3 Days in England with American high school group
Replies: 30 - Last Post: Oct 15, 2012 11:12 AM Last Post By: Nice_But__
Oct 7, 2012 6:57 AM
15Like pedro555's idea. Did that years ago with the Hampstead Rugby Club. Again all ideas that have been suggested here
are stellar. Will all depend on when you arrive (time of day),and the weather. London is a great city for walking if the weather is agreeable but you have the tube or busses when it's not. Busses are slower because of traffic and if the tube is crowded there's some wait time as well, not to mention possible delays. However, that's London. You could also get into to see Parliament in action, http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/. LOTS of things to do and see for teens. Have you learned anything for our posts?
Oct 8, 2012 2:44 AM
16I travel with my son who has Down syndrome - what he likes in London is -
Hop on Hop Off Bus
Changing of the Guard - well more seeing them arrive rather than the actual stare off ceremony
loves the Tube
loves shopping at Harrods
loves seeing Big Ben
loves spotting the squirrels in the park - we don't have squirrels were we are from.
Not sure how impressed he is with Tower Bridge but certainly something he associates with London.
he also enjoyed the london film museum
not sure if Bath would be of interest, Stonehenge is something that I think is good if it can be fitted in. Stonehenge is a well known/photographed part of English history that everyone knows about - great for those with learning disabilities to use as a point of reference for communication.
He wasn't impressed with Hamleys then again we do go there on a Saturday during December - very busy. He did enjoy eating at the rainforest cafe
for something a bit different perhaps a visit to Lords Cricket Ground.
a trip on a waterbus
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
harry potter filming locations
you need to make the trip meaningful to the kids to keep their attention.
Oct 9, 2012 3:06 AM
Oct 9, 2012 7:01 PM
18Well, I am grateful for all of the lovely people who posted on here!
I can't say I have been able to digest everything yet, unfortunately.
After a discussion today with a colleague who will be going on the trip as well, here is what we came up with:
Day One: Arrive
- Globe Theater Tour
- Afternoon Tea
- London Eye
- See a play
Day Four-- Leave on Eurostar for Paris.
Does anyone feel inspired to comment on how this sounds?
Thanks again! I will be continuing to wade through the great information in these replies!
Oct 9, 2012 11:10 PM
your students have special needs, have you really considered what they would be interested in.
British Museum, held my son's attention for about 5 minutes. His idea of seeing a museum etc., keep walking as you are able to see it all while on the move.
Churchill War Rooms !!!!!!! - who really wants to see them - you or the other teacher. None of the teenagers I know with special needs would be interested in that.
Westminister Abbey - again imho these kids will not appreciate what is on offer. This was another place my son was basically yep a great big church with fancy stuff. Did not understand the history etc. within the Abbey.
I haven't been to Windsor Castle or Globe Theatre Tour - just be 100% sure these are going to be suitable for your students.
As to seeing a play - I do recommend The Lion King - fantastic stage production or perhaps Jersey Boys.
As a parent, I am very critical of itineraries put forward for my son's travel enjoyment - guessing your parents will be as well.
Oct 9, 2012 11:13 PM
Oct 10, 2012 4:59 AM
21Ah. I really appreciate your point of view, PoppyG.
We will probably have a majority of 16 & 17 year old students on our tour. Even though many have disabilities that affect their reading and writing, most have a positive attitude toward learning. I would say about a quarter of them have a form of autism that mainly affects their social interactions.
As far as the war rooms are concerned, the social studies teacher feels that many have a strong understanding of WW2 history, so we are incorporating several stops that will connect to that (in France we are going to Normandy).
I think part of what I am thinking is that since we are taking the trip during school days, the academic/learning aspect should be highlighted to the most reasonable extent.
We were hoping that the British Museum had a variety of displays for many areas of interest, as compared to a museum of paintings. Maybe some kind of activities or scavenger hunt would help them get something productive out of that experience.
Do you think the day 3 agenda allows time for shopping? I was hoping it wasn't too sparsely scheduled.
Oct 10, 2012 5:00 AM
Oct 10, 2012 12:41 PM
23Mrs. Trellis-- thanks for your advice on leaving London for a day. The idea of Stratford or Oxford seems very appealing to me. I am not used to making trips where you see lots of sites in several days. I would have liked the full week in England so that 2-3 days could be spent in London and 3-4 days could be spent elsewhere, but i guess there will always be more to explore. Anyway, I guess we are leaning toward the simplicity of the two full days in London. I don't know what time our arrival on the first day will be.
Oct 10, 2012 1:03 PM
24(I am just getting through some more of these wonderful, information-laden messages!)
pedro555 -- I don't think the administration had a clear limit as to whether the trip should be to England or London only. At first I thought it would be primarily in England with an emphasis on the theater. Then we wanted to expand the curriculum connections and the subject areas in which students would be interested (perhaps to include more potential student travelers). So we are trying to include a strong history component, and are planning to spend 4 days in France with some emphasis there on WW2 history in Normandy. The students will also participate in a painting workshop there for some more hands-on learning.
bellart1 -- Salisbury and the day itinerary you described sounds very nice! I am not sure with three days and one of those as our arrival day that we will have time.
I am starting to think that I will want to plan another trip before long (sans students) to experience all of the places you described.
tallybalt -- your criticism of the "panoramic tour" (bus tour) did make me stop and discuss that with my co-worker...! We are trying to re-frame that portion of the trip to see a few key places/things. Hopefully what we came up with makes sense!
Oct 10, 2012 2:00 PM
25Definitely do a work sheet type thing for British Museum - make it fun. My trip to the BM ended up at the cafe as my son was bored to tears, he takes a bit of history but not a great deal. Could be something simple like - you need to find something beginning with the letter A.B.C. etc. you could end up with some very creative answers.
As a parent, I am wondering if you are doing a bit too much war stuff.
I also wonder if A family in Wartime may be of more interest, besides it is free compared with the £13 charge for the Churchill War Rooms.
Again as a parent, when my children went on school trips - yes there has to be some education component but in saying that seeing the icons of a country is very educational. Dealing with the different money, being able to understand and get around on public transport is educational - sort of day to day living in another country is a big learning curve.
as a tourist, I always enjoy the hop on hop off buses - in London especially the ones with live commentary. Great way to get a good feel for both the town and gaining a lot of history which you will not get on your own bus trip or travelling around on public transport. To me, that would be a better way of spending a few pounds and educational.
Oct 10, 2012 2:47 PM
26The War Rooms are great, and my kids used to love them. And I don't know what other war stuff Poppy can see in the new itinerary.
Your day 2 looks a bit busy, you aren't going to have time to see anything. Changing of the Guard is at 11am if you want to see the old guard, and won't finish until 12.15. Allow 15 minutes to walk to the War Rooms (longer if you saunter through St James's Park and feed the ducks (and you should), and an hour an a half to go round them, so that's 2pm at the earliest. Then lunch, say 45 minutes minimum, so 2.45pm.
Westminster Abbey is 10 minutes walk, say 3pm. Spend 45 minutes there (not long enough, imo), and at least 45 minutes, and more likely an hour, to drive to Windsor, and you won't get into the Castle until almost 5pm, which will be pointless, since last admission in the summer is 4pm, and in the winter it's 3pm.
Oct 10, 2012 3:17 PM
27Megs - France - also keep in mind these kids have short attention spans. I feel I have a good understanding of the ability of the op's students - what I would call in my son's groups - high functioning. These guys can still get bored very quickly with too much history/museum type thing.
Yes, I am being critical of the itinerary for a reason - have seen a great trip go sour from poor planning on the ability/concentration level/likes of the student. History is great but it still has to be fun, basically the students will be seeing this as an overseas trip only.
Oct 15, 2012 7:37 AM
29PoppyG-- I like that idea of Abbey Road! Thanks-- very fun! And a Harry Potter filming tour site seems close by. I will have to look into that.
Here is our new agenda--
Day 1. Overnight flight to London
Day 2. Arrive (not sure what time yet),
- British Museum,
- Tower of London
- Guided sightseeing of London (probably mostly on a bus).
- Westminster Abbey
- Windsor (I wonder too about doing this late in the day-- but maybe we won't stay long at Westminster Abbey).
- Globe Theater visit
- Cabinet War Rooms & Churchill Museum
- Afternoon tea
- London Eye -- I kind of like the idea of doing this near the end where the kids can try to look for the places they visited... (?)
- Evening theater performance in the West End
Day 5: Eurostar to Paris
I think now that we have the basics settled of how many days and which major stops, we can do some re-negotiating of specific activities as needed. The big picture was needed to settle the basic dates and cost.
Thanks again for all who have helped! I will continue to read and think about your valuable input!
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