5 ways visiting a palace improves pupil outcomes

With the current pressures on schools and teachers, school funding cuts, the focus on testing and the narrowing of the curriculum,  it’s understandable that some teachers feel booking a visit to a heritage site is just one job too many or an added cost too far.

Here’s why we think this is a false economy and why it’s worth more than a ‘nice to have’.

1. Experience total immersion in history that can't be replicated in the classroom

There is abundant research to prove the value of this to young people – taking them outside their familiar to somewhere they cannot help be awestruck by can have many beneficial effects. Our research tells us many pupils feel freer to discover the things that particularly interest them and to explore at their own pace. Many have their imaginations sparked through skilled storytelling by our costumed interpreters that develops an interest they didn’t have before. Being able to reach out and touch the places where so many of our nation’s important events took place makes it more real, more relevant and develops their understanding, almost by osmosis.

2. It's proven that memorable experiences can improve attainment

A study sponsored by the Education Endowment Fund found that using a memorable experience like visiting a heritage site as the inspiration for writing helped children to achieve an additional nine months progress over the course of a year.

Building on this research, we have been working with the National Literacy Trust to improve literacy levels in young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by creating experiences at our sites that provide the inspiration for creative writing – the impact of which was carefully measured and the results were tremendous! 84% of teachers reported that their students’ writing skills were better as a result of the project. Join our Teacher Network to find out about upcoming opportunities for literacy.

Secondary school students visit Hampton Court

We promise to provide pupils visiting our palaces with a welcoming, inclusive, unique and memorable experience that for many will plant a seed of confidence.

Secondary school students visit Hampton Court

3. Use us for your local history study or teaching the historic environment

Not only can we offer dynamic, fun and interactive sessions that are tailored specifically to your curriculum and delivered by specialists, we also offer a host of free resources to support your teaching in the classroom. Working in consultation with teachers, our learning specialists have done the thinking for you and can make the delivery of your curriculum objectives high quality and impactful, while giving you time to work on other things!

4. Our free CPD opportunities can enhance your teaching and your pupils' learning

Throughout the year we offer free CPD for teachers providing lots of opportunities to build confidence, enhance knowledge and learn new and dynamic techniques to engage pupils and not just in History! We also offer opportunities for literacy, STEM subjects, Music and Art and Design. Dynamic, confident teachers do great pupil outcomes make!

5. Develop pupils' confidence to engage in all things 'cultural'

We promise to provide pupils visiting our palaces with a welcoming, inclusive, unique and memorable experience that for many will plant a seed of confidence and an interest in continuing to engage in cultural opportunities for the benefit of their lifelong learning, wellbeing and enjoyment. If cost is an issue then check out our Access Fund for the opportunity to apply for free visits, and join our Teacher Network for the chance to take part in free pilot sessions and deeper engagement projects.