Memorable activities make for memorable learning


Northern Regional College Travel and Tourism lecturer, Karen McLeod has come up with an innovative and cost effective way to encourage her students to broaden their career horizons and make the most of growing career opportunities in the industry. The College has established a successful partnership with Harryville Primary School in Ballymena to help deliver ‘Working as a Children’s holiday Representative’ for Level 3 Travel and Tourism students.

Karen explains the thinking behind the partnership: “For many families with young children, having enough activities to keep them occupied while on holiday is one of the key things they consider when selecting a holiday.
“As with all aspects of the travel and tourism industry, children’s clubs are only as good as the staff that run them. We want to ensure that our students have all the right skills, qualifications and personal qualities to work as children’s reps for tour operators at both home and abroad. This way they will be in a better position to benefit from the growing career opportunities in the sector.”
She continues: “I’m a firm believer in the saying ‘memorable activities make for memorable learning’. ‘Working as a Children’s holiday Representative’ is designed to develop the students’ knowledge and understanding of factors to be taken into consideration when working with children, particularly international visitors or when working abroad.”
To help put the theory learnt in class into practice, the students developed a series of Halloween craft activities for Harryville Primary 1 – 4 pupils to get practical ‘hands on’ experience of working with young children. Some of the activities included a Zombie race and making spider spoons, bat masks, and pumpkin stamps and monster munches.
“Planning and delivering the programme of craft activities gave the students an insight into some of the challenges of working with young children, particularly when the children have different interests, abilities and maybe don’t even speak English,” continues Karen.
“Travel and tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries, offering a wide range of exciting career opportunities for people with the right skills mix. It is a significant economic driver in Northern Ireland with iconic attractions and major sporting events like the Giant’s Causeway, the Dark Hedges and the Irish Open are all helping to put it on the map as a popular destination. 
“Lonely Planet - the world’s largest travel guide book - has just named Belfast and the Causeway Coast as 2018's number one region to visit. Tourism, particularly in this part of Northern Ireland, offers huge potential and new employment opportunities.
“Many of our former students have gone on to enjoy very successful careers in the industry and we are always looking at new ways to make sure that what we are teach is relevant to changing business environment to give them the best possible learning experience,” adds Karen.
School principal, Lesley Meikle says the partnership between Harryville Primary School and Northern Regional College has been a ‘win win’ situation for everyone involved.
“The children love the students coming into their classroom to do activities with them and it’s interesting for us to see all the different ideas they come up with. We’ve children from many different nationalities at our school – from Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovenia – and as English is not their first language, communication can sometimes be a challenge. The students have to be able to think on their feet and tailor the activity to make sure all sure all the children are involved.”


Be the first to comment, using the form below!

Add New Comment