Is there a better way for you to introduce your class to Hadrian’s Wall than by the unique and unforgettable adventure of sleeping in its shadow? The Sill, the UK’s National Landscape Discovery Centre, offers just that experience with its stylish and modern youth hostel. Located in Northumberland National Park and a hop, skip and a jump away from the wall, a stay here is teeming with history. |
But that’s not all The Sill has to offer. Part laboratory, part education centre and part attraction, bring your pupils here for an informative and entertaining look into Northumberland’s history, landscape and heritage – and, of course, Hadrian’s Wall.
Nature and hands-on learning are two ingredients that make for an unforgettable trip with your class. Your pupils will have the chance to get their creative juices flowing, discover animals and explore different habitats. Read on to figure out where to stay, what to do and how to relieve all the stress of planning.
Where to Stay: YHA The Sill
When it comes to an educational trip, The Sill at Hadrian’s Wall is a wonderful choice. This youth hostel is situated in the countryside of the National Park and is conveniently located only a few hundred metres from the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site. And if you’re looking to expose your pupils to even more history, a Roman fort at Vindolanda and Sycamore Gap are also nearby.
The amenities include the following:
• 26 stylish and secure bedrooms spread out over two floors, 18 of which are en-suite. They sleep either two or four, and come complete with bunk beds – something that pupils will love. This hostel is inclusive of all physical abilities, as there are fully accessible rooms available onsite. • A self-catering kitchen and a child-friendly restaurant. • Free WiFi. • Social areas where pupils can relax with their peers. • A classroom – perfect for educational trips, as you never know when a teachable moment might arise.
What to Do: School Sessions
The Sill offers a varied, entertaining and hands-on selection of school sessions that children are sure to love. Here are just a few:
• Nocturnal Wildlife – Pupils will learn about insects and animals that only come out at night, and will even have the opportunity to hold some of them. • Art in the Park – This workshop begins with a session focused on artists who were inspired by the natural world and the habitats and landscapes that can be found in the National Park. Afterwards, pupils will have the opportunity to create their own art inspired by their surroundings. • Nature Detectives – After learning about the National Park’s habitats and how they are protected, the children will visit a pond, a meadow and woodland as they hunt for a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles that live there. • River Investigation – Pupils will be given a lesson about the River Breamish, before heading off to discover it for themselves. They will have the chance to see the animals that live in it and explore the surrounding areas.
Now What? Perfecting Your Educational Trip
To make the most out of your class’s time in Northumberland, teachers may find it helpful to seek out a specialised educational travel tour operator to organise their trip. Educators are notoriously busy and it can be difficult to find the time to plan a tour all by yourself. Enlisting the help of a professional to take on the brunt of this work can free you up to focus on lesson plans, grading and, most importantly, the children in your class. Not only that, they also often offer options to personalise your outing. Customisation means that you can let them know what you’re learning inside of the classroom and easily connect it to the activities they choose for your pupils.
Taking your class on an educational trip is a great way to combine learning and adventure. The hands-on approach works exceptionally well – not only does knowledge stick more easily, children have a blast and get a break from the traditional classroom setting. Who knew education could be this entertaining?
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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