When a class or year group has really come together and worked well then there is no better way to reward them than with a great selection of end of year school trips. But there is one day out that I’ve found gets your students’ excitement levels soaring more than any other, and that’s a day in a theme park. Whether you choose one of the excellent UK theme parks or take your pupils further afield to try out some of the continent’s great range of entertainment spaces, the kids are guaranteed to have a good time. |
Learning While You Play
Many teachers believe that theme parks are just about fun and that if you want an educational experience you need to look elsewhere, but this is not always the case. Some parks, like the UK’s Alton Towers, actually has an educational centre on site which, amongst other things, gives students a fascinating insight into the workings of this massive leisure corporation. Another great option for combining a bit of education with end of year school trips is to extend your visit into a residential stay. That way you can spend a day or two in a city like Paris, taking in the cultural or linguistic opportunities, before winding up your visit with a day out in one of its many nearby parks.
There are so many options for students that it can be hard for teachers to know where to start when thinking about planning end of year school trips, so here is my guide to the very best theme parks for school groups, both here and abroad.
Alton Towers Resort
Because of the wide variety of leisure and educational opportunities on offer here, Alton Towers Resort is my pick of the bunch of the UK parks. Set in 500 acres of beautiful countryside, Alton Towers has a massive range of rides covering 12 themed areas. This means that whether your class are extreme thrill seekers or more cautious fun lovers, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. On top of this the educational centre offers workshops and lectures outlining all elements of the leisure business and the running of the resort.
Keen science students will love the educational aspect of the rides and attractions in this amusement centre outside Paris, France. Other kids will just love the thrills and spills of all the fun they can have and not even notice that they’re learning while having fun. Rides like Virus Attack will take the students on a fascinating adventure through the human body, while the IMAX facilities make edutainment films literally come to life before the students’ eyes.
Perhaps not entirely an accurate account of ancient European history, the rides and attractions based on the characters from the Astérix books will take students to Ancient Rome, Gaul, Greece, Egypt and even the time of the Vikings. A great reward for history students, this park is also a short drive from Paris.
Wherever you choose for your end of year treat, you can be sure that your class will never forget the thrills and spills and fun of their theme park trip, giving them the chance to create lasting bonds as a group and develop their independence in a fun environment.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning end of year school trips, Geography field work or Himalayan trekking expeditions, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.
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