English School Activities: Outings--School Trips

Figure 1.--This snapshot shows a school group at Lourdes in France during 1959. We at first thought it was a French school group, but the uniform and where the image was found (Lancastershire) suggests it was a Catholic English school group. More thn one school may hsve been involved.

English children also go on school trips. These are outings beyond day trips where the children do not return to school at the end of the day. These outings are much less common and often entail costs that not all children can afford. They were not very common until after World War II. We are not sure how common they were in England. American secondary school children often take trips at the end of the year, almost always within the country. This includes both state and private schools. We are not sure how common this is in England, but do note children taking trips to the Continent after the War in the 1950s. France was the most common destination, in part because it is the most common foreign language studied. Rising incomes have made these trips more common. We think the first such trips were mostly coach or rail trips. Britain's excellent rail system makes virtually every part of the contry accessable with a relatively short trip. The most popular destination was of course London. A British reader writes, "Educational school trips. There were not many of these at the primary school I attended a Blackburn primary school during the 1950s. At secondsry level there were about three outings a year. They included recreational as well as education trips. I don't recall field tris during the day, but there were overnight outings. An outing towards the end of term. This was often to a historical town or city. York was my first school trip. We travelled by coach [commercial bus]. Our school did not have a school bus. We met in the city center. Another outing by coach was to the circus at Blackpool in February. In the summer there was an outing to a local attraction. We went on public transport and hiked the rest of the way. There was one outing by train to Blackpool. My brother went to a different secondary school and was alittle younger. He got the chance to go on an overseas school fied trip to Spain in the 1960s. He travelled by aeroplane and coach. I still have the postcard he sent home."


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Created: 7:20 AM 11/27/2014
Last updated: 8:55 AM 3/1/2019