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Schools and youth groups

A trip on the Grand Union canal on Milton Keynes all-electric community boat Electra provides a rich and varied learning experience.

Schools Learning Partnership Programme 2024

Electra offers short educational trips for primary schools, supported by free learning resource packs. Trips take 12 people (10 pupils, 1 teacher, 1 adult supervisor) plus our volunteer Skipper and Cabin Host who can answer questions on the day and introduce pupils to key canal features such as locks, aqueducts, marinas and bridges. Trips are provided at cost (£50 for 50-minute trips) and 3 or 4 trips can be fitted into a school day, depending on location and logistics of getting pupils to and from the boat. So for example, a class of 30 children would need three trips (10 pupils/2 adults per trip) and a two-form entry school typically would need two days of trips.

The Electra Schools Team is led by retired primary headteacher Heather Freeman who can tailor trips to specific curriculum needs and provide in-school follow up if required.

Trips depart from Fenny Stratford (50 minute circular trip), Campbell Wharf (30 minute circular trip) and Great Linford Manor Park (50 minute one way trip).

To find out more about how Electra can support learning in your primary school, please contact jane.wolfson@bmkwaterway.org who arranges bookings.

We hope to extend the Learning Partnership Programme to Youth Groups in 2024-2025 and would like to hear from Guide and Scout Groups of all ages. Please contact electra@bmkwaterway.org

2023 case studies

Giffard Park Primary School booked five trips for the whole of Year 4 which combined a towpath walk with a focused ‘spotter sheet’, an introduction to battery technology as part of their science topic on electricity, looking out for wildlife, and locating the canal and the trip on maps. Pupils also had a booklet to jot down their impressions on the day, to support a writing project back in school.

Drayton Park Primary School booked two trips for KS2 pupils with a focus on sustainability and innovation. They explored Electra’s pioneering use of all-electric power from batteries and solar panels; found out about the historic innovation of canal and lock building in Fenny Stratford; and encountered wildlife, assisted by the almost silent nature of cruising.

Shepherdswell Academy booked four short trips at Campbell Wharf for the whole of Year One and combined these with a short walk from school along the canal towpath. Pupils were learning about the difference between physical and human geography, and there’s lots to see in this newly-developed area of the city. The Electra team produced photo-based ‘spotter sheets’ for the walk and the boat trip.