Our Trip to Berlin – Q&A with Barnes Wallis Academy

Just before the end of last term we caught up with Julia Snusher from Barnes Wallis Academy who, in July, traveled with Anglia Tours for the very first time. As a new customer we were really keen to hear what Julia thought of the Anglia experience – and from what she said it appears to have been a great success.

Why did you chose to use a tour operator to organise your trip and more particularly why did you choose Anglia?
I wanted a guide and to work with a company with the experience to advise me and Anglia was highly recommended by a friend’s son who went on one of your tours. They provided support at each stage.  Diane was amazing and made it really easy.  I thought it would be harder work than it actually was. 

Why did you choose a guided history trip?
I was not familiar with Berlin so I wanted someone with more experience and expertise to show us around.

Did the guide bring history to life for your students?
Yes. He was able to give an in depth explanation at each site we visited and the fact he had lived in the city meant he could give a real insight into life in Berlin in the 20th Century.   Our students were very engaged, he got them thinking and reflecting on what had happened in the city.

Does taking a guide on the trip bring any other benefits?
Yes – they were able to offer advice on the hotel, the use of public transport, provide directions and generally talk about daily life, what was going on and what changes are happening in the city. He had wealth of information and I certainly couldn’t have done it without him.

What particular study topics does this trip support and how did the trip facilitate this?
Our students have already looked at the rise of the Nazi Party and life in Germany under Hitler.  Going forward they will also be studying the Cold War and the Weimar Republic – so yes it linked in well to all of these and I will pick these topics up again in the new school year.

 

What were the highlights of the trip for you?
I really enjoyed the Berlin Stadium tour.  Amazing to be stood in front of the Reichstag building having spent so many years teaching about the fire.  The concentration camp really hit home the horrors of what went on there.  Just lovely to be out in the city walking around absorbing the architecture and atmosphere.

Have the students said what their highlights were?
The concentration camp particularly moved them.  They got a lot out of the Topography of Terror museum and would have liked longer there.  They also liked Wannsee and some wanted to move there!

Is it a regular date in the school diary?
This is the first overseas trip I have organised but given it was successful, I am now starting to think about where to go next.

What are your top tips to other teachers thinking of taking a history trip to Berlin for the first time?
Definitely do it.  It is really helpful to reinforce the teaching done in the classroom and put the events in to perspective.  It is easier than I thought to organise.  The city is a fantastic place to be, less busy than I thought and really grips the hearts and minds of the students.  Having a guide to explain everything was wonderful, it made the tour really engaging.