London as a Classroom

Southbank is a ‘School without Walls’ where students engage in educational experiences outside the confines of the conventional classroom environment.

Southbank students are fortunate to be located in the centre of one of the great cities of the world. The richness of London’s museums, exhibitions, galleries, historic buildings, and theatres offers our students access to educational enrichment that is unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Southbank is a ‘School without Walls’, where we encourage teachers to actively seek opportunities for students to engage in educational experiences outside the confines of the conventional classroom environment. Teachers plan activities carefully within the context of the units of inquiry. There are clear curricular objectives, designed to stimulate and extend student interest and inquiry. Giving students opportunities to connect classroom learning with authentic real world experiences outside the classroom is a powerful support to them in their ongoing efforts to construct meaning and make sense of the world.

Here are just some of the places our students have visited in and around London in the last few years:

  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Hindu temple)
  • BBC Television Centre;
  • Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire;
  • Bloomsbury Theatre;
  • Brent Sikh Centre;
  • Brick Lane;
  • British Library;
  • British Museum
  • Central London Mosque;
  • Centre for Alternative Technology, Wales, Science Museum;
  • City Hall;
  • Cricklewood Homeless Concern;
  • Dale Fort, Wales;
  • Design Museum;
  • Garrick Theatre;
  • Gilwell Park, Epping Forest;
  • Globe Theatre;
  • Golders Hill Park;
  • Greenwich Observatory;
  • Greenwich;
  • Guardian Media Education Centre;
  • Hampstead Heath;
  • Hampstead Village;
  • Hampton Court;
  • Harris Hub Community, Westminster;
  • Highgate Woods;
  • Holland Park;
  • Hyde Park;

  • Imperial War Museum;
  • Institute of Education;
  • Kensington Gardens;
  • Kew Gardens
  • King Pin Suite, Bloomsbury;
  • Liberal Jewish Synagogue;
  • Little Angel Theatre;
  • London Aquarium;
  • London Central Mosque;
  • London Transport Museum;
  • London Wetland Centre;
  • London Zoo;
  • Lyric Theatre;
  • Marsden, Yorkshire;
  • Museum of Brands;
  • Museum of London, Docklands Museum;
  • National Army Museum;
  • National Gallery
  • National Maritime Museum;
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Natural History Museum;
  • Neasden Temple (largest Hindu temple outside of India)
  • New West End Synagogue;
  • Notting Hill;
  • Olympia;
  • Parliament Hill;
  • Polka Theatre, Wimbledon;
  • Pollock Toy Museum;

  • Primrose Hill;
  • Regent’s Park;
  • Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Buckinghamshire;
  • Roundhouse Theatre;
  • Royal Albert Hall
  • Royal Geographical Society;
  • Science Museum
  • Sikh Temple, Southall;
  • Southside Shopping Centre;
  • Space Studios E3;
  • Spitalfields;
  • St. Giles’ Cripplegate;
  • St. Luke’s Church;
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral;
  • Swiss Cottage Library;
  • Tate Britain
  • Tate Modern
  • The 02;
  • The Barbican;
  • The Emirates Stadium;
  • The Parish of Little Venice Church;
  • The Thames Explorer Trust;
  • Tower Bridge;
  • Trafalgar Square;
  • Unicorn Theatre;
  • V&A Museum of Childhood;
  • Westminster Central Hall;
  • Wimbledon Park Watersports Centre

As you will see from the list above, students will visit museums, historic buildings and theatres; attend student conferences and lectures and study wildlife at nature centres. Students take action outside the school as part of the area of interaction community and service. For instance, students work with local organisations to help people aged over 60 with their Christmas shopping and contribute to an intergenerational project helping older people develop internet skills. A great variety of trips, visits and projects take place throughout the year, but Discovery Week is perhaps the most special event. The September Discovery Week is a four-day residential trip which takes place in the first weeks of the academic year for students at our Westminster campus. The purpose of the trip is for students and staff to get to know each other and to build a strong community that can live, work, have fun and learn together. Students and staff participate in challenging activities under the supervision of specialist instructors. The emphasis throughout the trip is on the development of skills in teamwork, cooperation, initiative, leadership and problem-solving.