I love my home city: Birmingham.
But I love London too, and whenever I go there, I can’t help feeling just a little parochial. It’s a great privilege to be able to take children to London and something that I’ve enjoyed doing over many years. Back when the O2 Arena was known as the Millenium Dome, I brought children down to experience what all the fuss was about.
London is so amazing, that you don’t even have to go into anything. A tube pass is all you need and you can spend the day boggled by Buckingham Palace, awed by the Houses of Parliament and stunned by the Tower of London.
I brought 6 children to BETT this year and aside from the ideas they’’ll be taking back to school council for future technology spending, they really enjoyed the whole travelling to and being in London.
Some of the group had not been on a train before (Birmingham is a very spread out city by English standards: the car and the bus reign supreme), but by the time we had finished the day we had travelled on ten trains.
Some of the groups had not seen a Palace Guardsmen in real life before, nor Big Ben, nor walked down the Mall. We did all those things as well as our visit to the technology show known as BETT.
I would love to take a whole class to London every year, but finances and time do not allow. Wouldn’t it be great though if every child had that opportunity, so they could find out all about their capital city, see the building in real life that they only normally see on Doctor Who and walk the same streets of those who make the decisions that shape their lives.
Yet many children in Birmingham never even travel to Birmingham City Centre, let alone London – is this an issue schools should address?