5 reasons to try High Speed Training High Speed Training
Has teaching become a stop-gap career? Teach First
5 reasons to try…free online cricket resources Chance to Shine
Oxford Revise AQA GCSE English Language – A revision workbook with emphasis on clarity and specificity Oxford Secondary AQA GCSE English
Win a STEM workshop for your school with Cisco Pathways Cisco Pathways
Teach Early Years Magazine Subscribe today!
Teach Primary Magazine Subscribe today!
Teach Secondary Magazine Subscribe today!
Technology and Innovation Magazine Order now!
Teach Reading and Writing Magazine Order now!
Oxford University Press Courses
In December 2014, Daniel Sheriff of St Peter’s Collegiate School Wolverhampton began the process of organising his school’s first ever battlefield tour.
In a few short months, with support and guidance provided by Anglia Tours, one of the UK’s leading school tours operators, he had discussed and agreed an itinerary he was delighted with; secured approval from the school’s Governors (on the very first attempt); and completed all the necessary pre-trip paperwork.
Now that everything was in place, it was finally time for him to pack a bag and get ready to explore the battlefields of France and Flanders…
Daniel remembers, “We left school fairly early on the Friday morning, as I wanted the students to have as much time in France and Belgium as possible. The coach was spacious and Mark, the coach driver, was fantastic. Our guides, Rick and Andy, were unbelievable.
“At the pre-tour presentation it had been mentioned that if we were able to provide details, we should be able to include personal pilgrimages in our tour. I was so pleased that even though we were unable to give Rick and Andy this information until they joined the coach in Kent a couple of hours later, they were only too happy to change the programme so as to make sure we included as many personal visits as possible.”
As anyone who has been on an organised tour will know, the ability of a guide to interact with a group and retain their attention can make or break the experience. It is certainly the case that they need to have a detailed knowledge of the subject matter – but possessing the skill and desire to communicate this knowledge in a way that engages a group’s interest is equally, if not more important.
Alain Chissel, Chairman of Anglia Tours, explains that, “The role of the guide is not just to talk to students and pass on information; it is to engage with them and enthuse them. To inspire them to ask questions, and go beyond simply what they are looking at at that time.”
There is another vitally important facet to the role of Anglia’s guides, namely the ability to ensure the safety of the group at all times – something Alain’s team are ideally equipped to do. “Many of our guides have previously held positions of considerable responsibility in the military, the police or as teachers,” he says. “All are used to dealing with difficult situations, often in times of great stress, which helps to provide reassurance to both parents and teachers. It is comforting for them to know that the children are in safe hands.”
Over three days, the staff and pupils of St Peter’s Collegiate School had a chance to explore many places that will be familiar to those who have visited the battlefields of WWI – Hill 60, Langemarck, Newfoundland Memorial Park and Lochnagar Crater, to name but a few.
They also had an opportunity to visit some that tend not to appear on the itineraries of most school tours. Places such as Spoilbank Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, for example, which is situated roughly 5 kilometres south of the Belgian town of Ypres. Visits to locations such as Spoilbank which lie away from well-worn routes are often a welcome addition to a school tour. They not only provide some peace and tranquillity, but can also afford pupils a chance to reflect and to marshal their own thoughts – something which can all too often be overlooked.
In the case of St Peter’s Collegiate School, the visit to Spoilbank was included to provide one of the pupils with the chance to visit the grave of a relative who had been buried there just short of a century before. Daniel recalls that, “The whole group were made up – it was the personal touch. They loved the local link our guides provided. They had even researched street names.”
Reflecting on the tour a couple of months later, Daniel was still impressed with the impact it had on his pupils. “Nothing compares to going out there walking around and getting a real sense of the ground. The kids have come back filled with knowledge and a real passion for WWI, which is all down to Andy and Rick’s enthusiasm and their manner with the pupils.”
Our next question to Daniel was, “Would you do it all again?” His answer, and further details on the lasting effect this experience has had on his pupils, are the focus in the fourth and final part of this case study…
Click here to read part 1 and part 2
For more information, visit angliatours.co.uk or follow @angliatours
Find us on: