Sandwell Academy Bring Learning to Life in Iceland

Last updated: Jan 30th, 2019

Golden Ticket Winners

Cast your mind back to this time last year and you may recall that we proudly announced Sandwell Academy in West Bromwich as lucky Golden Ticket winners.

A quick recap for anyone who doesn’t remember, to mark Rayburn Tours turning the big 5-0, we shared the celebrations with those who matter most to us – our valued clients – by giving away Golden Tickets entitling passengers to £50 per person off their tour price. (Find out more by taking a look at our blog post here.)


A Once-in-a-lifetime Adventure

Fast forward to the end of October this year and the long-awaited moment had come around for 29 excitable students and staff to pack their cases, don their hiking boots, put on those much needed extra layers and head off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the land of fire and ice!

This was to be the school’s first international Geography Tour to Iceland and each of those taking part in the trip were eager and excited about experiencing the unmatched environments in this land of extremes (no one more so than Geography Teacher, Mr Howard!).

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The Best of Iceland

Students of Sandwell Academy each had their individual reasons for being so enthused about the trip, but all were impatient to discover the selection of unique geographical features of Iceland.

Sandwell students were lucky enough to experience the best of Iceland, from a relaxing dip in the world-famous chalky waters of the Blue Lagoon and a visit to the quaint harbour city of Reykjavik, to a hike across the great icy Sólheimajökull glacier and a climb up the Stóra Dímon volcano…and much more in between!

With such a diverse range of geographical visits and excursions, it is little wonder that on returning from the trip, the group were torn when asked to identify the best moment on tour. The glacier hike on the raw, rugged Sólheimajökull glacier would prove to be a truly memorable experience, as was the opportunity to walk behind the breath-taking 65 metre high gushing Seljalandsfoss waterfall. But students of Sandwell Academy were completely won over by the lure of the Blue Lagoon, declaring this as their ‘best moment on tour’.

Wowed by Iceland’s Wonders

The trip was a fantastic opportunity for students to venture outside of the normal classroom environment and be ‘wowed’ by this country’s wonders, but it was much more than this. For Mr Howard, the primary aim of the trip was to “help students make sense of the world” as well as “to really excite them and improve their studies.”

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Bringing the Classroom to Life

On returning from Iceland, Mr Howard commented: “travelling to Iceland helped to bring the theoretical studies from the classroom to life. The students were able to study the topics in more detail and the scale of Iceland helped a lot with this.”

The tour was tailored to align perfectly with the group’s specific curriculum and learning requirements, giving a particular focus to exploring the topics of tectonics and formations of waterfalls.


To further support their learning, the group were accompanied by Rayburn Tours Field Study Tutor (FST), Graham, who “helped a lot with the understanding of these topics”, engaging students of a variety of ages and learning abilities by “going into detail for the A Level students while still keeping younger pupils interested.”

A 5 Star Experience

We’re delighted that Sandwell Academy’s budding geographers had such a successful tour, rating the experience as 5 out of 5 and keen to return to this unique landscape to inspire future geographers!

Embark on an Icelandic adventure of your own

If you’d like to take your students on your own Icelandic adventure to remember, our expert Tour Consultants would be delighted to hear from you. Call 01332 347 828 or e-mail