Teacher testimonial: Justin Barnett

I have been leading overseas trips for over 10 years. I started with a coach trip to Berlin (a long journey!), and have since led trips to the USA, WW1 Battlefields, Berlin on multiple occasions, and Russia more than once.

I have become a loyal customer of TCBC for the simple reason that their organisation of trips is absolutely fantastic. From dealing with the staff in the UK, through flights, accommodation, itineraries and guides, they are quite superb. It is a proper ‘experience’, made all the more enjoyable by the support we receive. I could probably get the trips a little cheaper elsewhere, but the extra cost is more than outweighed by the quality of the service, and I am happy to share this with parents as well!

In terms of curriculum relevance, we always aim to time the trips so that pupils have a good level of context for the visit. For example, by visiting Russia after studying Russia we inspire students to dig deeper in the knowledge they develop and the questions they ask. The value of the trip for students is to see where history was made, to see another culture, and to bring the information from books alive, which is a fantastic opportunity for their personal and academic achievement.

If I needed to give an advice to other group leaders, I would say: "Think carefully about the other staff you take – make sure that they share your mindset and that they can step up. You may often need to subdivide your group – think about whether all staff are up to the responsibility of looking after a group. Also, if you’re not sure, ask (whether to reassure you, or because you’ve got a great idea and wonder if it can work!)! Better to be safe than sorry".

And when it comes to my most favourite part of the trip - there can be nothing more fantastically memorable than boarding the night train bound for St Petersburg!!

Written by Justin Barnett, Head of History
Bishop Luffa School