School trips are a real highlight for students. It allows them to spend time with their friends and teachers in a different, more exciting and stimulating environment. For some students, school trips can one of the few times they actually go abroad and get to explore a different culture and visit somewhere completely new.
As a teacher, taking your pupils on a school trip can be just as refreshing for you as it is for them. Having time out of school and the chance to engage with and teach children in a new and different setting is a fantastic opportunity for both your teaching and student relationships. Whilst of course that’s undoubtably a good thing, planning a school trip does come with a range of challenges that we want to help you tackle with some of our top tips…
It’s really important to manage your students’ expectations for the trip so that they know what to expect, how to behave and how to prep themselves for it. By ensuring the right procedures are in place and safeguarding against all possibilities, good preparation should include ensuring the trip runs smoothly as it meets objectives and keeps it promises to the students, as well as the curriculum!
Give the trip context
All school trips have a learning aspect - even more recreational trips such as skiing. Each and every school trip you plan has an important learning opportunity and it’s vital to take full advantage of that! Use your school trip to add another dimension to your classroom learning; we think the best way of doing this is to integrate key learning objectives for whichever subject your school trip is for well in advance of the trip. During this time, set goals and objectives and things your students should be aiming to achieve on the trip - whether that’s improving their foreign language vocabulary, spotting a particular historical site or overcoming a fear. By setting objectives well in advance, students will know what to expect and use the school trip experience to enhance their classroom learning
Quite naturally, some parents will become nervous at the prospect of their child being away from home for a period of time without them. Also, as it will most likely be their money being used to pay for the trip, they will want to be informed of exactly how their money is being spent - how will their child benefit from the trip? Make sure you gain parental support for your school trip and help alleviate concerns by:
Allow students to drive activity
Good decision making is key for students to learn and by having time away from the classroom, pupils can be given a unusual chance to take the lead. Ensure students are given the opportunity to take leaderships roles, showcase their skills in preferred activities and allow them to discuss topics they’re passionate about. Also, ask pupils their preference on activities - give them options and ask how much of what they would like to do to make sure the trip is as beneficial to them as possible - this means you must allow for a little flexibility in your itinerary in order to help your pupils grow. Those students who can perhaps be a little quiet in class, can really come into their own in a different environment so be sure to give your students the chance to embrace their personalities which will be beneficial when they’re brought back into the classroom
Bring the trip back into the classroom
Once the school trip is said and done and you’ve hopefully built new bridges with your students, helped them to experience new and exciting things whilst also having exposed them to a new type of learning. When students get back, they will be energised so ensure you use this to embed the learning and development of the trip (no matter if it was one day or one week) into the classroom curriculum. Use what you and they have learnt on the trip to do something creative with to prolong the experience and bring it into some context again.
There are a huge amount of useful tips we have for ensuring that you have a successful school trip and these are just a handful that you can use. Keep your eyes peeled for our other blogs on useful school trip tips and please get in contact if you would like any further information! Remember, school trips are a fantastic way to re-energise both pupils and teachers and improve the classroom learning experience!
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