Experience a school trip to remember at the National Memorial Arboretum with free KS2-4 activity days

The National Memorial Arboretum, in the National Forest in Staffordshire, has announced a new programme of free cross-curricular activity days for teachers wanting to book an inspirational school trip during 2023-24 academic year. From National Poetry Day, a RAF STEAM takeover or Remembrance activity week in the Autumn term, to Holocaust Memorial Day and World Book Day in the Spring, there are plenty of opportunities to visit the Nation’s year-round place to Remember, a multi-award-winning learning venue for primary and secondary school trips.

Last year the National Memorial Arboretum welcomed 296 learning visits, offering 12,750 students the opportunity to explore the 150-acres of memorials, gardens, and woodlands, helping young people to discover incredible stories of service and sacrifice. From interactive Explorer Days, to tailored tours of our grounds or participation in an Act of Remembrance, the inspiring landscape at the National Memorial Arboretum and multi-functional classroom spaces is a perfect setting for workshops and activities for students in Key Stages 2-4.

“Our specialist on-site learning team has developed a wide range of cross-curricular activities for learning groups to discover inspirational stories about the people who have served the Nation, each with specific learning outcomes,” explains Rachel Smith, Head of Learning and Participation at the Arboretum. “We offer students activities and workshops that use our 150-acre site, rich natural landscape, breathtaking memorials, and multi-functional classroom spaces to develop an understanding of Remembrance and explore other subjects including science, literacy, and geography. The Arboretum really is a truly inspirational place to visit with your class.”

Free activity days taking place at the Arboretum this academic year include:

• National Poetry Day, 5 October 2023 (KS3-4) – working with the Arboretum’s poet in residence, students will draw upon inspiration from the Arboretum as well as the year’s chosen theme of ‘Refuge’ to create their own poetry masterpiece
• RAF STEAM takeover day, 17 October 2023 (upper KS2) – the Royal Air Force youth engagement team returns to the Arboretum with three different STEAM activities
• Black History Month activity day, 19 October 2023 (KS3-4) – students can take part in a selection of participatory activities exploring the Arboretum’s new exhibitions, exploring inter-generational stories and experiences through textiles and audio
• Remembrance activity week, 6-10 November 2023 (KS2) – giving students the opportunity to reflect on those who have served their country through arts-based workshops at the Arboretum and in schools
• Holocaust Memorial Day activity day, 26 January 2024 (Upper KS2) – students take part in workshops to learn more about the Holocaust, visit memorials and explore the importance of Remembrance
• World Book Day, 7 March 2024 (reception and lower KS1) – using Julia Donaldson’s ‘Stick Man’ as inspiration, younger students can explore the Stick Man trail around the Arboretum grounds and use natural materials to make their own stick characters
• International Women’s Day, 8 March 2024 (Years 6 and 7) – Students learn about some remarkable women by delving into the stories behind the memorials. Hands-on workshops and engaging discussions explore the attributes and aptitudes that defined these women and enabled them to identify their own skills and qualities.
• Earth Day, 22 April 2024 (KS2) – students discover the importance of protecting the natural world, create seedballs and bug hotels to increase biodiversity on their own green spaces
• Teaching Remembrance days, 2-3 July 2024 (KS2&3) – Together with the Royal British Legion, students will take part in a series of interactive indoor and outdoor activities before ending the day with a collective Act of Remembrance.

The Arboretum’s school’s activity days are free. There is a cost for other facilitated activities with the learning team and bursaries are available to help with transport costs, thanks to the Arboretum’s involvement in ‘The Great British School Trip’ initiative.

To book a school trip call, teachers can call 01283 245133 or email education@thenma.org.uk.

For more information about the school activity days, visit https://www.thenma.org.uk/visit-us/plan-your-visit/visiting-for-learning-and-training/learning-activity-days

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