Our journey began when parents were invited to come to help get involved in an exciting opportunity for our children. They didn’t know it but they were to help plan a school trip with a focus on mathematics. This also meant that those parents who attended the meeting had the opportunity to find out a bit more about the way maths was now being taught within the school, key vocabulary and meanings were shared and any questions they raised, were answered. The parents involved with this were also given first refusal to help with the trip – they all attended.
When the children in Year 3 discovered they were going to Kidzania, none of them knew anything about it. We were able to talk through where it was, showed them maps and talked about the different possibilities for travel. They were incredibly excited. Some children have never left Hastings before and so the prospect of going to Shepherd’s Bush, London was incredibly exciting.
The children were given opportunities to discover the kinds of things available at Kidzania and looked at the indoor maps to help them identify places they may want to visit when we got there. We took a train – again this was a first time experience for many children. We changed at Clapham junction and children were initiated into looking at the railway maps and began to recognise station names as we travelled.
On arrival, we were all rapidly given security bands and the children were given some basic information to help them begin their exploration. Adults supported children at first with how the systems worked, but very quickly the children developed their skills of independence and found they could separate from their main group leader to enjoy the activities of their choice. Children that had previously lacked confidence were able to independently, or sometimes with peers, carry out activities and then select and wait for other activities they wanted to take part in.
The children were also in control of their own Kidzano pounds which paid for activities, but then they needed to plan to ‘work’ to enable them to earn more money. Work activities were varied and included being cabin crew for British Airways, making crunchy cereal bars, cleaning, mail delivery, being police officers, fire fighters, ambulance crew, constructing game items for Nintendo, being a dentist, making burgers, film crew, radio crew, newspaper reporters and surgeons – plus many other activities the children could pay for with the Kidzano money.
Children coped brilliantly with the travel to and from London and many passengers, who shared carriages with us complimented on how well behaved they all were and the children were full of many stories of how they had spent their four hours at Kidzania and the many activities they had completed.
This trip was an amazing opportunity for our year three children, encapsulating so many areas of learning and it none of it would have been possible without the kind funding from the Hastings Opportunity Area or the wonderful support of staff both on and outside of the trip and our core group of parents, who worked from beginning to end, ensuring all children had a great time and were safe throughout the day.
Thank you so much.