WWI History School Trips to the Somme & Vimy Ridge (3 Days)

At 7.30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, 1st July, 1916, the men of Kitchener's New Army rose from their trenches to assault the German defences on the Somme.  The battlefield rapidly became a scene of bitter tragedy unprecedented in the history of the British Army and only heightened by the slaughter of the Pals' Battalions.  General Sir Douglas Haig and his senior commanders have often been castigated for their conduct of the battle although, more recently, a different interpretation has begun to emerge, placing the events of the first day in the context of the battle as a whole and as part of a "learning curve" experienced by the British during the course of the war.  Meanwhile, on the other side of No Man's Land, one observer called the Somme "the muddy grave of the German Army".             

Guarding the strategically important Douai Plain, Vimy Ridge was a lynchpin of the German defences on the Western Front & a veritable fortress.  The dramatic success of the Canadian assault was the culmination of months of meticulous planning, training, air reconnaissance, tunnelling and mining which ultimately swept the German troops from their positions.  For the Allies, Vimy represented a clear-cut victory; for Canada, it signified the birth of a nation.

All our battlefield tours can be tailored to cover your students' specific learning objectives.  This tour can be completed in two days by schools in the south-east.

Add a visit to a Christmas Market to your battlefield tour & save money if you are travelling in late November or December.        Click here for details 

 

Itinerary

 

Day One:  Outward Journey

  Ulster Trench
 

 

 

  • School pick-up (06.00 hours approx) & travel to Dover
  • Ferry to Calais / Dunkirk & onward travel
  • Full-board accommodation for    two nights in Albert

 

 
 
Thiepval Memorial 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Day Two:  The Somme 1916

 
  • Serre:  Accrington Pals' Trench
  • Newfoundland Park
  • Ulster Tower
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Ovillers & "Mash" Valley
  • Lochnagar Crater
  • Pozières Ridge
  • Mansel Copse

 

 

 

Day Three:  Vimy Ridge, 1917

 
  • Notre Dame de Lorette
  • Vimy Memorial
  • Vimy Reconstructed Trenches
  • Visitor Centre
  • Return travel to school with evening drop-off
 
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Visits

 

      
  Somme & Vimy Locations
     
     
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Curriculum

 

Topics:  Outward Journey / Pre-Tour

    Toffee Apple Mortar - Somme Battlefield Tours
 
 
  • The Alliance System 
  • Causes of WWI
  • Failure of the Schlieffen Plan
  • The BEF in 1914
  • The Stalemate of 1915
  • Kitchener's New Armies
 

 

Topics:  The Somme, 1916

   
  • Verdun & the Somme
  • The Pals' Battalions
  • Trench Warfare & Tactics
  • The German Defences
  • Haig's Generalship
  • The Machine-Gun
  • Artillery on the Somme
  • Mine Warfare, 1916
  • New Weapons: Tanks
  • Lessons of the Somme
  • Significance of the Somme
  • The Continuing Debate
 

 

 
 

Topics:  Vimy Ridge, 1917

   
  • The Germans & the Somme
  • Artois Hills & Douai Plain
  • The Nivelle Offensive
  • Air Power & Artillery in 1917
  • Mine Warfare in 1917
  • "Bite & Hold"
  • The Canadian Corps
  • Significance of Vimy
  • Attrition
 

 

 

Topics:  Return Journey / Post-Tour

 

 

  • Collapse of Tsarist Russia
  • America's Entry into the War
  • The Ludendorff Offensive
  • 1918:  Advance to Victory
  • Germany's Defeat
 
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Video

 

 

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Curriculum Relevance is our Business  

Resources

 

Study Materials Relevant to Your GCSE/National Curriculum KS3
 
Vimy Ridge - Somme Battlefield Tours
 
 

 
 
 
 
Our study materials are designed by teachers with GCSE 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 or
 
 
  • 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 about the war 
  • Maps, illustrations & a time line of main events
  • Eye-witness accounts - both British & German
  • Tasks, 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
  • Differentiated mark schemes for written tasks
 

Integrate with Your Scheme of Work

  Study Materials:  Skills & Concepts  
  • Introductory materials can be used on tour or as part of your pre-tour preparation
  • Study materials on Ludendorff Offensive are also suitable for post-tour follow-up
 
  • Knowledge, recall & comprehension 
  • Historical concepts
  • Understanding, analysis & evaluation of evidence
 
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Guides

 

Our Guides

   

  Caribou Monument Newfoundland Park - Somme Battlefield Tours

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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.
 

 

Ian Matthews, BA (Hons) Oxon., MA, PGCE

   

 

Ian was a former Head of History in a Liverpool Comprehensive & a GCSE examiner before he joined Galina in 1992. He has developed a number of our most popular tours including several to the battlefields of the First & Second World Wars, Germany & the Netherlands. 

After more than 23 years’ leading tours to the Western Front, Normandy, Dunkirk as well as to Berlin & Amsterdam, he is one of Galina’s most experienced guides.

“Ian was excellent again as our tour guide: he certainly knows how to pitch his explanations at the right level for the students.”

Finchley Roman Catholic High School, London

  Ian Matthews  

 

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

    Poppies Albert
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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

 

 

The 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  

Hotel 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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Testimonials

 
 

Colyton Grammar School, East Devon

"Many thanks to all at Galina involved in the trip – the pupils have all said what a great time they had!"

 

Manshead Upper School, Caddington, Bedfordshire

"Excellent correspondence and clear information. Very efficient and easy to deal with. Both driver and courier were fantastic. Excellent – all enjoyed the trip."

 

Nunthorpe School, Middlesbrough

"As ever, our Tour Administrator, Sue, was fantastic at every stage of the planning – thanks, Sue! Driver, Geoff, could not have been better for us – exceptionally helpful and friendly. I would definitely ask for him again."

 

St Benedict's School, Ealing

"On behalf of the boys, their parents, the school, the staff who attended and myself, please accept our sincere gratitude for providing such a well-organised and fascinating tour to the Somme and Vimy Ridge."

  HD Memorial - Somme Battlefield Tours
 
 
 
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Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  • Advice For Groups With Bookings

    At the moment we are being guided by this statement from STF & OEAP Please take a look for more information.

    As you will see, the advice only covers groups travelling until 16 April. However we understand that it is likely that this will be extended along with all social distancing measures.

    As we are sure you will appreciate this is an incredibly challenging time for everyone involved in educational travel. Information and policies are changing on an almost daily basis. At the moment we are awaiting updates from amongst others; the Department for Education, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Transport, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ABTA, the School Travel Forum and some insurance companies, all of which has a bearing on the advice which we give all our groups and not just school groups. Consequently, if you are departing on or after 01 June we would very much appreciate your patience and forbearance whilst we wait to hear back from some or all of these organisations and are in a position to give you more constructive guidance and advice. Hopefully this should be within a matter of days.

    However for groups departing on or before 31 May we appreciate the urgency of you knowing what your options are so our staff will be in touch this week to discuss these with you.

    We are pleased to advise that the DfE have confirmed that they will accept all cancellation claims for groups travelling this academic year from all RPA members so if this applies to you, you may wish to start this process before we are able to contact you. Please take a look for more information.

    It is also worth mentioning that some schools and other groups have successfully claimed for the cost of cancelled trips using their own insurance so you may wish to try this before we are able to contact you.

    At Next Generation Travel our staff values and behaviours are guided and managed by the NGT TOGETHER words…

    NGT Together

     

    We truly hope that we can fully demonstrate our absolute passion to work with educationalists to deliver exceptional learning outside the classroom experiences, make the process as easy as possible and offer you real workable solutions to keep these valuable experiences in the school calendar.

    Written on Thursday, 23 April 2020 15:54
  • Statement from ABTA & STF

     

    STF           ABTA logo 1

    We are dedicated to bringing you the latest news and updates regarding travel. 

    Please find below a joint statement from the STF and ABTA as of March 13th 2020. Our current understanding of the situation regarding school trips is as follows:

    • The government has advised schools that they should not undertake international school trips at this stage. This is due to concerns that the schools would face significant challenges in making arrangements to ensure children’s welfare should adult supervisors or children be required to self-isolate. Schools will decide how to act upon this advice. If schools do cancel their trips, normal cancellation terms will apply.
    • Schools should contact either their own general insurers or the Department for Education as they may have some financial cover in place for this scenario. This is one of the areas we are seeking clarity on urgently, so we will update again as soon as we have more info.
    • The Government is not advising schools to stop trips within the UK so schools can proceed as planned if they wish. The Government is advising schools to refresh their risk assessments.Customers wanting to cancel must do so at their own cost, normal cancellation charges apply.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector

    Written on Friday, 13 March 2020 15:35
  • Brexit FAQ's

    Last edited 30.01.2020

     

    We now know that the UK will leave the EU at 23h00 (GMT) on 31 January 2020. Following Brexit we will enter a transition period which will run, at least, until the end of December 2020. During the transition period everything will remain the same and you can continue to travel as you do now.

    We will continue to monitor the information provided by travel industry experts, organisations like ABTA and the UK Government and pick out what we believe is relevant for you.

     

    Common questions about travel after 31 January 2020

     

    Will flights still operate?

    Yes. During the transition period, everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal. 

     

    Will my coach journey still operate?

    Coaches will still be able to travel to, from and around EU countries as usual. 

     

    Will trains from the UK to the EU still operate?

    Trains from the UK to the EU will continue to operate as usual. 

     

    Will we have to show our passports at each border?

    We do advise you keep passports handy when travelling throughout Europe, as you may be required to prove your right to travel at border crossings or security checkpoints.

    You can always check on https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out more about visa restrictions for your destination.

     

    Will I need a new passport?

    Valid passports can still be used. You do not need to have six months left on your passport to travel to the EU. Your passport does however need to be valid for the whole of your trip. 

    If you are looking to travel to Europe from 1 January 2021, you will need your passport to both:

    • have at least 6 months left
    • be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)

    If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

    If you would like to know more take a look at the latest Government advice.

     

    Will I still be able to use a collective passport?

    Whilst the position as to the validity of collective passports for travel to the EU has not changed, if you are able to arrange for each traveller to have an individual passport which has the requisite validity, this may help to forestall any issues which might arise.

     

    Will I need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit?

    No. UK travellers will not need a visa to travel to the EU after Brexit. 

     

    European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance

    The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows any EU citizen to access state medical care when they are travelling in another EU country. UK registered EHICs will still be valid throughout 2020.

    ABTA has always advised when travelling to the EU and beyond, that it is important you take out travel insurance. Our tour price includes comprehensive travel insurance as standard. So, unless you advise us that your school or college has its own travel insurance and you wish to decline our insurance, you will automatically have insurance cover with us.

    For more information on our insurance go to:

    Galina Insurance Policy

    Further advice on travel insurance can be found at https://www.abta.com/travelinsurance

     

    Will my tour price change?

    If you have an existing booking with Next Generation Travel group brand:

    We have placed forward contracts for foreign currency so fluctuations in the exchange rate are highly unlikely to affect the price of your tour.

    Please note however that, if there is a change in legislation that will affect your overall tour price and which is out of our control, eg visa costs, surcharges, this cost would be passed on to you.

    As is always our policy at Next Generation Travel we will do our best to do the right thing to work with you to ensure your trip would continue.

     

    If you have not yet booked your tour:

    Due to our forward buying policy for foreign currency, we will work with you to ensure there is no or a low impact on pricing. The travel industry is reporting that the sensible advice is to book now to secure your booking on current currency rates.

     

    What is the law on price changes?

    If there are increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services post Brexit, the law says that package holiday providers, like Next Generation Travel, are permitted to increase their prices. However, we are pleased to confirm that there would be no change within 20 days of your departure and we would cover the first 2% of any price increase. In the unlikely circumstances that prices were to increase by more than 2% you may be asked to pay an additional fee however where the price increase is 10% or higher, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges.

     

    Will overall prices go up in the future?

    Tour prices in the future will always be open to normal market and economic fluctuations such as currency and service prices. Our foreign currency forward buying policy means we always look to protect customers from the impact of currency fluctuationsHowever, overall tour prices may in the future be affected by changes in legislation such as visa costs, surcharges etc. or increased cost in services such as flights or ferry crossings.

    At Next Generation Travel our experienced staff will always provide you with a tour price which is based either on the actual current rates for your service or estimated rates which are based on our extensive knowledge of the travel and industry. We will always communicate any price changes as they are given to us and have an open and honest pricing policy, which will ensure you should have no surprises later on.

    Data roaming

    Under EU rules, the cost of making calls, sending messages or using the internet on your phone in the EU is the same in the UK and this will continue after 31 January 2020. 

     

     
    ABTA
     
    Brexit Advice for Travellers
     
    Passport Office
     
    Check A Passport – to see if your passport is valid for your destination
    Passport Office FAQs
     
    Industry Articles
     
    What Does Brexit Mean for Travellers
    How Will Brexit Affect Your Holiday
     

     

    Written on Tuesday, 24 September 2019 14:44
  • Brexit – Update January 2020
    Written on Friday, 20 September 2019 15:29 Read more...
  • Take your students to a Panto this Christmas!
    Written on Thursday, 12 September 2019 10:15 Read more...
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