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7 Fun and Educational Trips in London

Educational trips have a positive impact on student learning, but where do you take a group of children for a day out in London? Read our 7 Fun and Educational Trips in London for some inspirational and educational school excursions.

Shakespeare’s Globe

Watch a live performance of a Shakespeare play in a setting befitting of the bard. Take a tour of the Globe then visit the museum to learn more about the life and work of England’s greatest poet. Built to a traditional design, the Globe is the best possible setting to witness a play performed just as it would be during the lifetime of one of the greatest playwrights.

Ideal for English literature students, you can book tickets and find out more about the globe by clicking this link.

 

Tate Modern

Where better to take art students than the Tate Modern in London? Home to many temporary and permanent exhibitions, you will find contemporary art with an International flavour at the Tate. Book in advance and make the most of the free facilities. You can go as an independent group or enjoy some of the brilliant Tate-led sessions if you prefer.

Make arrangements for your school party and plan your visit. For more details, visit the Tate web site.

British Museum

It’s free, open daily, and school groups can enjoy self-led visits to the British Museum or take fully guided tours instead.  You can view special exhibitions, displays and unique events at the British Museum, and it has excellent facilities for visiting students. Book in advance and enjoy free visits to all special exhibits.

Want more information? Find everything you need to know about making a group booking at the British Museum today.

Imperial War Museum

Open daily from 10 am, the Imperial War Museum (IWM) has some truly humbling exhibitions with free admissions for school groups. Along with many permanent exhibitions, ranging from the First World War Gallery to the Holocaust exhibition, there are also many temporary displays. Visit the museum to discover the impact of war told through genuine life experiences.

Bookings are being taken for group visits to the IWM in London right now. Request a visit by filling out the form.

Thames River Cruise

School trips on the Thames are perfect for a party of pupils. Offering a guided commentary along the river Thames, the history of London comes alive during a private hire cruise. With so much to see, river cruises are a fun way to learn about the capital and discover more about the geography of the city.

Tours along the Thames are available to book right here through a specialist river cruise company.

The Crystal

Described as one of the world’s most sustainable buildings, The Crystal hosts the largest exhibition on the future of metropolitan areas. Providing a unique exhibition for a school trip, it challenges pupils to think about cities in a different way. Perfect for science, geography or design and technology students, educational trips to The Crystal can be tailored to your needs.

Plan your school visit and read this brochure for additional information. Pupils love this exhibition!

Kidzania

Welcome to Kidzania, the biggest interactive kids’ city in London. Inspiring fun and learning, kids have over 80,000 square foot of city to explore and 100 careers to try.  Created specifically for children between the ages of 4-14, kids have the opportunity to experiment with over 60 real-life challenges in a host of professions. There’s something to suit all children here, and they get the chance to experience life as an adult in the real world inside this city run by kids.

Want your school to take part? Discover the Kidzania concept and arrange tickets through the booking page.  If you’re a teacher and would like to know more about our exclusive discount offer through World Class Teachers contact us today.

With so many amazing educational sites in London to visit, it’s easy to support student learning and give your pupils something fun and educational to look forward to.

Looking for teaching roles in London? Please contact us here at World Class Teachers if you are looking for new work opportunities, or call to speak to us on +44 (0)208 579 4501.

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF THIS ACADEMIC YEAR

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Can arts and culture change young lives in Sierra Leone?

Joe Hallgarten is co-founder of Global Arts Learning Action, and senior associate with the Innovation Unit and has recently joined the World Class team. His experience and contribution as an educator is second to none; here is a fascinating glimpse into his latest work in arts education and culture in Sierra Leone…

I got used to the noise, but never quite adjusted to the heat. Whilst, by the end of my too-short first-ever week in Freetown, I could happily navigate the madness of Lumley Junction, I was still sweating as much on day seven as on day one.

What was I doing hre? I’m the co-founder of Global Arts Learning Action. Our mission is to encourage and enable lower income countries to place arts learning at the heart of their education systems, and to mobilise the world’s educators and artists to support these endeavours. We believe that more, better learning through dance, film, literature, music and theatre can help to transform children’s life chances and give them the skills and qualities that will help them thrive. Art-rich learning can also nurture vibrant civil societies, where creativity and freedom of expression are valued. Unfortunately, arts education remains a very low priority in every education system in the world. Whilst the Sustainable Development Goals are galvanising education reforms in low-income countries, reforms are tending not to prioritise the arts in national curricula, assessments or in depictions of effective pedagogy. Whilst, given the extraordinary and immediate challenges that countries like Sierra Leone face in terms of pupil enrolment, teacher quality and, above all, literacy levels, this may not be surprising; but it may also be a missed opportunity. There is evidence from around the world that high quality arts learning can help address these very challenges.

I was invited to Sierra Leone by two school groups — Educaid and Rising Academies — to explore how our idea might work in a particular context. As well as meeting with teachers and pupils, I discussed our emerging plans with government officials and artists, entrepreneurs and politicians. It was clear from day one that education is an issue which Sierra Leone’s citizens care deeply about. On one day, newspapers led with stories of unpaid teachers. On another, headlines revealed accusations of exam board corruption. I had read about Sierra Leone’s low school completion rates, especially amongst girls, its high levels of illiteracy, and its chronic lack of education funding. But as I saw schools who creatively converted classrooms by day into dormitories by night for the most vulnerable children, or who only had ancient books and blackboards to work with, I far better understood the daily challenges that students and teachers face across Sierra Leone.

As well as encountering the generosity of so many people in Freetown, I was also heartened by the way people engaged with and offered critical insights to what is still a very half-formed idea. It’s so difficult to summarise all my thoughts, but here are three insights:

First, in terms of the arts and culture, Sierra Leone has a rich, impressive history to draw on, and a growing artistic talent base which could be harnessed to support schools. A strong tradition of making great theatre has been undermined by the civil war and Ebola. Visionaries such as Charlie Hafner are doing their best to sustain and grow these traditions, in difficult circumstances. Similarly, Ballanta Academy is keeping both traditional and modern music making alive amongst young people in Freetown. Many people I spoke to, including younger artists and filmmakers, were passionate about Sierra Leone reviving stronger expressions of its own cultural outputs, rather than accepting the increasing domination of Nigerian culture in particular. Global university Limkokwing has recently opened a new campus in Freetown, working with the government to provide scholarships for over a thousand students to study creative and IT-related degrees and diplomas. Everyone from the Minister of Culture to Esther, the young gospel singer I met outside the Ministry, saw the arts as fundamental to the regeneration of Sierra Leone, and to the ongoing quest to promote the civic values that provide the best insulation against any return to civil conflict. As renowned theatre academic and former Minister of Information Professor Cecil Blake asserted, ‘arts can be a powerful force for social change in Sierra Leone’.

Second, whilst resources and capacity are of course an issue in almost all schools in Sierra Leone, the biggest barrier may still be the curriculum and assessment systems. Although the arts is included in primary schools, assessed through the ‘creative and practical arts’ track at BECE/lower secondary, and an optional strand for the WAACE, the curriculum is in urgent need of an update. It favours knowledge and understanding — for instance, of types of animal hides — over the nurturing of any creative responses or expressions. Young people in Sierra Leone don’t lack curiosity — far from it. But at school, they tend to lack the space and encouragement to pursue this curiosity and express their ideas and emotions.

Third, both pupils and teachers are very keen to experience more arts learning opportunities in and out of school. Many teachers I met told me of the teachers whose arts teaching inspired them as pupils. They were also keen to tell me about their own artistic interests and talents — from rapping to poetry, drawing to dance. They were desperate to bring these interests into their teaching, so they could inspire pupils in similar ways. Teachers in Sierra Leone are widely criticised for old-fashioned methods and a lack of commitment, but the teachers I met were motivated and ready to learn and teach in different ways.

So I returned to the relative cool of London much more optimistic about the chances of success and impact in Sierra Leone. It seems that there is an appetite amongst both educators and artists for a new programme that builds on existing initiatives, is locally owned and encompasses curriculum innovation, teacher training, and new school-artist partnerships. Over the next few months, We’ll be talking to more people in and outside the country. We hope to return in December, having secured support from global foundations and companies, and work with local partners to co-design a programme that can start from 2018.

So imagine if, over the next generation, arts became central to all young Sierra Leonean’s lives, in and out of school. What might be the impact and benefits, for young people themselves and for Sierra Leone’s society? How might we get there? And how could you, as citizens, parents and educators, contribute? As one of Sierra Leone’s most successful musicians Emmerson said to me: ‘we artists are here, we are ready to help.’

THE TEN WAYS THAT YOU CAN MAXIMISE YOUR STUDENTS LEARNING DURING LESSONS

Objectives then activities
As a teacher, it can be tempting to think of an activity and then base some learning around it. However, this could mean that you end up wasting time tasking your students with something that has no end goal. Instead, always start with a learning objective and then base an activity around this. That way you can always be sure that they are going to reach their goal.

Think about whether everyone needs a recap
Children are different, and they have different approaches to learning. You are likely to find that some will need a direct instruction in order to get a task completed, whereas others can work alone or in groups. During the lesson you may need to give a recap of the learning or what is expected, however, you may find that this is only necessary for some of the children, rather than all of the children.
Decrease the distractions
Distractions, in whatever form they come in can be harmful to lessons. What you may not realise however is that you may be the one causing the distractions. Sometimes you will need some additions to your standard approach to teaching, but all the flashy extras may end up distracting your students rather than helping them.
Structure your lessons well
One way that you can make the most of your lesson time is to structure it as best you can. Of course, no two lessons are the same, but you will have a rough idea of how a lesson is best organised. A great way to get a lesson underway is start with an activity that is linked to the previous lessons learning. Not only does this get the students focused on working, but also encourages them to think about their previous learning.
Think about lessons as a sequence 
Whilst lessons are separate in the sense of time, they often follow each other in a sequence, with the learning linked. If your aim is to guide students towards an end learning goal, then you will want to make sure that lessons are ordered in a logical way. Not only so that they make sense, but also so you can pick up on any gaps in learning that you have noticed.
Be prepared
There is so much that can be said for being prepared. In fact, teachers can soon learn that a large chunk of their time is taken up, simply by not preparing properly for a lesson. They should have all their resources out and ready on the tables, or at least be prepared to hand them out as soon as the students take their seats. They should also have stationary to hand, the whiteboards premade and any websites that will be used ready to go.
 Structure a routine
The best friend of being prepared has to be the routine. Routine’s offer a consistent approach to lessons, and makes sure that students know what is expected of them, as well as what to expect. Routines can come in the form of passing around lesson material, entering the classroom and leaving the classroom too.
Provide written instructions
Written instructions are important to a lesson, no matter whether they are printed out or on the board. They offer the students something to refer back to, when they need it, meaning that you minimise the time spent re-explaining things and clarifying what they need to do.
Manage negative behaviour
One of the main causes of wasted behaviour for many schools is negative behaviour from students. There are a number of ways that you can manage this negative behaviour and it really will depend on the age of your students, as well as the students misbehaving too. Sometimes all you need is to let them know that you have noticed their behaviour perhaps with non-verbal communication.
Pay attention during the class for feedback
How often do you monitor the work that is being done by your students? Chances are that it isn’t as much as you should. Lesson time is often wasted when a child hasn’t understood the task and is getting things wrong. It may seem like it would take more time to go around and ensure that every student understands what they need to do, but the truth is that this can be beneficial for the students and for their learning. You can tackle issues as they pop up, and challenge students that are finding the work too easy.


No matter which way you go about it, it is important that you try your best to make every minute count in your lesson. Do you have any additional tips for maximising learning in the classroom? Comment below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

TEN TOP TIPS FOR MANAGING BEHAVIOUR IN THE CLASSROOM

Do you spend more time managing behaviour than teaching? Are you at your wits’ end trying to control some of the children in your class?  These ten tips should help you gain control and get back to doing what you do best:  teach.

Rules

Rules are important to establish expectations of behaviour in the classroom.  Ideally, rules should be discussed and decided upon by the whole class, in order that the children understand why they’re needed.  They are more likely to abide by the rules if they are involved in writing them. Limit the number of rules to no more than 5 and make sure they are phrased positively. Rules should be clearly displayed and children reminded of them frequently.

Understanding the Behaviour

All behaviour happens for a reason and is a way for the child to communicate with us. We need to look beyond the behaviour to what’s driving it.  It’s important we address the causes of the challenging behaviour, rather than just managing it when it happens. By meeting the child’s needs, we can prevent it from happening again in the future.  Reflect on what happened and look for patterns by using an Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence (ABC) chart.  Be proactive, rather than reactive.

Building a Relationship 

According to James Comer, “No significant learning happens without a significant relationship”. Having a positive relationship also encourages the children to behave appropriately, and will make your behaviour strategies more effective.  Use every opportunity to get to know the children; greet them as they come in, find time out of the classroom at break time and lunch time to chat, show an interest in them and their lives.  Your interest may be rejected at first; you need to be committed to building trust. Little and often works best.

Countdown 

A countdown is useful at the end of an activity, as it gives children time to finish what they’re doing.  For example, 5…. Finish the sentence you’re on, 4…. Put your pens down, etc.  This is especially important for children with additional needs or attachment issues as they find change and transition particularly difficult.  Countdowns are also useful for getting the children’s attention.  For example, “Give me 5” (show high 5 with your hand):  5… Eyes on me, 4 … Ears listening, etc.  A “High 5 hand” listing the steps can also be displayed on the wall.

Praise

The ‘Attention Rule’ states that what we give attention to, we will get more of. Children strive for our attention and if they’re not getting it for positive behaviour they will often resort to negative behaviour.  This means that effective praise is a really powerful strategy.  Make sure praise is genuine, immediate and labelled, e.g., “Well done for putting your hand up, Zach.”  Use proximity praise to make sure attention is given to those doing what you’ve asked; praise the ones lining up on either side of the child who isn’t. Praise the challenging children more often – spot the good. Use more subtle praise for those who find it hard to accept; thumbs up, pat on the back, wink.

Tactical Ignoring 

The Attention Rule also means that tactical ignoring works well to eliminate unwanted low-level behaviours, but it’s not easy.  Start by saying what you want; “Hands up, who knows…” then ignore those who are calling out.  Ignoring means no interaction; no glowering, raised eyebrows, tutting. The ignored behaviour will usually get worse before it gets better, as the child seeks the point at which you will give in.  You must continue to ignore until the behaviour stops, then make sure you look for the next opportunity to praise.

Secondary Behaviours 

These are the additional behaviours that children engage in, often in protest to doing something you’ve asked.  For example, putting their gum in the bin but kicking a chair on the way past, or rolling their eyes, or muttering under their breath.  They’re trying to get a response out of you but if they’re doing what you’ve asked, don’t rise to the provocation of any secondary behaviour; ignore it and use labelled praise for doing what you’ve asked them to do. You can always make a note of and address the secondary behaviour later.

Choices 

Using choices is a great way to get the behaviour you want, whilst teaching children to take responsibility for their actions. For example, “You can either put the football cards away in your drawer, or put them on my desk. It’s up to you, it’s your choice.” You could also add a consequence – make sure it’s logical –  which helps children learn that their choices have consequences and teaches them to make good choices, e.g. “You can either continue to play with your football cards and I will take them away until the end of the day, or you can put them in your drawer now and then take them out at break. It’s up to you, it’s your choice.”

‘When – Then’

‘When-Then’ is another great strategy for getting the behaviour you want, without nagging. However, the ‘Then’ must be something the child wants to do, e.g., “When you have finished that sentence, then you can go out to break”.  By using ‘When’ instead of ‘If’, there is an assumption that the child will do what they have been told to do and there is no room for argument. If the child does try to argue, just repeat the statement like a “broken record”.

Clear Instructions & Positive Language 

Often, the way we give instructions to children is not as clear as it could be.  Remember, children are usually very literal.  If we say to them, “Would you like to put your books away now?” they could quite easily say, “No.” Don’t phrase instructions as a question, simply say, “Put your books away, thank you.” Saying ‘thank you’ assumes compliance, whereas, ‘please’ sounds like you are asking and not necessarily expecting compliance.  When giving a child an instruction, use their name to ensure you have their attention.

Always use positive language; say what you want, not what you don’t want.  If you say, “Don’t run”, children hear ‘run’, so instead say, “Walk, please”.  Children are more likely to do what they hear you say, as mentioned above for rules.


We hope these tips are useful starters for taming the children in your class! Remember not to take it personally as all behaviour is for a reason.  Think about WHY the child is behaving the way they are.  It might be the only way they can think of to express their needs.  We need to understand them to make our behaviour management strategies most effective.

Check our website: http://www.behaviourmatters.org.uk/,  follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/BehaviourM and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BehaviourM/ for blogs and other information you might find useful or interesting.