Are virtual school trips the future?

While traditional school trips involving a coach and packed lunch are still on hold for many schools, a primary school in Blaenavon decided to make the most of the situation by taking a virtual tour of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.

A class of 21 students made their first school trip to the Blaenavon World Heritage Center after 15 months – on their laptops.

Children at Blaenavon Heritage VC Elementary School dressed in Victorian-era school outfits and explored the exhibit which featured interactive quizzes on Blaenavon’s history and toured the 300-year-old classroom.

While many schools still shy away from residential educational tours, the UNESCO World Heritage Site 60-minute virtual tour and guide lesson is a great way for children across Wales to learn about history. of the industrial mining site.

The Blaenavon World Heritage Center is part of the 33 square kilometers of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which also includes the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon Ironworks, and the Blaenavon Heritage Center.

Although seated in their classroom, the children were delighted to explore the World Heritage Site, where they learned to live and work in Blaenavon through an on-site Victorian lesson.

Hannah, a 6th grade student at Blaenavon Heritage School VC, said: “It was really cool how you could look around the site from our classroom, or even at home.

“My favorite moment was the Victorian lesson with the creepy teacher, it really feels like we’re back in the good old days!”

The staff at Blaenavon Heritage VC Elementary School were happy to participate in the event to promote the Heritage Center right on their doorstep.

Blaenavon Heritage VC Elementary School Principal Jane Howells said: “We really appreciate the community and the rich heritage of Blaenavon, and it is important to develop an awareness of our position in the world.

“A key part of learning is fun, engagement, and setting up experiences that students remember. It’s a great way to make learning last.

Funded by the Welsh Government Cultural Recovery Fund, the World Heritage Center Virtual Tour allows schools to experience the industrial landscape of South Wales, which played an important role in the production of iron and coal in the 19th century.

And while online tours may not be a substitute for an actual tour, the virtual tour is here to stay.

The experience will also help people with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism plan and prepare for in-person visits, helping to make the center more accessible.

Torfaen Executive Member for Economy, Skills and Regeneration Advisor Joanne Gauden said: today.

“We look forward to welcoming the students back to the World Heritage site in person, but this resource is here to stay. It’s a great way for people to experience Wales’ industrial past, wherever they are in the world and from the comfort of their own homes or classrooms.

If you are interested in a virtual tour of the Blaenavon World Heritage Center you can visit it on the website or see

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Perry A. Thomasson