Our London Topic reached new heights this week as we commenced a series of year group visits to the capital to bring all of the children’s learning to life. I was fortunate to be able to join Year One during their visit to South Bank where they enjoyed a stroll along the Bank, boat trip along the Thames…and an ice cream. As the coach crossed Westminster Bridge a wave of excitement rippled through the coach as the children recognised the architecture and landmarks they have been studying this term. The staff, parents and I exchanged looks of delight and amazement, it was as though we had brought children from a distant island to visit London!
The communal experience of an educational visit creates a special opportunity to share prior knowledge and inspire further learning. A trip to London with family is also a wonderful experience of course, but to do so with your friends and teachers after several weeks of exciting study is truly inspiring. I think the adults on the trip were overwhelmed to see this first hand and we are in no doubt that they will never forget the experience or the things they have learned as a result.
As I write this our Reception children are on their way to the Tower of London to provide a backdrop and context for all their learning about castles and royalty, whilst Year Two await a similar London experience next week.
All three year groups will use their educational visit experiences to generate further learning back in class with written projects, art work and presentations. There is no substitute for experiential learning in young children. It makes learning real and relevant, promotes intrinsic motivation and provides the natural ingredients for high quality writing.