Children today have more opportunities to go on school residential trips than ever, catering to every subject and age group. School residential trips based in Yorkshire should definitely include a visit to the county’s favourite zoo and theme park: Flamingo Land. |
While this popular attraction might be an amusement park on the surface, it is worth noting that there are several excellent educational opportunities that make a visit an invaluable learning experience for your primary school class.
Four Types of Educational Activity (Key Stage 2)
1. Guided Tours These tours last for one hour and take your students around up to half of the zoo. Tours include the ‘Adaptation Tour’, which introduces your youngsters to how animals adapt to their shifts in their natural habitats, the ‘Conservation Tour’, which emphasises how changing environments have led to some animals becoming endangered, and the ‘Rainforest Animals Tour’ that may include a visit to the snakes, tapirs, capybaras and tigers!
These 45-minute sessions are a hands-on way to learn more about a variety of topics, and they often include interaction with live animals.
Your children will be enthralled by the ‘Animal Anatomy and Delicious Diets’ workshop. It investigates the skeletons and muscles of various creatures and introduces pupils to their varied diets. You can book a ‘Life Cycles’ class that explores the mammal, amphibian, insect and bird life cycles, or get your youngsters to don their detective hats and choose to participate in ‘African Rangers’. The latter will allow you to divide your class into groups and see who will be the most successful rangers. They’ll be judged by how well they interpret the clues they are given as they attempt to identify six African animals.
Other workshops include ‘Conserving Rainforests’, ‘Food Chains and Teeth’, ‘Adaptation and Evolution’, ‘Explorers Quest’ and, one of the most popular, ‘Roller Coaster Science’. In this one, the children learn how to launch a roller coaster, how the different forces impact the drops and the loops and limits of design. They also learn what stops a coaster after it has gone through its turns, twists and figure eights.
3. Meet a Creature
This 30-minute session allows your students to meet up to three species of animals at the zoo. All children love having this opportunity and it always raises lots of questions.
If you prefer to lead your own educational visit, the park has worksheets and trail guides available. However, I always highly recommend booking a workshop or escorted tour over anything self-led, as the children will get so much out of the whole experience when learning from the experts.
Planning residential school trips can be daunting, but if you contact a specialist educational travel company, all of the organisation will be done for you. Many companies offer a personal service that allows you to tailor a trip to suit the needs of your group. By booking with a specialist company you have more time to advertise the trip, talk to parents and organise the more relaxed elements of the visit.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in residential school trips 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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