As a history teacher you’ll be acutely aware of the extent to which a school trip to a historical venue can fire the imagination of your pupils. The cliché really is true: physically being at the site where an event in the past took place literally brings it to life. In this post we explore Normandy as an ideal destination for your history class.
This area of France is replete with historical sites that are geared up to give schoolchildren, from primary through to GCSE stage, a meaningful and educational visit. Whether you’re taking your class to see the Bayeux Tapestry or the WW2 venues, the museums and monuments run unsurpassed programmes for their younger visitors which will fulfil curriculum requirements and provide everyone with an experience that will inspire further study.
As a practical destination for a school trip, Normandy has much to recommend for the teacher, the parent and the pupil. Its accessibility from the UK means minimal stress for accompanying staff; relatively low costs for parents; and no boredom threshold issues for children.
There are many reasons why you might propose a trip to this area of France for a class studying the Middle Ages. As you know, the story starts here and Normandy has several well preserved sites and artefacts which are extremely accessible for school groups.
Normandy is home to one of the most iconic history sources: the Bayeux Tapestry. This artefact enhances the understanding of any age group covering the Norman Conquest in their history course.
- Learn about using artefacts as historical sources
- Bring the Norman Conquest to life with a visual narrative
- Introduce Early Medieval art and culture
If you’re covering the Middle Ages with your class then you’ll also want to visit Falaise Castle which is located nearby. This is where William the Conqueror was born, and it complements a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry rather well.
- Help students to visualise the context of this important ruler
- Benefit from extensive educational resources in English supplied by the Museum
- Explore the iconic architecture of a medieval castle
Modern History in Normandy
For those teaching the history of World War II, a visit to Normandy is practically compulsory. Your dilemma here revolves not around whether a school trip to the region is important, but rather which sites and monuments to cover during your trip.
There are many educational experiences that your pupils will take from a tour here, ranging from history and politics to social studies.
Learning about this period from course books, film and images is enormously enhanced by the perspective your students get from seeing the real battlefields and from having access to all the supporting monuments and memorials that have been set up in the area.
- American, German and British cemeteries help students grasp the reality of war
- State-of-the-art museum experiences explain the Normandy invasion
- Battlefield tours give students an insight into military history and the conditions of warfare
There’s no doubt that the historical education in Normandy is phenomenal, but what makes the school trip here imperative for your children is the lesson they learn about the consequences and impact of war.
By taking your class to the World War II beaches and battlefields you are playing a vital part in making sure that each generation understands the gravity of warfare – a lesson that goes beyond any Key Stage requirements. A school trip to Normandy is the perfect opportunity for you to fulfil the fundamental role of the teacher: to help shape a responsible and humane future generation.
We have several popular tours to Normandy that are suitable for primary or secondary school groups. Whether you want to bring alive the history lessons you have led in the classroom, or you are looking for an accessible taste of France, we have tour suggestions that will meet your needs. Alternatively talk to one of our team about building an itinerary that follows your agenda and bespoke objectives.