School trips have been cancelled and foreign breaks are a no-go as the country battles coronavirus. 


But pupils at Atlantic Academy Primary have been able to enjoy incredible experiences and visits to museums and art galleries, all from the comfort of their own homes.

They have been making virtual trips during what would now be the Easter holiday break.

The fortnight of activities started with a visit to the British Library to explore its Harry Potter & History of Magic tour, followed by a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

This will be followed by an exploration of NASA’s International Space Station, where pupils will take part in a number of experiments to become astronauts.

The fortnight of exploration will be rounded off with a trip to the zoo and to the Natural History Museum.

Melissa Heppell, Principal of Atlantic Primary, (pictured below) told the Dorset Echo: “We are offering a range of opportunities to our students that they would never usually be able to cram into a fortnight holiday.

“During this period of home schooling, we are using Google classrooms to support virtual learning for our students to maintain the routine of school work and ensure some normality is in place.

“However we soon realised that the potential the platform provides is way beyond just ‘traditional’ academic work. We realised we could go one step further and use the wide range of digital tools available to bring the world into the living rooms and kitchens of our children through digital tours and field trips.”

She added: “Visits are able to be attended from desktop computers, laptops, phones and even through games consoles.

“We try and recreate that buzz in the days building up to the trip. Creating teasers of what’s to come is essential – providing children with a ‘what to pack’ list builds on that buzz, they need to feel like they are off on an adventure. Once the trip is opened and ‘live’ the children are off on their way – they are self-made explorers, often discovering parts that we would never have found without them.

“We have a large amount of our families engaging with our online content which is incredibly important to us. We are aware that education settings are playing a key part during this time to support families and communities to stay positive, keep busy and remember there’s a wider global community surrounding them – even from the confines of their own home. Our online field trips help open the doors to something beyond the norm.”