Beyond the Classroom: Upton Court Grammar School’s Take On History Tour Benefits

Last updated: Jan 31st, 2024

Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to regularly work with some incredible schools, and Upton Court Grammar School are one of them!

They have been taking annual Year 11 history trips to Munich and A-level trips to The Battlefields with us for years – various destinations, time periods, individuals, stories – the lot!

And we thought, there’s no better source of knowledge and insight than a group that has experienced the transformative power of learning outside of the classroom, first-hand!

We sat down with Stephen Perrin – history teacher, Assistant Head, and history trip regular – to talk about the benefits of experiential learning. With his wealth of experience in leading history trips, and unwavering passion for the subject, we couldn’t have captured the essence of a history trip better ourselves!

Take a look at what he had to say!


Expanding Education

Stephen puts the benefits of history trips for students down to four elements!

  • Course-specific development
  • History brought to life
  • Cultural capital
  • Personal development

Course-Specific Development

Firstly, the obvious. History trips capture so much of the curriculum in a matter of days! Themes, perspectives and timelines overlap to form a well-rounded picture. Students connect the dots, they ask questions, they see, feel, hear the history around them.


Every history trip we’ve done has been explicitly aligned to what we study in school!


Stephen Perrin
Assistant Head, Upton Court Grammar School



History Brought to Life

History trips go above and beyond the restraints of a school curriculum, which can be quite selective in what it tells. We talked with Stephen about the way in which curriculums (almost) always come from an Anglo-centric point of view – they usually focus on Britain’s perspective.

When you consider events like WWI, it’s important to consider, well… the world! Students come from all kinds of backgrounds and it’s important they explore history from a personal lens as well as a broader, more objective lens!

Exploring differing perspectives makes history real for students and tying in personal links – through family-trees, experiences, identities or interests – makes the subject far more captivating and memorable!


There’s this power in seeing what you’ve studied in the flesh. It’s about turning the information, the data, the facts into a real-life image in front of you. And that’s something that every history trip we’ve been on has done really well!

Stephen Perrin
Assistant Head, Upton Court Grammar School



Aerial view of the roofs and towers of Munich during the day


Cultural Capital

Stephen stresses the importance of new experiences in shaping young minds. New cultures, new people, new stories, new perspectives – they help students question and make sense of the world around them.


It’s that cultural capital of being abroad, an exposure to things. Different types of architecture, different types of language and interacting with people for whom English is not their first language. These small things all act together to make a whole student developmental experience, rather than being just about the historical knowledge.

Stephen Perrin
Assistant Head, Upton Court Grammar School



Personal Development

And finally, history trips aid in personal development. New experiences build students’ confidence, initiative, problem solving, communication and so much more!


For some, it’s the first time they go away without their parents. And so it’s confidence building, it’s independence building. They have to learn how to navigate the city, use foreign money, talk to locals – all sorts!

Stephen Perrin
Assistant Head, Upton Court Grammar School



So Much More Than Meets The Surface


They seem to almost, in a 5-day trip, grow up by 12 months! They’re forced out of their comfort zone. They’re away from their parents. They have space and freedom in which to grow into themselves a little bit!

Stephen Perrin
Assistant Head, Upton Court Grammar School


Talk to our team!

And there we have it – Stephen’s take on what history trips bring to the table!

It’s incredible to hear about the way in which history trips surpass academic learning! To teach students about the world around them – the past, the future and where they are right now.

To give your students these life-shaping opportunities, talk to our team!

Contact Us


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