the classroom, for use either prior to or after your visit.
“Use videos to set the scene and excite pupils ahead of their trip or use worksheets to help with follow-up lesson planning and allow them to apply new-found skills.”
Make time for reflection
Making the most of a school trip isn’t just about ensuring its smooth-running on the day – the point, after all, is for the visit to have a measurable positive benefit on students’ learning when they return to the classroom.
As such, it’s equally important to give due consideration to how you plan to continue the learning – in some cases post-visit resources may be available to help you – and to reflect, in partnership with students, on the experience: evaluate its effectiveness in terms of improving educational outcomes, and learn lessons for next time.
School trip ideas
Whether you’re looking for help planning a primary school trip, a secondary school trip, a free school trip or just something a little out-of-the-ordinary, we’ve got you covered with this mega list of school trip ideas!
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- Theatre and drama trips
- Outdoor activity day trips
Residential trips for schools
Manor House & Ashbury Hotels
The Manor House & Ashbury Hotels, in the heart of Devon, offer a fantastic choice of over 50 sport, craft, leisure and spa activities.
A dedicated schools coordinator can create a bespoke programme to meet your group’s individual requirements, plus all equipment and use of its fantastic facilities is included in the price.
All sessions are delivered by experienced tutors with a child-led approach. With workshops, accommodation, full-board dining and generous group discounts you’re guaranteed a great value break that ticks every box.
Rock UK has been working with schools for nearly 100 years. Its four nationwide activity centres offer tailor-made programmes of challenging activities to build resilience, confidence and independence – you can choose from over 40 instructed activities, from watersports to abseiling, bush craft to archery and much more.
All centres hold the LOtC quality badge, testament to the company’s high standards for safety, activity provision and learning outcomes.
Bursary places are available for children who would otherwise be left behind.
Ringsfield Hall is an innovative centre for outdoor learning and nature connection, with 14.5 acres of woods, meadow and a homely Victorian house.
On offer are crafted forest school and earth education programmes, infused with imagination, drama and magic, all delivered by experienced practitioners with a child-led and eco-therapeutic approach.
You can opt for a day visit or residentials, with facilities including an art barn, music studio and sports pitches.
Other highlights include farm animals, fantastic home-cooked food and the freedom to explore!
Go Wild Adventures
Bring your students out of the classroom and immerse them in the great outdoors at Go Wild Adventures.
Go Wild’s philosophy is that great things can happen in young people’s lives when their horizons are widened, and its team will work to help you achieve this.
Pupils are invited to embrace living under canvas and inspired to explore the world around them.
With campfires, woodlands, fields and an on-site field study classroom on offer, Go Wild can help you put together a package to suit your specific needs.
Cumulus offers action-packed residential programmes on the stunning Jurassic coast in Dorset, tailored to your requirements and fully supported by a team who will guide you every step of the way.
You can choose either the exclusive Tented Village option for an authentic outdoor experience – featuring 24/7 pastoral care, spacious tents, a large communal tipi and dedicated teachers area – or the Residential Centre for dormitory accommodation, plus dedicated teacher and classroom facilities.
Programmes can include coasteering, a visit to a waterpark, a mud run, kayaking, mackerel fishing, rock climbing and abseiling, and more.
YHA School Trips
Whatever your subject and whatever your desired learning objectives, when you choose YHA School Trips you can be assured of a safe, fulfilling and unforgettable residential that will stay with your pupils long after their coach journey home.
What’s more, as a leading youth charity, YHA believes that every child should have the same chance to discover, explore and grow – to that end it creates unique opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to experience amazing places, share extraordinary journeys and take a different path through life.
TYF has been running for over 30 years, delivering adventure residential school trips for schools. Pupils are taken out of the confines of the classroom and immersed in adventurous and experiential learning in the natural world.
Its core activities are coasteering (which it pioneered in 1986), surfing, climbing and abseiling, and kayaking.
The programmes link adventure and problem solving, helping pupils to find meaning and inspiration whilst building the ‘backpack skills’ for a lifetime of adventurous play.
Mill on the Brue
Mill on the Brue Outdoor Activity Centre boasts over 40 activities in the idyllic river valley in Bruton, Somerset.
Each programme is individually written in consultation with the party leader, who can choose activities based around team-building, problem-solving, high energy or just plain fun, with experienced and qualified instructors who stay with the group throughout the week.
Food is also an important part of the trip, with child-friendly meals and all diets catered for.
Children are taught about the environment and teamwork, and gain a comprehension of healthy living and life skills.
The School Journey Association
The School Journey Association’s activity school trips are suitable for all age groups and are a fantastic way to motivate pupils, whilst teaching them independence, self-belief and many other important life skills.
They offer both day and residential school trips to accredited activity centres throughout the UK and France, as well as visits to Belgium and Spain.
NST has been creating tours that inspire and educate children for more than 50 years. It chooses its destinations with school groups in mind. Safe, secure accommodation options and a range of engaging visits provide an ideal introduction to the world outside the classroom.
It’s the travel company of choice for over 35,000 group leaders, and NST is committed to doing its absolute best to provide schools with the experience and support they need to create school trips pupils will remember long after they return to the classroom.
A proud LOtC-accredited provider, Dunfield House offers an outstanding residential experience – a place to call home where students can improve their confidence, resilience, wellbeing and life skills.
Its friendly team offer a personal service, with 24/7 onsite managers, three-star accommodation and healthy, wholesome meals with unlimited refreshments and biscuits.
Varied lesson plans, developed by teachers, are available for self-directed learning.
Dunfield caters for groups of 30–95, offering sole use of the house and/or stables accommodation.
Most importantly, it offers a sanctuary where young people develop their true potential, taking memories and new skills back to the classroom.
The Outward Bound Trust
As an educational charity, the Outward Bound Trust’s mission is to make its residential programmes available to as many young people as possible.
With the philosophy that money shouldn’t stand in the way of opportunity and that everyone can achieve more than they think they can, it raises funds thanks to the generosity of donors, its fundraising events and early careers development programmes.
The trust puts this towards appropriate funding for schools, colleges and youth groups.
UKSA specialises in introducing people of all ages to the great outdoors through watersports and sailing.
Its water-based activities are a great way to build confidence, teamwork and resilience. On offer are a variety of disciplines, from dinghy sailing and kayaking, to windsurfing and standup paddleboarding.
Team building and multi-activity programmes are also available. UKSA’s 3.5-acre fully residential campus is based in Cowes, Isle of Wight – just a short hop over from Southampton, Portsmouth or Lymington.
There are regular complementary preview weekends for anyone who wishes to experience what’s on offer, first hand.
YMCA Lakeside is one of the largest and most scenic outdoor education centres in the UK. Set on the shores of Lake Windermere, this iconic centre has been hosting school residentials and transforming young lives for over 70 years.
Its state-of-the-art schools facility, opened in 2019, created an additional 200 beds and more opportunities to provide outstanding learning outside the classroom activities.
Belchamps Scout Activity Centre
If you’re looking for something different for your next educational venture outside the school grounds, try this activity centre set amid 30 acres of camping fields in the Essex countryside.
The site includes a choice of five indoor accommodations and two tented villages with a cooking hut, and a range of different experiences to try.
Available activities include abseiling, bridge building, bushcraft days (which involve fire lighting and shelter building) and indoor/outdoor climbing, among many others.
Essex Outdoors is situated across four stunning locations in Essex, ideally located to provide an outstanding school trips experience.
Whether you’re looking for a residential stay or a day trip, its fully trained and dedicated staff will ensure that your students develop lifelong memories.
With over 40 different activities on offer – from archery to crabbing, quad bikes to zip wires – there’s certain to be something that will engage and inspire your pupils.
The wide range of accommodation options, including residential blocks, pods, cabins and tents, means you will be able to plan a trip that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Active Escape is based in stunning North Devon and provides a variety of stimulating and unique experiences, including coasteering, stand-up paddleboarding, rafting, party SUPs and its very own ‘Adventure Challenge’.
All of the activities on offer encourage team-building, boost self-confidence and fulfill a number of educational purposes too.
You can choose to spend half a day with Active Escape or a whole week, thanks to a campsite equipped with bell tents for your students.
With four locations across north Wales and Cheshire, Conway Centres are the perfect location for schools to come together and make life-long memories.
Conway Centres combines real-life outdoor adventure with unique creative and performing arts activities, which increase achievement and inspire individuals.
Whether children and young people are canoeing on the private dock in Anglesey (with the stunning Snowdonia mountain range as a backdrop), taking centre stage in the outdoor woodland theatre or exploring all that Delamere forest has to offer, there’s something to inspire everyone at Conway Centres.
Situated in the stunning Lake District National Park, Brathay Hall is home to Brathay Trust. Each year the site hosts hundreds of young people on immersive, memorable and life-changing residential programmes that promote resilience, leadership and wellbeing.
A Brathay residential programme offers a powerful learning experience in an inspiring location, using outdoor activities and a creative approach to enable a wide range of outcomes to be achieved.
As the director of services at Aspired Futures put it, “The changes we saw in young people on the residential would take us a year to achieve in our community setting.”
Epic Outdoors is an adventure activities licensing service and Duke of Edinburgh approved adventure provider specialising in developing personal and group skills through multi activity programmes.
It currently delivers activities in the Lake District, North Wales and the Peak District – everything from gorge walking, canoe and climbing to mindfulness, wild camping and traditional storytelling – to over 2,500 young people each year.
Schools receive full support, from pre-visits for staff, students and parents to curriculum blending and post residential review trips – and most importantly, genuine adventures built around learning outcomes.
A Kingswood adventure brings out the potential in every child. With award-winning programmes focused on building confidence, boosting resilience and developing key life skills, your class will enjoy a breath of fresh air, a taste of independence and make memories to last a lifetime.
Choose from 11 adventure centres across the UK, where the Kingswood team will deliver activities from abseiling to zip wires, while providing learning outcomes and so much more.
Introduced in 2022, the new unique Confidence Tracker also helps you to measure and demonstrate the outcome of your trip.
Plus, you’ll be able to explore pre- and post-trip activities from Kingswood’s partners, Enrich Education, to help extend the value of your trip.
Oaker Wood Leisure
Oaker Wood Leisure Adventure Centre in Herefordshire specialises in school activity residentials for groups of up to 120 students.
Accommodation comes in the form of wooden ‘glamping’ pods based in glamping villages for the exclusive use of each school group, complete with campfire, barbecue hut, kitchen and dining facilities, showers and toilets.
On-site activities include team-building, high ropes, a zip wire, quick jump, paintball, raft-building, quad trekking and more.
You can book residentials for between one and four nights. Day trips and in-school team-building days also available.
Llain Activity Centre
Llain Activity Centre is a short drive from New Quay, West Wales and a short walk to the secluded Cei Bach beach.
The nine-acre former farm is packed with various accommodation options, a one-and-a-half-acre lake and a one-acre mud assault course as well as a climbing tower, high ropes and zip line.
Having specialised in residential school trips for over 20 years, the centre prides itself on its pre-visit communication and parent presentations.
With over 100 years’ experience in character education, Scout Adventures has helped thousands of young people enjoy a range of adventure activities while learning new skills and becoming active citizens of the future.
At Scout Adventures it’s all about helping young people to reach their potential – understanding that learning away can have a powerful, positive impact on young people’s academic achievement.
With its expertise in informal outdoor learning, and world famous Scouting heritage and values, Scout Adventures has inspired generations of young people to reach their potential and learn skills for life.
It also provides free resources to schools.
Calvert Trust Exmoor
Calvert Trust Exmoor offers a unique opportunity for students of any age and any disability to experience exciting, challenging and enjoyable adventure activities in a safe, accessible environment.
On a residential break, children can overcome challenges, build confidence and enrich their lives through improved self-esteem and a sense of achievement.
The Trust also promotes physical activity, helps with social interaction and gives pupils and staff a shared point of reference that can aid engagement when back in the classroom.
It works with numerous UK educational establishments, both specialist and mainstream, and can tailor breaks to meet your needs.
PGL school trips
PGL has been successfully delivering high-quality learning experiences for 65 years, amassing a wealth of experience within outdoor education.
As the largest outdoor learning provider in the UK, over 350,000 young people benefit from a PGL trip each year.
With 15 centres across the UK, most schools are no more than two hours away from their next PGL adventure. There are also four centres in France and a ski programme in Europe.
Residential school trips offer unforgettable experiences at the well-equipped adventure centres and with PGL, you get round-the-clock support from experienced instructors and a dedicated member of staff to look after you and your group during your stay.
School trips in London
SEA LIFE London
Inspirational for all ages, SEA LIFE London offers pupils the opportunity to explore the creatures that live in our rivers and oceans.
They will walk in awe through Pacific Ocean tunnels, tropical rainforests and an Antarctic penguin point.
Younger children’s curiosity will be piqued as they become top rock pool explorers while older students can observe, first hand, ecosystems, environmental changes, evolution and marine conservation.
Pupils will learn about the different oceans around the world, explore creature characteristics and differences in their adaptations to survive, and compare and contrast the life stages of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds.
Tour for Muggles
Show your students the magical side of London with this award-winning Harry Potter tour. This is a really engaging way for students to delve into the Harry Potter series while learning about London’s rich history.
The Tour for Muggles team have worked with many school groups and their excellent guides will make it a memorable experience for you all.
The team reserves the best prices for school groups. Teachers can attend for free. Multi-award winner of the TripAdvisor Award of Excellence and Scoot Awards, this tour is truly Potterific!
Imperial War Museum London
IWM London tells the story of conflict from 1914 to the present day. School groups can choose to take part in one of IWM’s learning sessions with an expert educator, or opt to explore the museum on a self-guided visit.
The Documentary Challenge gives students the chance to explore IWM’s galleries, find objects and tell the stories the world needs to hear by making short documentaries.
We Were There sessions provide a unique opportunity to meet veterans who have all experienced conflict first-hand.
Holocaust Learning sessions support students as they learn about one of the most difficult subjects in history. New technology guides pupils through IWM’s Holocaust Galleries, critically considering why the Holocaust happened, why we study it, and what it means in our world today.
At Jewish Museum London, students will learn about the history of Judaism and the culture of the Jewish community here in Britain.
All workshops are interactive and, depending on what you have planned, students might handle precious objects with important and personal stories, watch films, listen to stories and sound clips, or participate in craft activities. The museum also provides the opportunity for students to hear from a Holocaust survivor speaker who will tell their personal story.
The Living Communities gallery offers a space for craft activities and group work. Students may even get the chance to practise calligraphy skills and learn some Hebrew.
Asking questions is an important part of your visit – The Jewish Museum London offers a safe space to ask anything about Judaism or Jewish people that you ever wanted to know.
Visit KidZania London in Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush and your pupils will experience experiential learning at its best. KidZania is the indoor city for kids with endless, exciting, real-life career activities.
The range of activities available is designed to link back to the curriculum across PSHE, literacy and STEM.
KidZania also runs unique educational events throughout the year to bring careers learning to life. These include Parliament Week, STEM Week and its Careers Fair.
The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum explores how the post has changed the way we live. Interactive sessions explore communication stories across the curriculum for all key stages. Meanwhile, its exhibition galleries are jam-packed with intriguing objects charting 500 years of social history.
Pupils can hop aboard Mail Rail, travelling on a tiny train through the tunnels of London’s hidden postal railway and testing their engineering ingenuity in the original train depot.
Younger visitors can learn through play in Sorted! and have sack loads of fun delivering the post in the mini mail town.
Lee Valley Regional Park
Help your class to experience a range of outdoor adventure activities with a trip to a 10,000 acre classroom in Lee Valley Regional Park, spanning London, Essex and Hertfordshire.
The learning service provides real-word experience of topics on the KS1 and KS2 curriculum. Immerse pupils in the history of the Stone Age, help them discover the natural world, or teach mindfulness practices in the outdoors.
Looking for something more? The forest school activity programme is available in six-week blocks for children to develop physical and social skills. In-school programmes are also available.
Science trips for schools
Brooklands Museum is a 32-acre site steeped in history and linked with world-famous achievements.
Its collections of historic cars, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles and artefacts tell fascinating and inspirational stories.
From its creation in 1907, through two World Wars and for most of the 20th century, Brooklands was a centre for breaking speed records, motor racing and advances in science and technology. Thousands of aircraft were tested and flown.
Today, students can:
- sit inside real aircraft
- drive a Formula 1 simulator around Brooklands race track
- design their own aircraft
- step on board a real Concorde
Magna Science Adventure Centre
Magna Science Adventure Centre is a hands-on experience with interactive exhibits and fascinating displays.
Pupils can explore the wonders of science, technology and industrial history in four pavilions: Fire, Water, Earth and Air.
These are crammed with over 100 exciting activities. Invite your group to discover the amazing nature of water, operate real diggers, witness a fire tornado and even explode a rock face.
There’s also a chance to discover South Yorkshire & North East England’s steel-making heritage in ‘The Big Melt’ experience. This is a thunderous pyrotechnic show.
Kent Wildlife Trust
Kent Wildlife Trust is the leading wildlife charity in Kent. Its aim is to bring people closer to nature and ensure wildlife is protected and restored in the future.
Activities enable young people to connect with nature and learn outside the classroom.
Learners will explore different habitats, learn new skills and have fun while meeting curriculum objectives.
Expert tutors are on hand to deliver a wide range of interactive sessions at sites across Kent. These range from pond dipping to forest school programmes.
Staff are committed to ensuring high quality provision and have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge.
The Young People’s Trust for the Environment (YPTE) is a charity set up to support children’s understanding of the natural world.
Working with young people, schools and parents, it aims to give children a real awareness of environmental issues. These include:
- climate change
- the plight of endangered flora and fauna
Your pupils need to know all of the facts in order to make their own decisions about how they want to shape their world for the future. The YPTE helps to equip them with the knowledge they need.
The Field Studies Council
The Field Studies Council (FSC) is the UK’s leading charity sector provider of outdoor environmental education.
Much of its work is based at one of its 17 field centres. These have an international reputation for high standards of primary school, secondary school and university teaching by expert staff and associated facilities.
A broad range of courses are available, from fieldwork residentials and adventure school trips to one-day experiences. These Field Studies Council courses immerse pupils in the natural world, taking in its sights, sounds and smells by bringing subjects to life in the outdoor classroom.
Godstone Farm opened its doors 40 years ago as an educational attraction for school children. Over the years it has developed into the farm countless visitors enjoy today.
Its schools programme has been designed to complement the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stages and both the KS1 and 2 programmes of study, mixing in a whole heap of fun.
Children with SEND are welcomed, with semi-structured visits on offer.
Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm
A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm offers an excellent opportunity for children of all ages and abilities to become jungle explorers and learn about rainforest environments. They can also learn about the life cycle of a butterfly, and Mayans KS2 topics.
KS1 and 2 curriculum subjects are covered, with all tours tailored to meet your group’s needs.
Tours include an introductory talk and a ‘Meet the Mini-Beast’ handling session.
With plenty of hands-on, close observation and activity, this is an immersive and educational day out for your class.
Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
From art to geography, science to literacy, whether you want an educational talk for your pupils or are just coming for a visit, Cotswold Wildlife Park has plenty to offer.
Home to over 260 different animal species, and comprising 120 acres of stunning gardens and parkland, it is the perfect place to bring the National Curriculum to life.
Your pupils can get eye to eye with giraffes, watch rhinos graze on the manor house lawns, walk with lemurs, take a ride on Bella the train or explore the adventure playground.
Free coach parking is available.
West Midland Safari Park
Located in Worcestershire, West Midland Safari Park has been welcoming educational groups for over 40 years. And with over 140 species of amazing animals on show, pupils can immerse themselves in a truly unique learning environment.
In 2017 the park’s purpose-built Safari Academy opened. This is a sustainable, state-of-the-art education centre, dedicated to providing learning opportunities for all ages.
A variety of educational sessions are on offer to complement the curriculum. These are delivered by an experienced education team who aim to inspire a future generation of conservationists.
Whether your pupils are learning about primate rescue work, the impact of deforestation or how woolly monkey use their tails, Monkey World’s experienced education team can enhance your trip and support learning in the classroom.
As well as curriculum-linked sessions and workbooks, Monkey World offers visitors the chance to see over 250 monkeys and apes. This includes the largest group of chimpanzees outside of Africa, Europe’s only orangutan crèche and a breeding group of woolly monkeys – all in one day!
Amazona Zoo in Cromer, Norfolk, is home to over 200 animals from tropical South America. These include:
The zoo features a 30-foot yurt for viewing educational films and other learning activities; an expansive outdoor play area, Rainforest Springs, with two large jumping pillows; and a spacious, well-equipped indoor play area, Jungle Tumbles.
There are opportunities for visitors to see the animals being fed, meet the zookeepers and learn about the history of South America and the rainforest.
Longleat is home to a wide range of attractions, so can easily tie in with a variety of topics, act as a case study, or be the inspirational starting point to a project.
Science and history have intrinsically strong connections but Longleat also presents wonderful opportunities for subjects such as English, maths, art and design. These can be given a real-life context.
There’s a huge selection of workshops and resources, for EYFS through to KS4+. Longleat is committed to continuously improving through expanding their variety of activities on offer.
Colchester Zoo has an award-winning education programme and offers free sessions to support many subjects across the curriculum.
As well as covering traditional science and geography concepts such as adaptations and conservation, it also extends to English debating skills, art, maths and wildlife forensics. These support curriculum areas not traditionally associated with a zoo visit.
Schools looking for a general zoo visit are also very welcome to attend and use any of the zoo’s free online resources to focus self-guided or group learning.
Paignton Zoo in Devon features 2,500 animals across 80 acres of natural habitat.
It has a comprehensive education offering to tempt schools. Primary students can access a range of interactive, curriculum-linked workshops. These take place in themed classrooms containing a host of artefacts and specimens.
Options include Evolution, Endangered animals and conservation, and habitats and adaptations. Qualified teaching staff will deliver these.
The team can also help visiting teachers to develop an itinerary for their visit. This can span a wide range of subjects, including maths, art, English, geography, and more.
The Deep is home to 3,500 fish and welcomes over 30,000 students every year to its purpose-built Learning Centre.
Start your amazing aquarium experience with the breath-taking coral reef in the Lagoon and some impressively large sharks in Endless Ocean. Or take a look at the creatures of the Amazon in the Flooded Forest.
A team of experienced in-house teachers deliver workshops, presentations and hands-on activities to school groups. They cover a wide selection of topics, including:
- customer care
- travel and tourism.
Flamingo Land Resort
Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire offers a great day out for school students. Your group will be able to enjoy the thrills of amazing theme park rides and explore an award-winning animal collection.
They can tour the zoo and attend keeper talks. These provide fascinating information about a variety of animals, including:
- Sumatran tigers
- African lions
- Black and white rhinoceroses
Business studies students can also take the opportunity to learn how a major leisure attraction operates, with information on a range of topics covering HR, customer services, finance and marketing.
National Marine Aquarium
The National Marine Aquarium is the largest public aquarium in the UK. It offers an amazing aquarium experience for more than 300,000 visitors per year (including 30,000 school students).
Its range of exhibits features marine animals from near and far. There are zones dedicated to the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef and Plymouth Sound.
Of particular interest will be JustAddH2O, the aquarium’s award-winning Learning Space. Its dedicated Discovery & Learning team operate in partnership with other education experts to provide a continuously developing programme that supports all teachers, from Foundation Stage to university and beyond.
Wingham Wildlife Park
There’s not an animal-based education destination in Kent that can offer more variety than Wingham Wildlife Park. At the park you’ll find:
- Over 170 species
- 190 talk topics. This includes everything from individual species to recycling, palm oil, dinosaurs, reptiles, invertebrates, nocturnal animals, birds and much more
- Pre-designed itineraries
- An outdoor play area
- Free lunch lockers
- Plenty of picnic areas (both open and under cover)
London & Whipsnade Zoos
If you’re looking to take your students on an inspirational school trip, look no further than ZSL’s two fantastic zoos.
London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, home to over 650 species of animals. On the other hand, Whipsnade Zoo is the UK’s largest zoo. It’s set in 600 acres of beautiful scenery with some of the largest, rarest and most majestic animals alive.
Schools receive fantastic discounts for self-guided entry and educational sessions. You can choose from a range of curriculum-linked sessions, delivering a unique interactive learning experience. You can book these as part of your education visit.
A visit to either zoo is ideal for children of all ages, from Foundation through Key Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4.
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum delivers educational programmes using digital technology, survivor testimonies, hate crime specialists and artefacts to challenge prejudice.
The MAD (Mechanical Art & Design) Museum
This venue displays over 60 motorised pieces of automata and kinetic art. These have all been handcrafted by outside-the-box thinkers and inventors from across the globe.
The museum encourages students to interact with and witness a diverse range of engineering and physics principles as well as clever design elements. The museum offers:
- hands-on learning
- discounted tickets
- support materials for teachers
- sketching and photography sessions
- KS3 activities and automata construction kits
Groups usually spend two hours experiencing everything on offer.
The National Football Museum
The National Football Museum teaches much more than just a game. Its fun and inspiring programme uses unique objects and amazing stories to enthuse and engage school students, employing football to bring the curriculum to life.
Pupils will journey back through time and chart the game’s development and place in society across the generations; score points with the museum’s approach to maths; get creative with words in poetry and commentary workshops; and get hands-on with real football artefacts in science and design sessions.
De Havilland Aircraft Museum
Your pupils can experience fun and engaging workshops at the UK’s oldest aviation museum, dedicated to the preservation of the de Havilland heritage.
They can get close up and inside many of the exhibits and aircraft, and enjoy bespoke workshops. You can tailor these to your topic, with many cross-curricular elements as well as opportunities to practise soft skills such as:
- critical thinking
- following instructions
British Motor Museum
The British Motor Museum offers a range of interactive museum walks, hands-on workshops and self-led activities that allow pupils to experience the sights, sounds and stories of the British motor industry. This is all while engaging in a fun learning programme linked to the National Curriculum.
There’s a coach drop-off point outside the museum entrance, accessible toilets and dedicated learning spaces, including a lunch area.
Founded by former teachers, Halsbury Travel specialises in tailor-made tours for schools designed to inspire.
Its philosophy is that education should be an exciting adventure. And, as such, it offers some incredible activities that students will never forget.
You can walk on glaciers in Iceland, hike up volcanoes in Naples and Costa Rica, and explore the vastness of the Grand Canyon. There’s so many school trip destinations on offer.
You can travel to any number of far-flung destinations. These include India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China. Here your students will experience exotic landscapes and ancient, rich cultures.
Galina International Study Tours
Established in 1989, Galina is an independent, family-run tour operator providing curriculum-relevant primary and secondary school trips to destinations in the UK and Europe.
You can tailor the tours to cover your students’ specific learning objectives. Get in touch with a member of the team to discuss your requirements and start planning a school trip adventure.
With WorldStrides you can experience the natural wonder of Iceland with your students, and use Geography Association-approved materials linked to the GCSE curriculum.
Begin in Reykjavik, then spend four days exploring the land of fire and ice – from explosive geysers and giant volcanoes, to glaciers and magnificent waterfalls.
Travel to Vik and the South Coast and then on to Gullfoss before enjoying a relaxing soak in the Blue Lagoon.
The team vets every hotel and restaurant to ensure it meets your expectations. And WorldStrides will work with you every step of the way to make your experience a smooth one.
School trips to New York City
European Study Tours
European Study Tours is a leading educational tour operator trusted by teachers to organise educational tours and experiences since 1982.
Catering for destinations all around the world, European Study Tours also holds curriculum-focused conference events in New York. The LIVE! conferences bring students together with high-calibre industry professionals to provide subject insight and inspiration that can’t be found in text books or the classroom.
Art & Design LIVE! and Business LIVE! are held at the iconic MOMA museum, where students can hear first-hand accounts and exclusive insights from leading industry specialists. Q&A sessions give students the opportunity to put their questions to the experts. Then finish the day with a trip to Top of the Rock to see the city sparkle at night.
History school trips
Historic Royal Palaces
With 1,000 years of history to uncover, a visit to some of the country’s most iconic historic palaces offers pupils the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in history where it happened.
Children can take part in interactive sessions led by expert, costumed presenters, including: Tudor kitchens revealed at Hampton Court Palace; crime and punishment at the Tower of London; Queen Victoria’s toys at Kensington Palace; and the roles of servants uncovered at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.
And for those wanting a self-led visit, activity trails linked to the national curriculum allow teachers to shape a visit to suit their students’ needs.
King Richard III Visitor Centre
Head to Leicester and you can discover the incredible story of a king’s life and death, and explore one of the greatest archaeological detective stories ever told.
Great for educational visits, the King Richard III Visitor Centre stands on the site where Richard III’s remains were buried for over 500 years.
A complementary learning programme is available for teachers. This provides different options for schools and educational organisations planning a visit to the centre. This includes a range of workshops for both history and science.
Warwick Castle has played a prominent role in English history for over 1,100 years. Today, schools can explore its Medieval towers and ramparts; roam grounds designed by famous landscaper Capability Brown; and marvel at the great hall and state rooms with their Tudor influences.
They can also be awed by the daily shows that can include an archery demonstration, a working trebuchet and a brand new bird of prey show, ‘The Falconer’s Quest’.
In addition, there is a plethora of curriculum-linked workshops that you can book to bring history vividly to life.
Whether you choose an expert-led tour at Kenilworth Castle; an interactive Discovery Visit at Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield; or explore the rich history of sites such as Dover Castle, Carlisle Castle or Stonehenge, English Heritage school trips are guaranteed to bring learning to life.
You can also download free resources from the English Heritage website. A team of qualified teachers, educational experts and historians have developed these, in partnership with AQA and OCR.
Tonbridge Castle educational tours and workshops immerse students in the turbulent and fascinating history of this long-standing gatehouse. It offers a fun, informative and hands-on way to learn about the past.
Visiting pupils will experience a vivid recreation of the sights, sounds and excitement of the castle in the 13th century. This includes:
- a visit to the basement store and the armoury
- joining the garrison for supper
- climbing to the top of the battlements.
Arundel Castle provides fantastic opportunities for educational visits. Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, founded the castle at the end of the 11th century. Today it’s the family home of the 18th Duke of Norfolk.
Its colourful, near-1,000-year history lends itself to many aspects of the national curriculum, whether your group is in Key Stage 1, 2 or 3.
Staff have developed the Arundel Castle Educational Programme to help students with their study in an informative, enjoyable and memorable way.
At Beamish, students can engage in a real-life setting and, by asking real people, gain a deeper understanding than that offered by a textbook.
Its active learning experiences encompass investigation of both facts about the past and also attitudes.
Students must think critically, weigh evidence, make informed decisions and develop perspective in activities such as:
- Medicine Through Time
- Joe the Quilter Murder
- Suffragettes on the High Street
- Mayday Mayday
- The Somme
They must stand up and make their opinions known, argue, analyse and act out becoming informed, independent investigators.
Theme parks and attractions
Thorpe Park Resort Theme Park welcomes schools from all over the country for a school trip like no other.
At Thorpe Park you’ll find a full day’s worth of thrilling rides and attractions for students and teachers.
To make booking a trip as easy as possible, there’s a variety of resources on the resort’s website for download. These include checklists, risk assessments, permission slips and lesson plans.
The park also has a dedicated school team to help you every step of the way.
With more than 30 years’ experience and more than 2,000 school groups attending each year, Cadbury World offers unique educational school trips that provide a fascinating insight into the nation’s favourite chocolate brand.
There’s an assortment of interactive chocolatey zones to explore and a variety of informative curriculum-linked talks and workshops. These include Marketing, Investigating Business and Geography.
The one-hour talks and workshops complement your group’s day out perfectly, expanding pupils’ knowledge on a huge range of topics. Self-guided tours are also available.
All of this makes Cadbury World the perfect destination for school trips.
Flambards Theme Park
Flambards Theme Park can be found in Helston, Cornwall. It combines a wide range of rides with indoor recreations of different historical eras. These include educational experiences aimed specifically at schools.
The latter include a life-size Victorian village featuring 50 explorable locations. There’s also a ‘Britain in the Blitz’ attraction. Schools can book ‘living history characters’ to help bring these to life, for example, an Air Raid Patrol warden.
Meanwhile your thrillseekers will enjoy the Skyraker and experience up to 3G with the giant white-knuckle experience that is ‘Sky-force’.
LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort
LEGO’s resort is an exciting venue for learning outside the classroom and most suitable for Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 4 pupils. There are also experiences available for preschool and younger school pupils.
Schools can use a National Curriculum Map to navigate their way around the resort. This ensures that it’s a simple matter to tie in all of your learning objectives whilst students enjoy the over 55 rides and attractions.
The Alton Towers Resort Theme Park welcomes schools from all over the country.
Alton Towers Education has a dedicated schools team to help you every step of the way. This is from booking your trip to delivering memorable educational experiences.
There are even special Teacher VIP days that allow you to meet the team and explore what Alton Towers Resort has to offer your school.
Chessington World of Adventures
Schools visiting the Chessington World of Adventures Resort can expect a truly wild adventure.
Students can enjoy expeditions around its zoo in ‘walkshops’, or embark on fact-finding missions to learn all about Chessington’s four new resident endangered Amur Tigers, who live in ‘Land of the Tiger’.
The fantastic Wild Learning Centre has five immersively themed zones. It’s sure to give your pupils their wildest lesson yet!
Set within 140 acres of parkland on the edge of the New Forest, Paultons Park is a family theme park with an extensive educational offering.
School groups can take advantage of a range of interactive workshops (suitable for Key Stages 1 to 4) in Professor Blast’s lab. This is focused on topics such as rollercoaster physics, dinosaurs, animal encounters and even theme park marketing.
Teachers can apply for free tickets, to see what’s on offer in advance.
There are more than 70 rides to enjoy too, plus go karts and even some moving dinosaurs…
Theatre and drama school trips
Ambassador Theatre Group
ATG’s Creative Learning and Community Partnerships provide dynamic cultural education. It works with top West End professionals to encourage creative thinking, problem solving, resilience and the ability to find solutions via engaging bespoke workshops. These include acting, singing, stage combat, technical theatre and more.
Whether your trip is part of the curriculum or a well-earned treat, the workshops are grounded in subject knowledge and understanding. Pupils’ creative capacity will be nurtured and their personal, social and academic development greatly enriched.
Frozen the Musical
Escape into the wonder-filled world of Arendelle to experience stories of love, hope and self-discovery. This is all delivered with groundbreaking set design and special effects, exquisite costumes and sensational stagecraft from the producers of The Lion King and Aladdin.
Frozen is brought to the stage by a multi-award-winning creative team. This is led by Tony® and Olivier Award-winning director Michael Grandage, with a book from Academy® and BAFTA Award-winning Jennifer Lee. The show features the cherished songs from the original film, alongside a brand-new score from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. These are the Grammy® and Academy Award®-winning songwriters behind the global phenomenon ‘Let It Go’.
M&M Theatrical Productions
M&M Theatrical Productions’ enchanting Classic Literature Adaptations are presented in an easily digestible and interactive format, creating an inspiring way to promote reading for pleasure and to learn about the past, while engaging the children in tales involving characters from many different social and cultural backgrounds.
These productions are followed by a Stagecraft workshop – an exciting way to further enhance the experience of the visit by offering older children a practical and unique view behind the scenes of the production they have just enjoyed, broadening their knowledge of the arts in combination with STEM subjects.
The Birmingham Stage Company
The Birmingham Stage Company is one of the world’s top companies creating theatre for children. Its award-winning productions tour the UK and internationally, most recently performing on Broadway, selling out the Sydney Opera House and regularly triumphing in London’s West End.
They work with Britain’s top children’s writers including David Walliams, Liz Pichon, Terry Deary, Michael Morpurgo and Philip Pullman.
Nominated for the Best Entertainment and Family Olivier Award, the company stages spectacular shows that are tailored specifically for children. There’s amazing sets and costumes, plus fantastic effects. The company aims to make every production a truly memorable event.
Galloway School Tours
Did you know your local coach operator may be able to organise a complete day out? This includes travel and attraction tickets.
East Anglian operator Galloway School Tours, for example, offers packages for groups looking to visit London’s West End.
Using its extensive experience and network of contacts, Galloway can provide schools travelling from East Anglia a package including travel, show tickets and a theatre workshop.
It’s a great opportunity for students to work with professionals and enjoy top quality entertainment.
Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court is a leading force in world theatre for finding writers and producing new plays that are original, contemporary and provocative.
Its education programme encourages young people to investigate, enjoy and participate in the craft of making theatre. It opens up the world of the rehearsal room as well as backstage, and offers practical learning opportunities for students.
From study days, production workshops, INSET sessions and community projects, the organisation offers a fascinating insight into the professional process of staging Royal Court productions.
Breathtaking sets, mindblowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage.
This spectacular show, which is packed full of dancing, music and storytelling, is a fantastic stimulus for creative work. It will inspire primary and secondary pupils alike.
You can enhance your visit with free online resources. These include a nine-part video library.
Or take advantage of a range of pre-show workshops led by Disney Theatrical Teaching Artists. Prepare to escape to a whole new world!
Every day hundreds of students take part in curriculum-linked workshops and lectures at, or delivered, by Shakespeare’s Globe.
Visit with your group and you’ll also be able to benefit from an exploratory tour of the theatre.
Workshop options include interactive storytelling sessions for Key Stages 3 to 5. These include a 45-minute performance by a Globe Education practitioner.
Longer study days, exploring topics such as language or contextual influences on performance, for Key Stages 4 and 5, and GCSE study days are also available.
The Globe has extensive experience of working with children with SEN and EAL, too.
Told By An Idiot
Told by an Idiot is an acclaimed professional theatre company and an Arts Council England NPO organisation.
The company has 25 years’ experience of creating exciting, innovative productions and participation projects across the UK and internationally. Venues include north west England’s Manchester Royal Exchange, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Lyric Hammersmith London and National Theatre Wales.
It also offers a range of exciting, highly practical drama workshops for teachers and students. These are led by experienced practitioners who are all professional theatre performers and directors.
Themes include Working with Mask, Devising, Commedia dell’arte and Physical Theatre, as well as CPD sessions for teachers.
The Emmerdale Studio Experience
The Emmerdale Studio Experience takes place at the former ITV studios in Leeds, where selected filming still takes place. It allows students to step into the drama and experience the television production process from ‘Script to Screen’.
The education programme is tailored for Key Stages 2–5. There are links to the national curriculum and exam board specifications for English, film and media studies.
ATG Creative Learning Workshops
ATG’s Creative Learning team understands the value of learning through a creative process and the many ways in which it can engage and inspire students, bolstering the hard work of teachers and their schools.
All of ATG’s group workshops are bespoke. They can be tailored to offer an exploration of any English or drama text, on the GCSE and A Level curriculum or otherwise.
Best of all, students taking part will be working with truly inspiring West End professionals at a competitive cost.
Wicked The Musical
Voted ‘Best Theatre Production for Schools’ by teachers at the School Travel Awards two years running, Wicked’s topical story of friendship, acceptance, integrity, peer pressure and propaganda is relevant for PSHE and citizenship teaching, and whole-school anti-bullying strategies.
The show is highly pertinent for all students studying BTEC Nationals in Performing Arts, as well as a wealth of additional subjects. The song ‘Defying Gravity’ is also a set work for the Edexcel GCSE Music qualification.
Visit the website for details of the schools’ workshop programme. These are run by current and former members of the cast and creative team.
Curve is a state-of-the-art theatre based in the heart of Leicester’s vibrant Cultural Quarter.
As well as live performances, it offers a wide range of inspiring educational workshops. These are designed to open up the world of theatre and reveal the hidden process of a rehearsal room.
Students are afforded the opportunity to engage more deeply with the artists, subject matter and processes in the theatre’s artistic programme. Links are made to the curriculum.
Mayflower Theatre delivers a diverse range of creative workshops, theatre tours and events tailor made for schools, colleges or groups. They can take place either at the theatre or at your own setting.
It also supports talks and workshops on a variety of creative careers. Conference-style events for young people explore entering the industry, in particular non-performance based careers. These draw on the expertise within the marketing, sales, technical and FOH departments, as well as industry professionals.
Outdoor activities and experience day trips
Looking for a trip in central England? There’s no better place than one of Milton Keynes’ most popular destinations, Willen Lake. Whether you’re looking to visit as part of your enrichment programme or as part of an activity day or physical education session, there’s something for everyone.
The land and water-based activities on offer are run by qualified instructors and cater for students aged eight and above.
An extensive range of packages covers everything from a single activity through to a full schedule of multiple activities. Plus, groups of all sizes are welcome.
Chill Factore Indoor Snow Centre
Chill Factore, Manchester, runs an exciting range of unique adventure days based around skills development, puzzle solving and team building, to offer an exciting new alternative to summer reward trips and transition initiatives.
The most popular package, the Chill Adventure Day, gives students an adrenaline-filled indoor adventure experience. Here they can enjoy rock climbing, sledging, tobogganing, snow tubing and ski or snowboard tuition.
Icebreaker Challenge is an indoor, snow-based sports day. Alternatively, the Arctic Explorer Package is a snow-based problem solving break out game.
Stubbers Adventure Centre
Based on a picturesque 130-acre site, Stubbers Adventure Centre is a registered not-for-profit organisation that has helped hundreds of schools provide students with the opportunity to develop social and interpersonal skills and build confidence. This is done through participation in adventurous activities.
The centre offers lots of water sports. This includes kayaking, jet skiing, sailing and raft building. Other activities include archery, fencing, orienteering, laser tag and rifle shooting.
‘The Towers’ section, meanwhile, offers climbing, abseiling, high ropes and zip wire, and motorsports including quad bikes and 4×4 driving.
Shropshire Raft Tours
Shropshire Raft Tours offers services to accommodate school trips, as well as facilities to receive coaches in the Wharfage car park where its Little Green Kiosk is based.
Its River Severn Tours are a compelling educational experience, and lots of fun too. Passing through the Ironbridge Gorge, they provide a fantastic opportunity for students to learn the history of the river during the Industrial Revolution. Students will also acquire river safety skills, explore how the Severn valley gorge was formed, and much more.
- Browse hundreds of school trip ideas
Check out our directory where you can browse venues and filter them via trip type, subject, location and more.
- Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
CLOtC’s website is a trove of information, inspiration, resources and training, including details on how the LOtC Quality Badge accreditation can help you plan your next school trip. It also offers a range of CPD opportunities and the LOtC Mark, for schools that want to demonstrate their commitment.
- Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel
OEAP‘s National Guidance is a must-read for any teacher planning a school trip. Downloadable checklists and training are available.
- Department for Education
View the DfE’s latest health and safety guidance.
- School Travel Forum
STF offers information for the organisers of school trips as well research on the benefits of learning outside the classroom.
- Learning Away
For help with planning a brilliant residential, visit learningaway.org.uk.