Private Peaceful English Literature School Trips (1, 2 or 3 Days)

Explore the historical context underpinning Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful  to consider how a text informs & influences attitudes & values as well as perceptions of the past.  The tour will also demonstrate how prior research enhances a work of historical fiction by visiting locations in the Ypres Salient that illustrate different aspects of military life & death during the First World War. 

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




Day One:  Outward Journey

  Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing
  • Pick-up (at 06.00 hours) at school & travel via Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
  • Full-board accommodation in or near Ypres for two nights

Day Two:  Ypres

  • Hooge Trenches
  • Menin Road & Hellfire Corner
  • Pilckem Ridge
  • Essex Farm
  • Ypres
  • Passchendaele Museum
  • Poperinghe & Talbot House
  • Town Hall Courtyard
  • Death Cell at Poperinghe
  • Execution Post
  • Last Post at the Menin Gate    at 20.00 hours


Trench Artefacts


Day Three:  Passchendaele & Return

  • Bedford House Cemetery & Grave of Pte TSH Peaceful
  • Passchendaele Ridge
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • Return to School via Calais
  • Evening Drop-off

One & Two-Day Tours

  • Shorter versions of this tour can be completed in one or two days by schools located in the south and south east

Itinerary Planning

  • This itinerary is suggested only to assist with your planning & is not designed to be prescriptive
  • We are happy to tailor this study tour to meet with your particular requirements
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Private Peaceful
       Main Themes
  Bedford House Cemetery Headstones

Re-enactors St Symphorien

  • Develop a greater understanding of the context in which Private Peaceful is set
  • Understand techniques used by the writer to engage the reader
  • Opportunities for listening, debating, questioning & discussion as well as enhancing vocabulary
  • Understand concepts of nationalism, patriotism, jingoism & idealism
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National Curriculum KS3

  Re-enactors 1914 British Uniforms
  • Exploring historical fiction at KS3.  Text:  Private Peaceful  by Michael Morpurgo.  Location: Ypres

The Text

  • Crafting a text
  • Structure & organisation
  • Use of language
  • Presenting ideas:  form, arrangement & effect
  • Exploring a theme
  • Historical, social & cultural context of a text
  • The influence of historical fiction on an individual's understanding of an event or period
  • Main characters of the story & their motivation
  • The social, historical & cultural context in which a text is written
  • Inspiration for the work

Aspects of War

  • Causes of the war
  • The outbreak of war:  signing up, duty & valour
  • 1914:  The Schlieffen Plan & the opening phase of the war
  • 1915:  Stalemate & trench warfare
  • Gas warfare
  • Officers & men: social class, education & the Army
  • Military service:  under-age & over-age soldiers
  • Medics & dressing stations
  • Conditions in the trenches & daily life as a "Tommy"; going "up the line"
  • Poperinghe in the war: going "down the line" & the role of  estaminets 
  • Combat: going "over the top"
  • Military discipline, crimes, punishments & executions; soldiers "shot at dawn"
  • Campaign medals, service medals & decorations
  • Attitudes to the "enemy"
  • Attrition & conscription
  • The Battle of Passchendaele
  • The Great War, popular opinion & remembrance
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Study Materials Relevant to National Curriculum KS3
  Talbot House

Our study materials are designed by teachers with examining 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
  • use a combination of 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, illustrations & a time line of events
  • Activities & discussion points to provide a focus for each location visited
  • Further guidance notes giving a broader context to each visit
  • A curriculum matrix linking each location to assessments objectives
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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Our Guides


  Poperinghe Death Cell







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 & 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.


Robin Stewart, BEd, DSME, Cert Ed

Robin Stewart

Robin has taught English Language, Literature & Drama in both secondary & higher education. He has organised numerous residential experiences for students including theatrical productions, sports & battlefield tours during his teaching career. Robin has worked as a guide with Galina since January 2008, leading tours to the battlefields of the Western Front & Normandy as well as RS & History tours to the Netherlands.

Robin has over 35 years' experience as a teacher & lecturer in Sunderland. Prior to becoming a guide, Robin led a number of school groups as a client with Galina.

"Robin brought the poetry to life through his wonderful readings. The students were most impressed and had a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Exceptional."

Chichester High School for Girls, West Sussex



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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    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
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Private Peaceful Gallery

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Moreton School, Wolverhampton

"Thank you for organising a very memorable tour to Flanders. I would like to express our appreciation. Our guide, Robin, was extremely personable and knowledgeable. We would certainly recommend a Galina tour to other schools. Thank you again."


Townley Grammar, Bexleyheath

"Extremely satisfied – lots of positive feedback from the pupils too!"


Queen Elizabeth's Boys' School, Barnet

"Sue was great – all questions (there were many as it was my first trip) answered quickly and I felt completely confident about the trip."


Pershore High School, Worcestershire

"Terry, our driver, made the tour the success it was. He looks after staff and students brilliantly and knows the area so well that he can adapt the itinerary to suit our needs."
  Hooge Trenches Zig Zag
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