After sharing her thoughts on what 2013 has meant for the school travel sector earlier in the week, WST’s product and marketing manager Nicky Martin offers teachers her advice on two key trends to bear in mind next year.
Unsurprisingly, Nicky expects the hundred year anniversary of the First World War to draw the attention of huge numbers of teachers, keen to convey the monumental impact it had on world history to their pupils.
“It’s a very big year for history in 2014 because it’s the centenary year of the First World War,” mentions Nicky, explaining, “We’ve got a much higher proportion of travellers going to the battlefields area which is Ypres and the Somme.”
Nicky warns teachers to reserve places early for these destinations to avoid missing out on such a moving learning experience, particularly with financial support available from the government.
“People have been booking much further in advance as well because there’s a finite amount of accommodation in that area. They are going there because there’s government funding to support schools to go out there, so that’s the big one for next year.”
Alongside this landmark historical event, the government’s plan to place greater emphasis on English Baccalaureate results is expected to boost the number of students choosing languages and science GCSEs, which Nicky believes will have an impact on travel plans.
“We’re also seeing a boost in MFL, modern foreign languages, and in science as well and that’s due to the increase in uptake at GCSE level which has been employed by the EBacc,” Nicky confirms. In fact, beyond 2014, schools could even begin looking as far afield as Asia for their school trips.
“Languages are really coming up and also a recent report was showing that one language that’s recently growing in popularity is Mandarin. China isn’t an area that we currently cover at the moment but it’s definitely, in terms of the curriculum, that’s a growth area that will affect the school travel market in general.”
Will you be exploring new destinations with pupils in 2014 or returning to an old favourite spot?Get in touch with the WST team to discuss what the year ahead holds for your students.