October 4, 2023 12:16pm
Tuesday 3rd October, 140 Year 7 students from Goodwin Academy visited the famous Dover Castle. The fortress that overlooks the Kentish coastline dates back to the early 11th century and has been the site of "royal intrigue and epic sieges" (English-Heritage.org.uk) over hundreds of years and played an integral role in evacuating hundreds of thousands of troops from the beaches of Dunkirk during the Second World War, making it a prime location for our history students to visit.
At Goodwin, we are fortunate to be based a stone's throw away from the iconic landmark, being able to make regular visits to support our students' learning. During their trip, our students enjoyed exploring the grounds and recongisable Keep of the castle alongside the ancient Roman lighthouse and Saxon church.
While on site, we were advised that a film crew from BBC News was reporting on the support that English Heritage provides schools across the country, helping with funding for trips like ours to take place. If you are not aware, English Heritage offers free school trip places for any self-led trip, broadening the number of schools that may not otherwise be able to afford these opportunities.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, the cost of trips has increased by 68%, going up from £2.25 per pupil to £3.66. With the current financial climate, schools and families alike are minding the pennies, meaning offerings such as free school trips are needed more than ever.
The BBC news crew caught up with Miss Wiles to hear her view on the situation. She commented, "If we had to pay the entrance fees here, this trip wouldn't have happened, unfortunately. [...] For our cultural capital and our ability to get students to see history, to get them engaged, and to inspire that love of learning that all teachers are really after, it is so important for us."
View the full report on the video below: