HISTORY SCHOOL TRIPS
According to Cicero, to be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain forever a child, and at Schools Into Europe we believe that history is one of the most important subjects studied in school.
It is because of our passion for history that we have such an extensive and varied programme of school history-themed tours, tailor-made from Key Stage 3 to A-Level to perfectly complement the subjects studied in the classroom. From the eleventh century Norman Conquest of England right up to the collapse of the Soviet bloc at the end of the last century, our tried and tested packages will incorporate excursions and visits which engage with your exact learning objectives and target outcomes.
We feel strongly that it is very important for students to see the theatres of history first-hand, so that they can properly conceptualise and appreciate their significance and enormity. Indeed, places are intrinsically linked with the history which shaped them, and it is only by visiting these places that their history can be properly appreciated. Why not contact us today and bring your pupils’ history to life?
Please also don’t forget to visit our Classics page for tours relating to Ancient History.
We will tailor-make your history tour to any destination, but if you need a little inspiration, why not click on the links below to look at some of our most popular destinations for school history tours? Please note that the following pages are just a sample; due to the diversity of subjects now studied we cannot include all of them on our website; if, however, you wish to study any subject not listed here, do please just contact us and one of our specialists will provide you with more topic-specific information on any historical subject.
Ypres and the Somme: the First World War Battlefields
The Great War remains a key focus in the study of twentieth century history. Rather than the ‘war to end all wars’, the conflict would in many ways become simply the war which reinvented military combat on a previously unimagined scale, and was to set the stage for international relations arguably up to the present day. Ever in remembrance, the key battlefields of this dreadful war in the Ypres Salient and Somme offer students of history an unparalleled immersion experience in the study of human conflict, and a visit to them remains an integral component in the study of the war. Please click here to visit our First World War page.
Normandy: the Second World War Battlefields
Normandy played a key part in the progress of the Second World War as the site of the D-Day landings. As the largest amphibious assault ever conducted, Allied success in the war rested on their success on the five landing beaches of Normandy, and today has a fascinating and unique mix of artefacts, cemeteries and museums which remind the visitor at every turn of Normandy’s pivotal role in the war. From the world-famous museum of Mémorial Caen, to the rusting fragments of the Mulberry harbour at Arromanches, your pupils are sure to better understand the difficult practicalities of the landing, and the terrible price which was paid for their success. Please click here to visit our Normandy page.
Krakow and Auschwitz: The fate of Europe’s Jewish population
It is hard for pupils to grasp the scale and significance of the Nazi state’s Final Solution for the Jewish Question. Poignant, sensitive and deeply moving, Auschwitz is a unique destination for a school trip, and the nearby city of Krakow allows pupils to witness the various stages of the Nazi regime’s treatment of Jews, from their isolation in ghettos to their ultimate fate at the death camps. Meanwhile, Oskar Schindler’s factory reminds visitors of the human aspect of this terrible chapter in human history, and the surprising acts of compassion and bravery which were shown by some in the face of this barbarity. Due to the nature of this destination, we advise that pupils under GCSE age may find it too distressing.
Berlin: the Cold War
For those studying the Cold War, Berlin is the ideal place to debate the moral ambiguities of partition, communism and capitalism. Let them see first-hand the wall which both physically and psychologically separated east and west, and visit museums which explore the practical differences between life in the FDR and the DDR. Indeed, Berlin is the perfect microcosm of the tensions which divided the developed world in the latter half of the twentieth century, and as such has a wealth of visits which explore day-to-day life under the eternal threat of mutually assured destruction. For more information, please click here to visit our Berlin page, or contact us for more information.
Berlin: the Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany
The inevitability of the rise of National Socialism in inter-war Germany remains one of the most hotly contested topics in history, as does the practical functionalism of the Nazi state after its assumption of power. Did the complexities of proportional representation and coalition governments seal the fate of the Weimar Republic at its inception? Was Adolf Hitler personally responsible for all of the Nazi government’s persecutions and policies, or was he simply an impotent despot, surrounded by violent extremists? These are some of the key questions which pupils explore when they study the history of Germany from the 1920s to the 1940s, and have proved some of the most difficult for historians to agree upon. Why not let your pupils explore these viewpoints and debate these questions in the city which was at the heart of the Nazi regime? Let them see the Reichstag, and argue whether it was communists or National Socialists who were responsible for its arson. Visit the square where so many great works were destroyed in an act of intellectual vandalism, and visit the memorials and museums dedicated to all those people who were not considered acceptable by National Socialist doctrine as well as one of the concentration camps in which they were held. For more information, please click here to visit our Berlin page.
The United Kingdom: a collapsing Empire
The history of Britain in the Twentieth Century is characterised by both the high point of British influence and involvement in global affairs and its subsequent collapse following the Second World War. A number of museums have been recently opened or reimagined to explore the various aspects of this process, notably including both the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum. As British history is naturally our speciality, Schools Into Europe will tailor-make your British tour to include excursions which engage with your exact area of study. Please just contact us today for more information, or click here to visit our United Kingdom page.
Paris: the French Revolution, Paris Medicine and Parc Astérix
As one of the great cities of Europe, Paris occupies a suitably prominent place in the history of the Continent and has a wealth of museums and galleries with spoils from France’s once great empire, including the famous Egyptian collection at the Louvre. Of course, one of the most globally influential events to which Paris bore witness was the revolution of 1789, which ushered in a new era of political thought and philosophy. Why not tour Versailles and witness first-hand the opulence which would be the French monarchy’s undoing, and visit the site of La Bastille, which was to be the flash-point of a world-changing revolution? For those studying the history of medicine, meanwhile, Paris rightly occupies a central place as the pioneer of clinical medicine, a revolution of science which followed in the wake of the political revolution of 1789; groups can visit, among other things, the venerable old Hôtel Dieu on the Ile-de-la-cité, which was to become world famous for its break with traditional practices. Just outside of Paris sits Parc Astérix, which is an excellent light-hearted take on a Romano-Gallic theme, and a marvellous way for your pupils to blow off steam.
MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN HISTORY
Normandy: The Norman Conquest
The history of Normandy has been interwoven with that of the kingdoms of Great Britain since the marriages of Emma of Normandy to Æthelred the Unready and Canute, but it was the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 which truly united this neo-Viking duchy with the Kingdom of England. As home to the Bayeux Tapestry, Normandy is a splendid choice for those studying the Norman Conquest, and contains a number of buildings, monasteries and castles which each played a key part in William’s ascent to the throne of England. Please click here to visit our Normandy page for more information.
Great Britain: the ever-changing Kingdom
The process by which a series of disparate Anglo-Saxon and Romano-British kingdoms became a unified entity under a triple monarchy was both long and complex, and our ‘Island Story’ is an integral component of the history syllabus in schools. Britain has an unrivalled wealth of medieval castles and fortifications, and the gradual union of three distinct kingdoms under a single crown is a fascinating topic involving every corner of the island. As British history is naturally our speciality, Schools Into Europe will tailor-make your British tour to include excursions which engage with your exact area of study, from the many museums of London to the remotest of local castles. Please just contact us today for more information, or click here to visit our United Kingdom page.
Belgium, Holland and Lille: the Medieval and Early Modern Low Countries
Although most famous for their role in Twentieth Century history, the history of the low countries is rich and diverse and is a fascinating subject for those with a medieval or early modern focus. Long part of the hugely influential Duchy of Flanders, the role of Lille as the ducal seat has left a plethora of monuments to Flemish greatness, while western Belgium’s medieval wealth is perhaps most apparent in the Gothic splendour of Bruges and Ghent. Further east, Brussels’ later place as the emergent capital of the Low Countries makes it an ideal bridge between the politics of early modern and modern Europe, while the importance of Amsterdam as a trading centre makes it a fascinating study for those interested in medieval and early modern economics. For more information, click here to visit our Belgian page, and here to visit our Lille page.
Cologne, Aachen, the Rhineland, Strasbourg and the Loire Valley: Medieval Europe
For those studying Medieval Europe, France and Germany’s variety and ease of access makes them obvious destinations for a history school trip. Long a series of powerful duchies and city states, every region of France and northern Germany has its own distinct and interesting history, with an interwoven narrative which links it to its neighbours and wider Europe. From the great religious edifices of Cologne and Aachen cathedrals, to the secular castles which guard the Rhine and the Loire, the preserved architecture of the medieval and early modern periods really makes the history of these regions come to life, as do the many museums dedicated to their history. For more information, please visit our dedicated pages to Cologne, Aachen, the Rhineland and Strasbourg.
Florence, Venice and Pisa: Renaissance Italy
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Italy is an incomparable destination for those studying this influential socio-political artistic movement, and a school trip here will echo the grand tours undertaken by our forefathers. Perfect for an interdisciplinary trip with art or English literature, a school tour to these great cities will incorporate some of the great galleries such as the Uffizi and Academia in Florence, as well as the expressions of the secular power of the Medicis and Doges in their respective palaces. Not to be missed, of course, is the leaning tower of Pisa, whose accidental gradient has earned the town such international fame! For more information, please click here to visit our northern Italy page.
Rome: Italian Unification and the Rise of Fascism
It may seem natural that Rome should be the capital of Italy, but this long-great city’s place at the centre of a unified Italy was by no means an assured thing. The sole-surviving bastion of the formerly influential Papal States, the battles fought for Rome were some of the most intensive in Italian history, and the city is an excellent place to study the long and complicated process of unification. Barely half a century later, the city was to become the focus of Mussolini’s New Roman Empire, a fascist state which provided the ideological basis for that in Germany. Please click here to visit our dedicated Rome page to learn more about this splendid destination.