>> Feb 8, 2013
Planning a school trip is never easy. As well as the usual administration hassles, there is always the worry that you have not organised the right destinations and activities. With some planning and preparation though, you can ensure that all your students can return stimulated and refreshed.
School trips, especially those that involve overnight stays or visits to other countries, can be a real test of an educator's ability. Not only does a teacher have to spend time making sure that all the paperwork and procedures have been correctly followed and are in place, but they also have to make sure that they have created a meaningful schedule which balances up the education and recreational needs of the students.
Choice of Destination
This is why choosing the right destination is so important. While there might well be a certain country or region which you want to visit, it is wise to weigh up which destinations within that region will be best. When doing this, a teacher must also be well aware of their students' ability levels, interests and enthusiasms. After all, as well as the educational visits and learning activities that will make up part of the trip, you must also cater for recreational time. What teachers may fancy doing in their spare time is not necessarily what the students will want to do, so empathy and connecting into the values of the students is key.
A good choice of destination provides the focus for the trip, bringing things together if they threaten to become fragmented. It also needs to be borne in mind when a teacher is preparing for the demands of the curriculum, in terms of the kind of learning experiences that the students will have. Obviously, the visit needs to fit into the schemes being taught, so that it has a point. It is also important to decide which subject areas are being covered and what potential there is for cross curricular work.
The Right Provider
Once you have these concepts established in your mind and are happy with the solutions that you have devised, it comes down to choosing the right service provider. Booking one complete package with a specialist educational travel agent is often the best way to do things, as this minimises the likely complications of dealing with two or three different companies for different aspects of the trip.
Security and safety is a massive consideration, so always check with the service provider as to the kind of vetting they use when employing staff such as bus drivers. Also check what kind of security is on offer at any of the residential facilities that you might be using. This makes it much easier to deal with worried parents, as much as anything else and allows staff to rest easy at nights.
With careful thought and planning, a school trip can be a marvellous experience for both staff and students. It is important to not skimp on any of the details though and to make clear choices of destination and activity based on a professional assessment of the situation.
James Riley has been a teacher for many years, working in his home town of Manchester. With a subject specialism in English and a good knowledge of the psychology of learning, he now shares his expertise with a wide range of websites across the internet, including http://www.brightsparktravel.com/