Sunderland school pupils see wonders of the world thanks to Google Expeditions

Pupils at East Herrington Primary School taking part in a virtual reality trip with the help of Google Expeditions.

Pupils at East Herrington Primary School taking part in a virtual reality trip with the help of Google Expeditions.

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Children at a Wearside primary school have seen the wonder of The Amazon River, the North Pole and even space all from the comfort of their classroom.

Pupils who go to East Herrington Primary School were visited by Google Expeditions, a virtual reality teaching tool that allows teachers to lead youngsters on ‘trips’ to historical landmarks all over the world.

Teacher at the Balmoral Terrace school Sarah Milburn said: “We wanted to give the children an opportunity to go on a ‘virtual’ school trip – without leaving the classroom - to places all around the world in an immersive virtual journey that help bring learning to life.

“Google for education - Google Expeditions team came into school with a Google representative, and 60 virtual reality headsets.

The Google Expeditions team brought 60 virtual reality headsets for the children to wear and the teachers give them a virtual tour from their tablet, stopping at points of interest and discussing what they could see.

“Children from Years 1 to 6 were taken on trips to the D-Day memorial, space, Jiuzhai National Park, The Amazon, The River Thames and a journey to the North Pole linking with their current classroom work.

Pupils at East Herrington Primary School taking part in a virtual reality trip with the help of Google Expeditions.

Pupils at East Herrington Primary School taking part in a virtual reality trip with the help of Google Expeditions.

“Luckily, there was enough time to go on more than one journey, with some children switching from the Amazon to an underwater shark adventure in an instant.

“Teachers and children alike were astounded throughout the day as they went on a virtual journey to places that they would normally not have the opportunity to experience in their day to day lives.

“The experience allowed children to experience places that could be abstract to them and gives them a deeper understanding of the world around them.”

A number of pupils were blown away by the experience, with one saying: “I actually felt like I was God and in charge of the world.”

Ms Milburn added: “After the visit, we have downloaded the app for school iPads and hope to use this feature within lessons to give children as close to real life experience of such places as we can.”