We’re off to the Historical Association Annual Conference – Harrogate here we come!

May 19, 2016


We love the HA Conference!

This weekend the Historical Association (HA) Annual Conference takes place in the beautiful Yorkshire spa town of Harrogate. The Rayburn Tours’ team have been attending the HA conference for a number of years now and everyone who goes really enjoys the experience.

For us, going to HA conference is a fantastic way to meet with History teachers, as not only  do we get to speak about Rayburn Tours and what we can offer, but more importantly we get to meet teachers, talk about current trends in education, and understand what teachers really want from a trip.

This year our History Tours Development Manager, Paula Kitching, has been going through the new A Level and GCSE specifications with a fine tooth comb to see how our tours can be updated, adapted, expanded or added to so that they can deliver as much as possible for a student and teacher needs. She has matched topics to destinations, sites to content and routes or pathways to themes.

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What do you want from your History tour?

This all sounds very exciting but what we want to know is how useful might this be for teachers. Do teachers need more support in preparing a tour? Have the changes to the exam specs made a difference to a tour structure? Are there any destinations for history that teachers are desperate to go to with their students that don’t currently appear to be on offer? (No, we don’t think the insurance will cover Afghanistan yet for those studying recent conflicts, but we could get you to the Balkans).

We have spent some time in recent years developing the skills and remit of our History Tour Guides – we hope to talk to teachers about what they find most useful and beneficial about having a guide, and why some don’t choose to opt for one on tour.

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We don’t currently produce worksheets for our tours but maybe teachers do want a study guide – at least for some of the newer or less familiar sites? All these are some of the things we hope to talk to teachers about and to get their feedback on.

Overall, the conference is a great opportunity to listen and to engage with History teachers and meet up with new and familiar faces.

A real treat…

We also shouldn’t fail to mention that we love history and getting a chance to listen to some of the best historians around at the keynote lectures is a real treat! This year we are really looking forward to finding out about the impact of the First World War in Africa and then we hope we’ll be able to listen to a favourite TV historian Dr Janina Ramirez on the medieval world.

Many years of experience from attending HA conference tells us that History teachers don’t want the big sell, but they do like to chat about how history matters, what destinations bring to life for them and why helping young people connect to the past outside of the classroom is one of the most exciting parts of working in education – and that’s the kind of excitement that we like.

See you there

We’ll look forward to seeing you in Harrogate….! You can come and chat to us at stand 15.