Hampton Court Palace hosts ground-breaking week long school visit
For the first time in its 500-year history, Hampton Court Palace this week becomes home to a group of school pupils for a whole week. Eighty lucky students from Canterbury High School are moving in for a residential visit, experiencing the life of a King in Henry VIII’s majestic Tudor Palace.
Canterbury High School and the education team at Historic Royal Palaces have teamed up to arrange a busy and inspiring week for the students. Drawing on the historic Tudor setting, their teachers have planned a series of core curriculum lessons and other activities based around the theme of Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. Making full use of the palace’s buildings and grounds – such as English lessons in Cardinal Wolsey’s Base Court (a Tudor performance space) and art lessons in the Baroque Gardens – this new approach to teaching and learning is designed to increase pupils’ engagement and boost attainment.
The idea for this visit – believed to be the first of its kind at a historic site in the UK – emerged as a result of a new partnership between Historic Royal Palaces and the Learning Away initiative from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The aim of Learning Away is to alter the way students interact with their subjects by taking them and their teachers out of their normal school and classroom environment over an extended period of time. The initiative has demonstrated that residential experiences of this kind have significant positive impacts on the young people involved, such as greater engagement with their learning, improved confidence and development of better relationships with their teachers.
Peter Carne, who leads the Learning Away programme at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, said:
'We’re working with over 60 schools who are showing that residential learning is a really exciting way to engage and motivate pupils. Our research shows that residentials have a huge effect on progress and attainment, as they boosts pupils’ engagement with their learning and build high trust relationships between them and staff that last way beyond the residential. We have also shown that residentials don’t need to be complicated or prohibitively expensive – so we’re removing the biggest obstacles teachers see when they think about taking a group out of school overnight. It’s great to see organisations like Historic Royal Palaces getting involved, as it opens up a whole new world of brilliant residential venues that teachers could use.'
Dominic Meehan, Vice Principal at Canterbury High School, said:
'We are very excited to be working with Historic Royal Palaces. It is an amazing opportunity for our students to be so deeply immersed in the history and culture of Britain, especially on a residential, where there are also huge opportunities for more informal and incidental learning. Young people can learn so much about themselves on residential and have experiences that stay with them for life. Hampton Court is such a wonderful place to create these memories! I believe this approach is innovative and has not been tried before in such an amazing setting.'
Susie Batchelor, Head of Education at Historic Royal Palaces, said:
'This residential will be the first of its kind across any of our Palaces – and for us it is a fantastic opportunity to engage young people with Hampton Court, its stunning gardens and historic collections. We are always looking for new ways to use our sites to encourage and inspire learning across all generations, and we will continue to push the boundaries with ground-breaking initiatives like this one in the future. Our hope is that the pupils from Canterbury High School will be inspired throughout their week with us, and we will try to keep our ghosts at bay for the duration of their visit – but of course we can’t make any promises!'
Notes to editors
For more information, image requests, or to arrange a visit to the residential at Hampton Court please contact Dan Watson at Paul Hamlyn Foundation: 020 7812 3395, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Hampton Court Palace press enquiries, please contact email@example.com or telephone 020 3166 6338.
Images for publication will be available from Thursday 18 July. Please get in touch if you require any shots in advance of that date.
About Learning Away
Learning Away is a special initiative of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF). It is supporting over 50 primary, secondary and special schools in 12 partnerships across the UK to enhance young people’s learning, achievement and wellbeing by developing, piloting and evaluating the impact of innovative residential experiences as an integral part of the curriculum.
The main aim of Learning Away is to encourage all schools to make a significant shift in their commitment to providing high-quality residential learning experiences for their pupils.
Find out more at www.learningaway.org.uk or www.phf.org.uk
About Canterbury Academy
The Canterbury High School is part of The Canterbury Academy, Kent.
The Academy’s vision statement is ‘Improving the life chances of children and helping in the community’. The vision is of a high attaining and achieving academy with fully extended provision at the centre of the community and widely recognised as an example of leading practice. It is hoped that all young people will leave therefore as positive, confident individuals proud of what they have achieved, prepared to be lifelong learners and ready to play an active and constructive part in society.
Because of this the Academy is working towards the vision of every student being entitled to a residential experience during his or her school career. Canterbury High School is working for the first time with HRP, as part of the PHF Learning Away programme. The academy has developed a residential aimed at immersing young people in learning to improve their focus in English and maths, directly linked to GCSE outcomes. Experiences and activities will be directly linked to the curriculum, bringing it to life in a real context.
About Historic Royal Palaces
We receive no funding from the Government or the Crown, so we depend on the support of our visitors, members, donors, volunteers and sponsors. These palaces are owned by The Queen on behalf of the nation, and we manage them for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
We believe in four principles. Guardianship: giving these palaces a future as long and valuable as their past. Discovery: encouraging people to make links with their own lives and today’s world. Showmanship: doing everything with panache. Independence: having our own point of view and finding new ways to do our work