Sandwell Academy announced as the second Golden Ticket Winner… Could you be the third?!

Last updated: Jun 5th, 2024

This year Rayburn Tours reached the big 5-0 and we’ve been marking this fantastic milestone by rewarding some of our valued customers. As a way of saying ‘thank you’, we’re presenting three lucky groups with a Golden Ticket entitling them to £50 discount per paying passenger.

Earlier in the year, Huddersfield Grammar were announced as the first Golden Ticket winner and on 10th December Education Tour Consultant Scott, Tour Co-ordinator Sasha, Joel the camera man and I visited Sandwell Academy in Birmingham to present the second Golden Ticket.

On arriving, it’s fair to say we were all suitably impressed. The school itself is enormous – educating over 1,500 students from the West Bromwich area. Each of us said how Sandwell Academy was far grander and larger than our own schools back in the day (longer ago than some of us care to remember!).

We were warmly met by Mr Howard, Geography teacher and party leader, who booked the school’s first international Geography tour to Iceland with 26 students in October 2016. He’d rallied together a small bunch of the students who were all excited about the forthcoming Icelandic adventure.

Each student had their own reasons to be enthused about the trip: the chance to witness the magnificent Northern Lights; taking a dip in the geothermal Blue Lagoon; seeing where the European and North American tectonic plates meet; gaining independence and forming new friendships. One thing was certainly clear – they were all eagerly anticipating visiting this truly unique country to experience geography first-hand.


The spotlight then turned to Mr Howard, so we could find out a little more about his thoughts on the trip and what winning the Golden Ticket means to them.

As a geography teacher, I’m trying to help young people make sense of the world. Getting children out of the classroom and showing them different parts of the world is massively important in geography. There are obvious ties with the curriculum and hopefully it will reinforce some of those themes to really excite them and improve their studies.”

Commenting on winning the prize, Mr Howard said: “We’re incredibly fortunate and delighted to receive the ticket.” And with fewer students taking part in the trip than initially anticipated, “It was an absolute godsend because it meant we could offer the trip at the same price and use the Golden Ticket to subsidise the cost per pupil.”

Watch the video…

…to find out more about what inspired Mr Howard to book the trip, what he and the students are most looking forward to, what winning the Golden Ticket meant to them and his experience of working with Rayburn Tours.

This is the first time the school will have travelled with Rayburn Tours and Mr Howard highlighted that “The process of working with Rayburn Tours was a really positive experience, so that inspired me to place this booking. I’m sure the trip will go wonderfully well and if it does it’s something we’re looking forward to repeating.”


We’re delighted to be working with Sandwell Academy and hope that this will be the start of a strong partnership. We’re all the more happy that winning the Golden Ticket has enabled the tour to go ahead. Oh, and it goes without saying that we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that the Northern Lights make an appearance!

Fancy being our third and final Golden Ticket winner? There’s still time (just)! For your chance to win this fantastic prize, all you have to do is enquire before 31st December 2015. You don’t have to travel this year to be eligible, your trip can depart anytime up to 31st December 2017.

So good luck and keep your eyes peeled for when we announce the third lucky winner!