Scarborough is one of England’s historical gems and a fantastic place to take children on educational visits. Recognised as Britain’s oldest seaside town, Scarborough is a thriving place that is proud to welcome the visitors who come to explore its many interesting sites. Geography students, in particular, will have a huge amount to discover, and educational visits can easily be tailored to suit primary or secondary aged children. |
Here are three highlights, ideal for youngsters to enjoy.
The Rotunda Museum
Children always get excited when they hear about the fossils that can be found all along Yorkshire’s Dinosaur Coast and, before they go hunting for some themselves, they can get a feel for what they are searching for in this fascinating museum. Housing hundreds of wonderful objects that include a plethora of fossils and the skeleton of a Bronze Age human and his coffin, this was one of the first museums in the world to be opened. William ‘Strata’ Smith, considered the father of English Geology, was the man behind the idea for the building design, which is an attraction in itself.
Children will get a real feel for what marine life would have been like along this coastline millions of years ago. They’ll see objects excavated from Star Carr, the place known as the most important Middle Stone Age site in Britain. There are some excellent reconstructions here, too. This museum truly stokes the imagination and questions will inevitably start to flow.
North Bay and South Bay
The rocky outcrops on North Bay are a haven for enthusiastic amateur geologists. When the tide goes out, the rock pools reveal a whole new world to explore.
South Bay lies just around the headland and is much more sheltered than its northern counterpart. Soft sandy areas are ideal for sun bathing, picnicking and informal question and answer sessions. Again, when the tide is out, the rock pools are exposed and come to life with crabs, fish and perhaps even starfish.
Robin Hood’s Bay
It’s a rare youngster who doesn’t enjoy hunting and collecting, so it’s all the better if you can include it on educational visits. Robin Hood’s Bay, just outside Scarborough, was once part of a deep ocean. Over time, however, the water retreated and the animals that thrived were buried in the mud, becoming fossilised. Many have been collected already and are displayed in the museum, but your class will have a great time searching for more.
An opportunity to learn about the landscape and the changing geology, as well as the wonderful history of the little village, make this the perfect place for educational visits for both primary and secondary school children. Its popularity, however, has had an impact on the local wildlife, and it is now recognised as a ‘Sensitive Marine Area’. This is a highly recommended topic to include as an element for discussion in your study plan, as a way of raising awareness and getting pupils to appreciate the value of this special place.
There are a few simple rules to adhere to, but for the most part these apply to every visitor – not just students. One rule stands out and should be noted, however, and that is that plants or animals should not be removed under any circumstances. Children should be encouraged to look at them, enjoy them and even photograph them, but leave them where they are found. Fossils can be taken but only in small numbers. Get your group to remember that they should ‘take only memories, leave only footprints’.
Educational visits require a great deal of thought and planning. For your next trip, consider booking with a specialist educational travel operator. As experts in their field, the team will organise all the logistics so you can concentrate on the study plan and engaging the pupils to get excited about the upcoming trip - which won’t take much if you choose Scarborough.
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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