With so much fascinating history and heritage here in the UK, study tours based on home soil have the potential to be both inspiring and educational. Warwick Castleis one of the most popular venues for UK study tours and, considering the stunning interiors, pretty gardens andincredible range of displays and activities, itâ€™s certainly not surprising.
If you want to make history evenmore appealing to your pupils, take it outside the classroom and head to Warwick Castle, to guarantee your students a day to remember.
Below are just some of the highlights.
Horrible Histories Maze
A maze can be a lot of fun, especially when itâ€™s been created like this one, with a host of challenges along the way. As your students choose their path through the centuries, history unravels before them and some of the worldâ€™s best-kept secretsare revealed.
Youngsters will be able to act out invading a Viking ship or living in the trenches; theycan get involved in uncovering evil plots; and theyâ€™ll be able to get up close and personal to the â€˜Slimy Stuartsâ€™ and â€˜Terrifying Tudorsâ€™. Asthey make their way through the maze, theyâ€™ll earn stamps for their time passport and collect a prize at the end when theyâ€™ve conquered the challenge.
This castle was once the most powerful in middle England – an accolade it held for more than 1,000 years. Through the audio-visual multimedia in the Time Tower, students follow characters that recount stories ofwhat happened in this historic monument through the ages. Death, treachery, bloodshed and destruction were all part of Warwick Castleâ€™s past, and itâ€™s a story that is only now being told.
Dungeons are always popular withschool groups and this one is no exception. Some of the most horrific of times from the history of the castle are re-enacted here, with live actors and plenty of bangs and flashes bringing the ancient stories to life. This somewhat chilling experience is geared specifically for students of secondary school age, which goes some way to showing the level ofimmersion into this gruesome encounter.
The Mighty Trebuchet
As military warfare developed, no castle worth its salt was without a catapult. Recognised as the largest siege machine in the world, the Trebuchet is an enormous catapult once aimed at enemy walls with the intent of firing rocks to break them down. Today, this replicated piece of awe-inspiring weaponry is still fired on occasion,although not for the same reasons!
Tours, Talks and Workshops
Weâ€™re very lucky to have a host of excellent attractions that are geared up for school visits in theUK. Study tours for both primary and secondary pupils are well catered for at Warwick Castle, with plenty of talks and workshops available to book.
Younger minds will enjoy the range of tours on offer, which includeMeet the Monarchy, toteach them about three of Englandâ€™s most important Kings and Queens, andthe Castle Life tour, a lively introduction to the social and cultural aspects of life in the lead up to the War of the Roses.
A range of subjects is accommodated, with Design Technology emphasised in the Swords and Shields Workshop, and Citizenship (and history) being the focus of the Power of the Monarchy tour.
Older children will have the chance to explore the castleâ€™s medieval defences in Attack and Defence, or to learn about the judiciary system, common crimes and capital punishment in Crime and Punishment. The Battle Skills workshop, which incorporates an element of drama, is always a popular and there are not many pupils who donâ€™t like a bit of gruesome storytelling! The Student Ultimate Tour is the top recommendationfor those looking for a general overview of the castleâ€™s history.
UK study tours are best booked through a specialised educational tour operator. These companies have all the required information at their fingertips and can help withthe logistics and planning of the trip. Let the experts do the organising so you can focus on making the trip to Warwickshire as fun and interesting as possible.
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 UK study tours, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, 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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