SEVERN VALLEY RAILWAY'S EDUCATION PROGRAMME HITS 200K MILESTONE
20th March 2014
Since its implementation in 1999, the SVR has welcomed school children from across the country and is now considered one of the UK’s leading providers of education programmes within the heritage sector, with the majority of school trips costing less than £10 per child.
The Railway takes visitors on a nostalgic trip back in time with a steam train ride through stunning scenery along the Severn Valley and each education programme includes a trip on one of the SVR’s many awe-inspiring steam locomotives.
Schools are offered a wide range of programmes including the ever-popular Second World War-themed experiences, We’ll Meet Again, Life on the Home Front and Dig for Victory, which cover all aspects of life from wartime, including evacuations, what is was like inside an air raid shelter, make do and mend as well as food supply, allotments and rationing.
The fourth WWII-themed event, 1940s and World War Two Experience, coincides with the Railway’s Step Back to the 1940s events, which sees the whole Railway transported back to the period for one week only. The school’s experience runs from 30th June to 4th July and there are currently only 60 places left for this event.
A new addition to the programme for 2014 is Journeys, which takes groups on a contemporary journey along the Severn Valley by steam train to The Engine House at Highley. Schools can also opt to take part in self-guided visits.
Throughout the year, the Railway also works with four partners; Bewdley Museum, Worcestershire County Museum, the Severn Valley Country Park and West Midlands Safari Park, to offer events such as Blitz & Evacuation, Go Wild in the Countryside, Junior Wild Tracks and the Classroom at War.
The schools programme runs during May, June, July and September, with additional activities taking place over the summer for Scout and Guide groups and Community Schools, and are run by Sharon Harvey, the SVR’s Education Officer, education assistant Emily Jones, six on-site teachers and 10 volunteers.
Sharon Harvey said: “Our WWII events always prove incredibly popular with schools as do all of our trips, including those that run in conjunction with our event partners. We are fortunate to always receive great feedback from visiting schools and to hit the 200,000 visitor milestone is a huge achievement and testament to the staff and volunteers who help make these events so successful.”
Kim Forster, from Langley Primary School, Solihull, which visited the Railway in July 2013, said: “As always, a brilliant day. This is our favourite school trip, with the train journey, the singing and the sheer fun of the arrests, being the highlights.
“It gives the children a real taste of wartime Britain. The service is irreplaceable and the volunteers an absolute treasure.”