This week I had the pleasure of chatting to a teacher from Oxford who was explaining to me the problem with making a trip to a local landmark – the Rollright Stones.
This ancient stone circle is about 15 miles from the school, and the group of drama students who were involved in creating a piece that required an unusual setting as a backdrop, and had selected the Stones as their venue.
The problem was that although only 15 miles from the school, the hiring charges for a coach to take the students there, wait around for a couple of hours and then return, were completely prohibitive. Additionally the teacher didn’t want to ask the parents to pay for a trip which, he feared, although highly valid in his mind, might appear somewhat frivolous to the parents.
My friend talked to colleagues from the history department, to see if a joint trip could be of benefit, but they were not studying the Neolithic or Bronze Ages, and so that was not on.
They even looked into the notion of going by bus, and surprisingly Stagecoach does actually run a service that goes within a mile of the ancient monument – but at the wrong time of day. “We could get there by bus,” I was told. “It would take rather a long time, but we could get there. But unfortunately we couldn’t get back.”
In the end the conclusion was simple. A 15 mile trip to one of the most famous ancient monuments in the country, to allow a drama group to work out an improvisation that they had sketched, and about which they were very enthusiastic, couldn’t happen – without a minibus.
Now of course, visits to such remote spots are not that commonplace, and it is a lot easier to get to the National Gallery or the local zoo.
But it still seems to me to be a shame not to be able to visit such a site – and to me this story is one of the most graphic illustrations of the unexpected ways in which a school minibus can help develop and expand the education that pupils and students experience.
If you would like to know more about leasing a minibus please do call us on 01753 859944.
Alternatively take a look at our website for more information.
And just in case you are interested in visiting the Rollright Stones – they are between the A44 and A3400, three miles north west of Chipping Norton and near the villages of Little Rollright and Long Compton.
If you go, I hope you have as good a time as I did.