Looking for inspiration for your latest school trip? Look no futher than Madeleine's new blog series, starting with a trip which would be perfect for Biology students...
The holidays may be over, and while you might be feeling glum for the first few days back at school, it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom! There are tons of things to look forward to during the school year: seeing your school friends, having dress-down days, and going on school trips are just some of the great things that come with going back to school. And luckily, in London, you’ve got a massive number of incredible school trip locations right on your doorstep.
From museums to opera houses, from farms to stately homes, there truly is something for everybody in this amazing city. In this series we’ll take a look at some of the top educational places you might get to visit during your time at school – places where you can learn new things about your courses and have a whale of a time!
First up is one of the loveliest little corners of London: Kew Gardens. Situated just south of the Thames in the borough of Richmond Upon Thames, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1840 and is home to one of the most amazing collections of botanical and mycological specimens in the world.
Yonks ago, the parks and gardens which make up Kew were the homes of royalty and their courtiers, such as the staff of Henry VII and Mary Tudor. They were later expanded by Augusta, the Dowager Princess of Wales and widow of Prince Frederick, and were then adopted as a national botanical garden thanks to the work of the Royal Horticultural Society. After this, the garden grew exponentially to its current size, and is a place were everyone (not just royalty!) can explore nature.
The gardens are a great location for students for a number of reasons. Firstly, anyone studying biology is really in for a treat. Kew is a global centre for plant and fungal research, and they use their wide resources and scientific experise to study urgent problems relating to the discovery of new plant species, climate change and endangered habitats. Kew’s 350 scientists produce a ton of research every year, and they even offer MSc and PhD courses!
While you might not be engaging in game-changing scientific research on your trip to Kew Gardens, what you can do is seize the chance to learn about science in an environment which is hard to reproduce at school. You can see thousands of different plant life in the flesh, experience different ecosystems in the various greenhouses, or even find out what life inside a beehive would be like in The Hive. It surely is a scientific dream!
But scientists aren’t the only ones who could benefit from a trip to Kew Gardens: artists would also enjoy a trip to this rather scenic location. GCSE or A Level Art classes could get loads out of heading to Kew Gardens, finding a quiet spot, and studying the landscape. You could hone your water colour, line-drawing, or oil-painting techniques through creating still-lifes and landscapes of the various flora and fauna around you, whilst relaxing in the sunshine and having a picnic. On top of this, Kew actually offer educational programmes for KS3 artists where you can study the importance of the natural form by observing the natural structures of plants.
Kew is also home to a number of rather special galleries, such as the Marianne North Gallery, which houses over 800 pieces of botanical art by painter Marianne North, a Victorian artist who painted plants in their natural habitats and travelled the world in search of new and exotic plant life. There’s also the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, which has put on 48 exhibitions since it was opened in 2008, and has seen the works of artists such as Margaret Mee and Rory McEwen line its walls. It really is a treasure trove for art lovers!
So if your school hasn’t scheduled your trip to Kew Gardens yet, what are they waiting for? It’s time to lobby your biology and art teachers for a trip to one of the most fascinating, beautiful and educational places in London – at the very least they’ll be happy to know that you’re so passionate about learning more about your favourite subjects!
Blog Post Crafted by Madeleine
Madeleine runs our Admin Team. Despite the fact that she read Japanese at university, Madeleine’s main passion in life is opera and she hopes to become the next Maria Callas some day...
Madeleine manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.