There is a wide variety of educational school trips for primary pupils across the U.K., each with its own benefits and learning outcomes, and linking to different subject areas. So how do you decide where to go? What will bring your pupils the most value? Where will they find the most inspiration, motivation and engagement? We took a look at our own database of school trip ideas (all of which are linked to the National Curriculum at Key Stages 1 or 2), made some tough decisions, drank a lot of coffee, and finally whittled it down to what we think are the top five school trips for primary pupils.
We took into consideration their educational value, links to national standards in one or more subjects, availability of teaching resources, and to what extent pupils could practise key 21st century skills such as problem-solving, communication and teamwork.
There are so many fantastic educational visits to choose from that our school trip ideas might be very different to yours – so let us know what you think, and what trips you’d recommend!
Top Primary School Trip for English: Shakespeare’s Family Homes
Subjects: English, history, drama
Key Stages: 1 & 2
With five locations to choose from and a wealth of hands-on, inspiring workshops for primary pupils of all ages, a school trip to Shakespeare’s Family Homes is carefully designed by education experts to be practical and engaging.
Key Stage 1 pupils can take part in a workshop telling the story of Shakespeare’s life and find out more about the world he lived in, while Key Stage 2 pupils have a choice of six award-winning full or half day workshops. There is also a wealth of free teaching resources to support teachers in the classrooms, both before and after the school trip.
Top Primary School Trip for Geography: The Living Rainforest Centre
Subjects: Geography, science
Key Stages: 1 & 2
A school trip to The Living Rainforest Centre allows primary pupils to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a tropical rainforest environment for themselves. They can explore how plants, animals, human needs, economies and cultures are all linked.
The Edible Forest tour introduces Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils to the variety of foods to be found in the rainforest and gives them a great understanding of key curriculum terms about the food chain.
Downloadable worksheets and tour notes support teachers after the trip.
Top Primary School Trip for Science: LEGOLAND Windsor Resort
Subjects: Science, D&T, computing, maths, geography, English, history
Key Stages: 1 & 2
Is playing with LEGO on a school trip truly educational? This question has a one-word answer – absolutely! Aside from developing fine motor skills, playing with LEGO naturally encourages children to design, test, prototype, and improve. The familiar bricks and elements are also hugely engaging.
And that’s not all – LEGOLAND Windsor offers curriculum-based workshops using LEGO products which are specifically designed for the classroom. Whether it’s building a robotic space rover and making it discover life on Mars, designing a castle, learning about forces using a model car or boosting writing, speaking and listening skills by making a story out of LEGO, there’s a workshop for everything…and everyone.
A downloadable resource guide accompanies each workshop.
On a school trip to JORVIK DIG, primary school pupils learn what it is to be an archaeologist by digging up real artefacts (in fake soil!) from the past 2,000 years, learning real-life scientific skills while improving their knowledge of history in a hands-on, practical, and fun way.
All workshops are fully linked into the National Curriculum, and downloadable classroom resources include videos. A fantastic option which takes learning even further comes in the form of various education ‘loan boxes’. Designed for Key Stage 2 (and adaptable for SEND pupils), these boxes of archaeological artefacts and accompanying teacher notes bring the past to life in your classroom.
Top Primary School Trip for Design & Technology: Techniquest
Over 120 hands-on exhibits, science shows, a digital planetarium, and laboratory workshops for Key Stage 2 pupils make a school trip to Techniquest a stand-out choice. Pupils have the opportunity to experiment, test, discover, and learn for themselves in a collaborative and engaging way.
A day at Techniquest for Foundation Phase pupils covers all seven areas of learning, and the excellent Key Stage 2 programmes support the teaching of the Curriculum for Wales. There’s even a portable planetarium that can come to your school!
Those Are Our Top School Trip Ideas for Primary – What Are Yours?
It was a hard task selecting just five school trips from so many excellent options, but these were the ones that really struck us as providing fantastic learning outcomes across multiple subjects in a really engaging, motivating way, with great teacher support as well.