As we gear up for 2012 there is no better time to use Britain’s big moment to inspire and motivate students, with the sheer excitement of the Olympics. The Olympic values focus on developing social qualities and encouraging pride in what we do and how we do it, all of which are paramount in children’s development. Covering the curriculum The build up to Olympic Games offer teachers the opportunity to enthuse students in a number of different topics including sustainability, urban design, healthy eating, environmental regeneration, business development and of course sports studies.
Teachers across the country understand the potential the Games have for learning and are rapidly signing up to ‘Get Set’ – the official London 2012 education programme.
School trips have the power to complement the excellent work being done in schools, put the Games into context and make learning about the Olympics fun, highly educational and memorable experiences.
Specialist school trip operator Pavilion Tours (paviliontours.co.uk) is running a series of Sporting Legends conventions, the next one from 6-8 June, offering school children and college students the exciting opportunity to meet top British athletes including Iwan Thomas and Danny Crates. There will also be the chance to tour the 2012 Olympic sites and hear about the preparation and planning for the games. The conventions are held at Grosvenor Hall Education and Activity Centre in Ashford, Kent, which boasts state of the art sporting and education facilities where pupils can partake in a mini Olympics, team sports and energetic activities on-site throughout the day. Regeneration The construction of the Olympic Park is completely regenerating deprived areas of East London. This massive undertaking will create over 60,000 new jobs. A fascinating tour of the site organised by UK Connection can be led by qualified architects. Students can appreciate the sheer scale of this flagship development and investigate the design and construction of the main buildings and tracks from the site’s ‘View Tube’ (www.ukconnection.co.uk).
London 2012 is planned to be significantly more sustainable than its predecessors so is an invaluable case study to contrast with previous sites. Geography, business and environmental studies students can visit Barcelona, Munich or Beijing with the School Travel Service (STS) to assess the challenges and successes of Olympic developments and the positive and negative legacies they have left on their host cities. A trip to Athens and the ancient sites of Greece can compare the current Games with those of over two thousand years ago. (www.ststravel.co.uk)
So however teachers decide to use the Olympics, whether teaching sport studies, promoting health and fitness, or investigating urban regeneration, it is undeniable that the games will be the talking point of 2012.
Children will be inspired by the athletes’ skill and determination, as well as the good feeling that the whole event creates. The Games offer superb educational possibilities, giving teachers the opportunity to enhance lifelong memories of a fantastic 2010 London Olympics.
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