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Rooftop operations

Tessa Bartley suggests places for school trips where they let you in free to prepare

Here are venues for you to bear in mind for the summer term. They all offer help, advice and teaching ideas when planning your school trips.


The education programmes on offer here at Croxteth Hall are recognised by the Heritage Education Trust. It has held the Sandford Award for excellence in heritage education for more than 20 years. Its range of educational resources includes interpretative panels, historical artefacts, workbooks and publications. There are expert staff available to provide guided visits. It is a condition of booking that teachers attend a free briefing session to ensure they are well prepared.

Croxteth Hall Country Park

Tel 0151 2285311;


Cadw is a Welsh word meaning to keep. It is also the name of the historic environment agency within the Welsh Assembly, whose mission is to protect, conserve, and to promote an appreciation of the built heritage of Wales. With 120 properties across the country, there is a wealth of venues to choose from. Free school visits are available Monday to Friday but you must apply for your booking at least 10 days before. To prepare for your school trip, you need to book an appointment for a free visit.

Cadw, Countrywide

Tel 01443 336000; Take your class to visit a real working farm with structured visits including the milking parlour, lamb feeding and a variety of woodland and wildlife. There are also tractor tours, pony rides and a bouncy castle, as well as children's shows during the main season and an adventure park with an assault course for older children. The website also contains a series of free worksheets. Free teacher preview visits are recommended to help you plan your day with the help of the Farmworld staff.

Farmworld, Wrexham

Tel 01978 840697;


Situated in the roof of a church, the operating theatre and herb garret provide pupils with the chance to look back to the lives of 13th century patients. Downloadable teachers' information packs are available free of charge as pdfs, with or without images. A special apothecary pack can be bought for pound;5. To arrange a free preview visit, email the museum's curator.

The Old Operating Theatre, Museum and Herb Garret

Tel: 020 71882679


To help make the most of your day at Chessington, they will provide teachers with a complimentary pair of tickets when the school booking is made so that you can visit the park and plan your trip. There are also free online resources for key stages 1 and 2 consisting of pupil worksheets and teachers' notes. If you visit on a weekday, the park will provide talks on conservation, zoology, litter, health and safety, and guest care, for pound;1 per pupil.

Chessington World of Adventures

Tel: 0870 4003075

www.tussaudspresentation.comschools_collegesschools_colleges.asp WEST MIDLANDS

There are drive-through safaris, a discovery trail, goat park and sea aquarium, as well as visits to reserves containing African lions, tigers and elephants and encounters with African wild dogs and reptiles. Free work booklets with teachers' notes can be downloaded from the website and a free teacher preview ticket is available to prepare for your visit.

West Midland Safari Park, Worcestershire

Tel: 01299 402114;


Pupils of all ages can benefit from a visit to Norton Priory, with learning opportunities for history, environmental science, art, religious studies and geography. A range of sessions, tailored to specific key stages, is available. You can lead your own visit or make use of the expert rangers.

Children can dress in reproduction costume, handle artefacts and take part in arts and craft activities. The Priory also offer resource materials and activity sheets as well as free planning visits for teachers.

Norton Priory

Tel: 01928 569895; www.nortonpriory.orgeduvist.htm


While primary pupils can take a look back to the time when William Wordsworth and his family resided in Dove Cottage, secondary pupils are encouraged to produce their own creative writing in the landscape that inspired one of Britain's most acclaimed writers. Wordsworth Trust education staff lead all school visits, showing pupils both the cottage and the museum. Literacy resources for key stages 2 and 3 can be purchased.

Teachers can make a free preliminary visit.

The Wordsworth Trust

Tel: 01539 435544;

If your venue offers free preview visits for teachers and you would like to be mentioned in this column, please send information to

Deadline for next issue: October 7

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