Birdsong English Literature School Trips (3 or 4 Days)

Our Birdsong English tour will provide students with the experience to discover the locations & find out about the events which inspired the novel &  the literature of the Western Front more generally. Visit key locations which will bring to life the reality of trench warfare & the contrast with the middle-class French lifestyle of the preceding years. All tours include visits to Amiens, the Somme & Messines. 4-Day tours via Hull are available for schools in the North.

Maps & supporting notes, highlighting key features of the war, will provide an historical context to the tour.

Add a visit to a Christmas Market to your English WWI tour when travelling in late November or December.   Click here for details

 

Itinerary

 

Day One:  Outward Journey

 
Somme Anniversary
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

  • School pick-up (06.00 hours approx) & travel to Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
 
  • Evening meal
  • Full-board accommodation
 
 

Day Two:  The Somme

 
  • Hawthorn Ridge
  • Newfoundland Park Preserved Battlefield
  • River Ancre - Mill Road
  • Ulster Tower
 
  • Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme
  • Ovillers & Mash Valley
  • Lochnagar
 
  • Dartmoor Cemetery
  • Evening meal
  • Return to accommodation

 

Thiepval Memorial

 
 

Day Three: Messines

 
  • Depart after breakfast
  • Bayernwald Trenches
  • Spanbroekmolen
 
  • Messines Ridge
  • Hill 60
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Depart for return ferry
  • Disembark & travel to school
  • Evening drop-off at school
 
 

Itinerary Planning

 
  • We are happy to tailor this study tour to meet with your particular requirements
 
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Content

 

Relevant GCE Specifications

 
Guide at Devonshire Trench
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • This tour is directly relevant to the new AQA English Literature course (7712) & the WJEC & Eduqas specifications for English Language & Literature as well as for other specifications covering the literature of conflict.
  • AO3: the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received

 
 

Birdsong

 Themes & Context  
  • René Azaire
  • Middle class life in Northern France
  • Stephen & Isabelle
  • Stephen’s picnic
  • Elizabeth’s visit to Thiepval
  • Accrington Pals
  • Poetry of Wilfred Owen
  • Noel Hodgson
  • Canadian divisions
  • Irish soldiers in WW1
  • Jewish soldiers
  • Executions
  • Trench warfare
  • Mining activities
  • German Casualties
  • The horror of war
  • The French perspective
 
 

Historical Context

     
  • The course of the war from early mobility to the stalemate of the trenches
  • 1916: Battle of the Somme
  • Relationship of the Somme to Ypres & Verdun
  • 1917: German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line & the British pursuit to St Quentin
  • Battle of Savy Wood & Manchester Hill
  • Passchendaele
 
  • Messines
  • The Tanks at Cambrai
  • 1918: The Year of Victory
  • Ludendorff's Offensive
  • The Advance to Victory
 
 
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Video

 

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Resources

 

Study Materials Relevant to Your GCE
  Caribou Monument Newfoundland Park
 
 
 
 
 

Our study materials are designed by teachers with GCE experience.  When you book with us, you will receive a copy of both our student study packs & teachers' notes, free of charge. You can:

 
  • Use our study materials exclusively,
  • Use your own study materials or
 
 
  • Use a combination of both your own & our materials.
 
The Student Pack Includes  

The Teacher Pack Additionally Includes

 
  • Factual detail on each location visited as well as background information
  • Maps & a time line of events
  • Discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited
 
 
  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
 

Integrate with Your Scheme of Work

     
  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
 
  • Study materials are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
 
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Guides

 

Our Guides

   

 
British Helmet

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

        

We believe a study tour is an educational experience best delivered by people with a knowledge and understanding of the educational system & culture. You can discuss learning aims & objectives with your guide so that the tour meets your requirements.

 
  • Our guides are former teachers, excellent communicators & many have examining experience.
  • They have organised tours themselves so understand the demands placed on accompanying staff.
  • They have an enthusiasm for imparting knowledge & ideas & engaging with young minds.
 
 

 

Dr David Nunn, BA (Hons), MA, MEd, PGCE, PhD

    David Nunn  

David has worked closely with Nottinghamshire County Council to research the impact of the Great War on the county & has given numerous presentations to Western Front Association branches & historical societies. His specialism is the literature of the Great War & the impact of war on Nottinghamshire. Since joining us in 2014, his guide experience includes Western Front tours for both History & English groups.

David has over 30 years' experience teaching History & English in secondary schools & lecturing to undergraduates at Derby & Nottingham Universities.

"Our tour guide was outstanding. What makes him outstanding includes his ability to communicate his passion and understanding of the conflict through stories. Simply the best!"  The Mount School, York
   
 
 
Selected & Trained by Galina 
 
  • We have our own training programme to ensure consistently high standards.
  • Our guides up-to-date with current examination specifications & amendments to Key Stage 3.
  • All guides are DBS-checked.
 
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Accommodation

 

Accommodation

    Pax Hotel Dixmuide
 
 

The accommodation we use regularly is audited following guidelines laid down by the School Travel Forum and incorporated into our Safety Management System.

 
 

4* Pax Hotel, Dixmuide

   

The Pax is a five-minute walk from the town centre & twenty minutes from Ypres by coach. It is a family-owned hotel which is part of the Best Western group. Evening meals are taken in the de Vrede Hotel in the Grote Markt of Diksmuide which is also owned by the same family.

 

 
Pax Dixmuide Bedroom Pax Dixmuide Breakfast Room

 

Pax Dixmuide Bar 

 

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 100 students & staff in 37 bedrooms on 4 floors (access via lift/stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Multi-bedded rooms
  • Breakfast room
  • Meeting room
  • Games room/computer area
  • Free WiFi
  • Bar & lounge area
  • Coach parking
 
         

The Menin Gate, Ypres

    Menin Gate Hotel
 
 
Request a quotation
 
 

 
 

The Menin Gate Hotel is situated opposite the Menin Gate & Ypres Ramparts and just a short walk away from the Grote Market in the centre of town. Evening meals are taken in one of several restaurants in the main square.  The Menin Gate Hotel is part of a group of hotels owned by the same company that also includes the Salient & Poppies Hotels.  All are maintained to the same high standard. 

 

 
Menin Gate Student Bed Room

Menin Gate Dining Room

 

Menin Gate Staff Lounge  

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 55 students & staff in 11 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Large TV & free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking nearby
 
         

The Poppies, Albert

    Poppies Albert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Poppies Albert is situated 5 minutes' walk away from the Albert Basilica in the town centre.  Evening meals are taken in a restaurant also near the town centre. Each floor in the hotel can take a group.  An access code is required to open the main door to each floor from the outside so groups can be kept securely separate.  The hotel is ideally placed for schools visiting the Somme battlefield.    

 

 
Poppies Albert Student Bedroom

Poppies Albert Dining Room

 

Poppies Albert Games Room  

Accommodation Factfile

     
  • Capacity for 186 students & staff in 48 bedrooms on 3 floors (access by stairs)
  • Staff in twin rooms
  • En-suite facilities
  • Single & bunk beds
  • Breakfast room
  • Games room
  • Central heating
  • Free WiFi
  • Staff lounge & minibar
  • Coach parking
 
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Gallery

 

      
  Somme Gallery
     
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Testimonials

 

Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, Hayes, Middlesex

"Sue always dealt with any queries very promptly. She was helpful and extremely efficient. Kevin was an excellent driver. He was cheerful and engaged well with the students. Robin, the guide – the students learned a great deal; he read the poems beautifully. He is delightful with the students, with whom he engaged very well. Guide and driver were superb. The students said it was an experience they will remember for a long time. Thank you, Galina!"

 

Caistor Grammar School, Lincolnshire

"All aspects of administration were exemplary."

 

Chichester High School for Girls, West Sussex

"A terrific trip, largely made so by the very kind, caring and helpful Terry (the driver), and Robin brought the poetry to life through his wonderful readings. The students were most impressed and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Exceptional. Absolutely faultless. Thank you."

 

Sandbach High School, Cheshire

"Excellent support, advice and administration throughout, as usual. Hotel superb as usual.
  Ulster Trench
 
 

 
 
 
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Galina Study Tours

GalinaTours Take your class to the #WWI Battlefields to learn about The War Poetry of Ypres, the Somme & Passchendaele -… https://t.co/xeXm8zktdT
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