Curriculum Educational visits

11th February 2011 at 00:00


TES Education North

The TES Education North show takes place at the Manchester Central convention centre on April 8 and 9. The show, the new name for Special Needs North, includes seminars and workshops on supporting pupils with autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADHD, dyslexia and sensory disorders. For details on how to register, go to

Out of Warrington, into Africa

Pupils from Culcheth High School in Warrington will be heading to north Africa after winning a national prize draw. School trip specialists Outlook Expeditions ran the competition to mark its 10th anniversary.

Great Scott! What a race

Year 11 pupils and sixth formers are being urged to get involved in a 2,000-mile sledge race across the UK in September to mark the centenary of Captain Scott's expedition to the Antarctic. For details, go to


What is it

This is part of a collection of English Heritage resources on how to make the most of a visit to one of its sites.

How to use it

The collection includes an information pack for Tintagel Castle in Cornwall (pictured) featuring photocopiable sheets on the history of the castle, a site plan, photos and documentary sources.

Pupils are asked to assess the castle's defences or use legends associated with Tintagel as the basis for creative writing.

It is aimed at key stage 2 pupils, with cross-curricular links to art, English, geography and maths. Also targeted at KS2 children are resources based on a visit to Totnes Castle in Devon. Suggested activities include using mathematical skills to produce a detailed plan of the site.

Resources on Scarborough Castle in Yorkshire look at its role during the Civil War, when it was besieged twice, and can be used with KS2 and KS3 classes. Also suitable for KS3 pupils are resources on Rochester Castle in Kent, which is one of the finest examples of a Norman keep in England, and could be used as part of an examination of the military aspects of castle design.

A teaching kit on Helmsley Castle in North Yorkshire, suitable for use by KS2 and KS3 teachers, includes suggested activities on what it can tell us about how people lived in the 17th century.


What is it

A collection of resources on using buildings, museums and galleries to support art and design work.

How to use it

The collection includes a teacher's kit, suitable for key stage 1 to 3 pupils, looking at ways of using historical buildings in art and design (uploaded by EnglishHeritage).

Activities range from asking children to identify patterns and shapes in buildings to identifying the purpose of different designs. An art and design safari looks at using the local built environment as the basis for art and design lessons. It includes resource sheets and links to useful websites and can be used with KS3 and KS4 classes (CABE).

A directory of arts organisations, galleries and places of interest in the North East gives ideas for planning school trips (Elizabeth_Kane). Also included is a resource that provides material for a complete KS3 unit of work based on a visit to the art galleries at the National Museum Cardiff and an interactive whiteboard resource based on a selection of pictures from Bodelwyddan Castle (both NGfLCymru).

The Tate has produced an extensive range of downloadable materials that can be used in relation to a trip to Tate Modern, but are also useful for art lessons and visits to other galleries. The resources are aimed at KS2 and KS3 classes and include video conversations with curators, conservators, gallery educators and pupils, interactive games and activities, images from the Tate's collection and teacher notes and lesson plans (rosiecardiff).

Trip planning

What is it

This is a collection of resources to smooth the path for a successful off-site visit.

How to use it

It includes an online database of more than 6,000 collections in the UK's museums, galleries, archives and libraries (uploaded by TES web staff). There is also a worksheet of 10 questions that can be put to pupils. It is aimed at a Year 7 trip to an art gallery but could be adapted to cover other age groups and destinations (Sarah Beaumont).

Links to health and safety guidance include information on good practice, risk assessment, trip management and emergency procedures. There is an educational visit policy document that can be used as a template, as well as useful risk assessment, consent and evaluation forms (all TES web staff).

A website takes teachers through the process of planning and preparing visits for children up to the age of eight, and includes a planning toolkit, learning games and support material (letsdiscover).

Videos show examples of a successful Year 4 trip to an RSPB site, with pupils who had never been to the country, and a theatre visit, where pupils see how drama can be used to tackle a topic (Teachers TV).

A guide to getting the most from visits for early-years pupils uses a number of projects to encourage learning during the visit and back in class (Language Ren).

Where to find them

These materials and more resources to support educational visits can be found at These resources are part of a collection of more than 50,000 lesson plans, activities, games, ideas and worksheets, covering all subjects from early years to post-16, available on the TES Resources site. To view resources, or to upload your own, go to

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