There are many benefits to school history trips. Students are often invigorated by a short break from the classroom setting, especially if the trip takes them to a new location. Often, visiting the sites of key events gives students new insights into what took place, and the opportunities to visit important monuments and dedicated museums are immensely valuable. There are countless appropriate destinations, depending on the focus of the class. Below are four top suggestions that are guaranteed to excite students and expand their understanding of history.
Beijing and Xian
Pivotal throughout the centuries, China is an excellent place to take students on school history trips. At Xian, they can see the tomb of Shi Huangdi of Qin, who became the first emperor of China in 221 BC, and who famously ordered that he be buried with an army of terracotta soldiers as well as other figures, including bureaucrats. In Beijing, they can walk through the Forbidden City – seat of China’s power for three centuries – and leave the city to walk along the Great Wall. Shi Huangdi began its construction, which continued for the next two thousand years, creating a network of walls over 6,000 km in length.
The rapid growth of Dublin in the 17th and 18th centuries, from a walled town of 9,000 people to a major city, is remarkable. The beautiful Georgian architecture throughout the city is a testament to this growth. More fraught is the city’s role in the tensions between Protestants and Catholics, England and Ireland, which travelling to Dublin will help students to better understand. There, they can learn about the Easter Rising of 1916 by oppressed Catholics against the English rule, and the subsequent martyrdom of the rising’s fifteen leaders. The treaty of 1921 granted Home Rule to 26 of Ireland’s counties, causing a violent rift between Irish Republicans who accepted the treaty and those who wanted the last counties to become part of the newly independent Ireland; there was a great deal of violence in Dublin before the matter was settled.
School history trips to the Somme take students to one of the most infamous battlefields of WW1, following the long, lethal offensive of 1916. Students can see a mine crater, visit Vimy Ridge, take a guided tour of underground tunnels and pay their respects at the memorials.
Allow students to take a step into the ancient past with school history trips to Rome. Founded in 753 BC, Rome has a deep, fascinating past. Students will be awed by the scale of the Colosseum and impressed by tours through the Forum and other ruins of ancient Rome, including the Capitoline Hill, the Baths of Diocletian and Appian Way. The arrival of Christianity changed the city and ended the ancient era; students can consider the conversion of the Pantheon into a Christian church, or visit the Santa Maria Maggiore, an early Christian basilica with mosaics from the early 4th Century AD.