Line up for a super school trip in Dudley

Dudley MuseumWe know Christmas will soon be filling the school calendar, but before the mayhem begins – why not take a moment to plan an amazing New Year trip to re-energise the class for the next term?

Everyone can flag a bit after the fun and festivities at Christmas.  Having something in the calendar to look forward to is a great way of boosting the enthusiasm levels – for pupils and teachers alike!

The best thing about being at a school in Dudley is… you don’t have to go far to find a fabulous day trip venue.  In fact, there’s so much to choose from – will one day be enough?

Here’s some suggested trips that combine learning and fun in equal measure.

Boy & Exhibition cases portraitDudley Museum & Art Gallery

Get a glimpse into Dudley’s varied history with a fun, interactive school visit to the museum.  Knowledgeable staff provide an extensive education programme that will keep kids busy, entertained and informed.

Current exhibitions include: The Great War; Return of the Dinosaurs; Fantastic Fossils; Dudley Unearthed; and Duncan Edwards and Local Heroes.

Some of the formal learning options available are:

How to be a Dinosaur – KS1

The First World War – KS2/KS3

Find out more here.

Portrait of Red House Glass ConeRed House Glass Cone and Stourbridge Glass Quarter

We’re lucky enough to have on our doorstep one of only four remaining working glass cones in the UK! Reaching 100 feet, the Red House Glass Cone was built at the end of the 18th century and was used for the manufacture of glass until 1936. It is now the only complete glass cone in the area. With the aid of film, audio guides, exhibits and live demonstrations, you can explore the Cone’s 200 years of glassmaking history.

‘Discover Glass’ is a new whole day experience for primary schools with links to the national curriculum for Art, Technology, Science and History.

The Discover Glass tour is a joint site visit to Broadfield House Glass Museum and The Red House Glass Cone, aimed at KS1 and KS2, and includes a ‘glass detectives’ interactive tour, hot glass blowing demonstration, and a practical workshop in either kiln fusing, glass engraving or glass painting.

There is also a tailored workshop visits for those studying Applied Art at GCSE.

Find out more here.

Ben in Tunnel smallDudley Canal and Limestone Mines

The Dudley Canal Trust enjoys an enviable reputation in educational circles. It offers many themes related to the national curriculum and higher educational courses and offers attractive discounts for groups of students and teachers.

They have a variety of boat trip options, from 45 minute trips to 2.5 hours, on both the open canal, inside  the limestone caverns and through the Dudley tunnel  with skipper guided narration to fit in with your teaching programme.

These fascinating trips cover over 420 million years of Black Country History giving an absorbing insight into what made our world what it is today, embracing geology, archaeology, engineering, sociology and economics.

Their latest trip, ‘The Under and Over Dudley Tour’, is a joint experience day with the neighbouring Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve. Download the details here: Page 1, Page 2.

And this is just a drop in the ocean (or should I say canal) to what will be available in the very near future.  Keep your eyes peeled for more to come next year at the Dudley Canal & Limestone Mines when their new Portal exhibition space and learning facilities will be completed!

Find out more here.

Graham and fossil huntersWren’s Nest Nature Reserve

Over 400 million years ago, the area where Dudley now stands was covered by coral reefs and tropical seas providing an environment for the famous fossils we find there today. Over 700 types of fossil are known to have come from Wren’s Nest. 186 of which were first discovered and described here and 86 are found nowhere else on Earth.

Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve is a classic geological site of exceptional importance and offers fantastic opportunities for pupils of all ages across the Key Stages and beyond to learn about their local environment, its history, its people and its natural features.

An educational team offer structured workshops featuring:

  • Hands on activities
  • Handling of artefacts and models
  • Coverage of a wide range of topic areas

Trips can also be combined with visits to Dudley Museum and Art Gallery and Dudley Canal Tunnel and Limestone Mines.

They have developed a comprehensive education pack called ‘Rock Detectives’ aimed at KS3.

The pack is a free download and aims to give pupils a greater understanding of processes including the rock cycle, plate tectonics and weathering and erosion and where the evidence of the processes can be found on the Wren’s Nest site.

Find out more here.

Village Characters at Black Country Living Museum2012Black Country Living Museum

The Black Country Living Museum offers a wealth of learning opportunities linking to many areas of the national curriculum.

Catering for all ages and levels, from early years through to higher education, they cover a broad subject area including history, the arts, science, technology, geography, literacy, mathematics and citizenship.

Visit the dedicated education page of their website here for information on curriculum linked workshops, study specific learning visits, curriculum material and themed events for schools and educators.

lemurlollies5aDudley Zoo and Castle

From ‘Horrible History’ sessions in the Undercroft of the 11th Century Dudley Castle, to ‘meet the creature’ sessions in the zoo, there’s a wide variety of learning opportunities to be had at Dudley Zoo and Castle.

From explorer sessions and conservation workshops to crime and punishment talks and ghost walks, they guarantee students and teachers alike will discover amazing facts alongside having great fun.

The education section of their website covers activities tailored to the different Key Stages including workshops and guided tours that fit with your study programme.