Cross-curricular School Trip to the Futuroscope and the Loire Valley
Located in Western France near the town of Poitiers, Futuroscope is a unique and exciting theme park combining fun and education with cutting edge technologies and moving images.
Students will learn about science, design and technology, modern media techniques and will gain knowledge of the many subject themes of the diverse attractions including space travel, robotics and sustainability issues. Enjoy one or two days in the park or combine with excursions in the surrounding areas including the beautiful castles and towns of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Loire valley was a key location in the history of the French monarchy, some 22 châteaux can be discovered here with their opulent architecture, interiors and gardens. The court established itself in the region during the French renaissance period 15th – 16th centuries. The elaborate châteaux were designed to showcase French power to the world. The glory days came to an end when the nobility moved to the Paris area and later Versailles and finally with the end of the monarchy and nobility in France following the French Revolution.
Fun and Learning at the Futuroscope theme Park
Enjoy the magnificent châteaux of the Loire Valley
Delicious sweet treats at the Chocolaterie Bigot
Discover the historic port of La Rochelle
subject to EU driver’s hours regulations.
NB: Excursion entrance fees other than mentioned above are not included in typical price
Enjoy a day (or 2!) at this unique educational theme park which combines learning and fun using cutting edge technologies. With over 40 attractions, students can journey into space, see if they have what it takes to be an astronaut on a space mission to Destination Mars, Futuroscope’s first roller coaster ride opening in 2020, or explore the history and future of electricity and consider the sustainability challenges of meeting the worlds future energy needs. Enjoy numerous outdoor activities and an Aquatic Fairy-tale Fantasy over the lake in the evening. Educational material is available to download.
The closest town to Futuroscope, Poitiers, is the capital of the Poitou region and a historic town dating from Gallo Roman times with narrow streets and half-timbered buildings. Poitiers boasts one of the oldest churches in Europe, the 4th century Baptistry, now an archaeological museum.
Having its golden era in the Middle Ages, the church of Notre Dame la Grande, consecrated in 1086, is one of the finest examples of western French Romanesque architecture. The town has regular markets, an aquatic centre, bowling alley and ice skating.
Journey north to visit the Royal Chateau of Amboise which overlooks the Loire river, a royal residence from the early renaissance period. The first chateau to introduce the Italian style and indeed Leonardo da Vinci, invited to court by Francis I, lived and died in the nearby Clos Luce. The chateau was a favourite residence of the kings of France and King Henry II and his wife Catherine de’ Medici raised their children here. Partly demolished after the French Revolution, the chateau has gradually been restored to its former glory.
Founded in 1913 as a bakery, this family run enterprise is a chocolaterie, patisserie and ice cream parlour in the centre of Amboise. A visit to the chocolate workshop includes a film about cocoa to learn about the raw materials and a demonstration of chocolate making techniques. The visit ends with a tasting of one of the delicacies produced in this popular chocolaterie.
Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life (1516-1519) in the Castle of Le Clos Luce next to the Chateau of Amboise. He lived there at the invitation of Francis 1st to be the First Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King who was impassioned with the Italian renaissance. Visit Leonardo’s rooms and workshop and see an exhibition of his works and ingenious designs for the French monarchy. Audio visual projections, 3D animations and models bring his work to life and demonstrate his understanding of engineering and his futuristic vision. The gardens are a unique open-air museum dedicated to the artistic, scientific, design and architectural genius of Leonardo.
The white Chateau of Chenonceau is the most photographed and visited Chateau of the Loire region spanning the river Cher with its elegant arches. The design of the chateau has been strongly influenced by women including Catherine Briconnet who first started to construct the chateau in its present form in 1513 with her husband Thomas Bohier. Henry 11nd later gave Chenonceau to his favourite, Diane de Poitiers, who added to the design including the famous arches. When Henry died, his wife, Catherine de Medicis took back Chenonceau and continued to enhance the building and gardens. The gardens are one of the finest example of French renaissance design.
South of Poitiers students can encounter 34 primate species including gorillas, apes and the largest concentration of chimpanzees in Europe roaming in a large natural wooded park. The park is committed to conservation work and has a successful breeding programme. Learn about the research work which takes place here and how new animals are acclimatised. Feeding times occur throughout the day.
This historic port town with its links to the New World is now a popular holiday centre. Still a functioning port – see the fishing and pleasure boats in the harbour guarded by its 14th century towers. Tour the arcaded streets and see the half-timbered houses of the old town. Visit the impressive aquarium or the Museum of the New World to learn about the importance of La Rochelle as a gateway to the Americas. The 15th century Tour de la Lanterne was originally a candle lit lighthouse and later became a prison.
Why groups like it:
- Experience learning outside the classroom in another country
- Discover, explore and have fun with fellow students and teachers
- Explore numerous subjects through their experiences at Futuroscope including science and space travel, design and technology, robotics, digital media
- Practise speaking a foreign language
- Discover more about French history and culture
- Uncover the genius of Leonardo da Vinci at the Clos Luce
- Build confidence and learn to value the skills and techniques needed for personal and team success
Students will have had an opportunity to:
- Visit a foreign country and experience another language and culture
- Build knowledge over several subject themes
- Gain independence and self-confidence
- Strengthen existing friendships and make new friends
- Try new activities and have fun