Byline: DAVE NUTT
ASK any teacher which children are the easiest to teach and you're likely to get the same answer - the enthusiastic ones.
Ask a teacher how often they get a class full of enthusiastic children and it's not likely to be often - unless of course, you're talking about the school trip. That's when everyone gets excited and enthusiastic, and this aids the practice of teaching and learning no end.
Children may not always appreciate it, but their annual "day out" has become a sophisticated educational tool developed by the individual tourist attractions to provide an excellent learning experience, which supplements the national curriculum.
In the borough of Caerphilly we are finding that tourism is offering more and more in support of a wide range of subjects from the sciences and humanities to sport and the arts.
Sometimes the lesson is formal with worksheets, talks, question and answer sessions and tours. At other times it is less structured with the experience alone providing enough of a hands-on element to aid the learning process.
Llancaiach Fawr in Nelson welcomes about 10,000 school children a year to 1645 and the Civil War experience. Broadly, the visits are based on one of two themes: Aspects of Life in South Wales in Tudor and Stuart Times, or Llancaiach Fawr - an estate, its people and their lives 1485-1685.
The success of the original school visit programme has led to more opportunities for education at the awardwinning attraction.
In September, Llancaiach Fawr launched a scheme for GNVQ and vocational A-level students in Business Studies, Leisure and Recreation and Travel Tourism.
The new programme gives older pupils the chance to learn about the business of Llancaiach Fawr as a successful heritage tourism attraction through a tour of the site, an opportunity to evaluate the presentation of the Manor House and a talk from a member of the management team followed by a question and answer session.
This can either be general or emphasise specific topics such as the development and/or operation of a tourist attraction; product mix, marketing and promotion; business systems; human resources; communications; quality control, health, safety and security;
plus elements of event planning, retail, sales and …