What is it that fascinates children so much about the Vikings? Famed for being the cut-throat warriors associated with many a violent legend, these Scandinavian seamen, with their ferocious reputation, hold a wealth of intrigue for youngsters of all ages. |
The Vikings were most definitely warriors, but they were alsoconquerors and settlers. During excavations in York in the 1970s it was discovered that this historic city had once been a thriving Viking settlement and a multicultural centre for trade. The Jorvik Viking Centre was established in order to bring this important part of the city’s history to life and preserve the unique archaeological artefacts that have been unearthed. It's not merely a museum but an experience in and of itself,making itideal for an engaging educational trip.
A Tour of the Jorvik Viking Centre
From the moment you enter this magnificent place you're transported to another world, and themany opportunities to interact get children immediately enthused. Your class can try their hand at excavation using the touchscreens that simulate the smudging away of dirt to reveal artefacts, before boarding the famous Jorvik ride, which tours through a Viking city recreated with waxworks. As the figures chat away in Old Norse, the pupils can follow a comprehensive recorded guide (a simpler one is available for younger visitors).
The simplicity and straightforwardness of the centre is of great appeal to children.Because it absorbs them in the uncomplicated aspects of the Vikings'daily life, without even realising it your charges will be taking history on board. Youngsters have the opportunityto learn more on this educational trip than they ever would in a classroom.
One of the interesting displays in the new exhibition isthe skeletonof a woman who,according to a CT scan at York Hospital,died at the age of 45. The scans are conveyed in the exhibition in the form of digital displays and it makes for a fun project for the children to pretend to be amateurarchaeologists. The can examine the scans and make their own conclusions about the womanand what may have happened to her.
A detailed display of human excrement, complete with parasitic contents and detailed analysis isanother display on show for the pupils to inspect. The smell is always a cause for amusement, no matter how old the group!
Workshops for Educational Trips
The Jorvik Centre is very well organised when it comes to hostingan educational trip. With cross-curricular workshops focusing on all aspects of Viking history, the centre has been designed to cater to school groups and young people of all ages. Themes are designed to be interesting and engaging and, as workshops are just 45 minutes long, children won't succumb to boredom or restlessness. Whether you want your students to explore Viking warfare and weaponry, or poetry and stories, there's a workshop to suit your focus of learning. Children can re-enact myths, dress up in traditional costumes and even debate the use of plants, animals and insects in treating ailments. Bringing history to life is what the centre is all about and it delivers admirably.
The Jorvik Viking Centre has something for children of all ages, so if you're inspired to organise an educational trip for your class, talk to aspecialist tour operator for advice. Expert operators will organise every part of your visit, from organising accommodation and transport to booking tickets, leaving you free to create a memorable and motivational educational experience.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational trip itineraries for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveller, John is very passionate about providing students with valuable and engaging learning experiences outside of the classroom. By sharing his expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and bring their studies to life.
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