With the current weight of our litigation-mad society on a teacher’s shoulders, taking a classroom of children out for the day can seem like a nightmare waiting to happen. Organizing school trips is so important for students’ intellectual development, but increasingly, teachers are playing it safe and keeping the kids cooped up in the classroom (gold star for alliteration?).
If you’re planning a school trip, you may be pulling your hair out with stress. Just take a few breaths and read this guide. Organizing a day out with the students is not as insurmountable a task as it first appears.
Get the Adult-To-Student Ratio Spot On
Students running rings around you – it’s the last thing you want. Make sure that you have one adult for every ten children on the trip. This will keep the kids under control and de-stress your day out. If you can’t get enough teachers and parents on-board, don’t be afraid to cancel the trip.
Check, Double Check, Triple Check
The key to your school trip going off without a hitch is organization, and lots of it. Plan exceptionally far in advance and cover all bases, from booking tickets to insurance. Recording your organization is so important, just in case anything goes wrong and you’re accused of negligence by a claim-happy parent.
Prepare the Students
When you send off letters to parents, include a kit list. It’s amazing how many students turn up to school trips with inappropriate gear. Include a trip-appropriate checklist and double-check that pupils have the right equipment in the week before the excursion.
Have a Plan B
If something goes wrong, have a Plan B. If, for whatever reason, the allocated lunchtime venue cancels on you, have a backup food hall in mind.
Tackling an overseas school trip is a big project. Invite parents for a meeting, so they feel reassured that everything is in-hand and they can voice any concerns on their mind.
Money, Money, Money
It’s likely that many of your children come from impoverished families. The saddest thing about planning a school trip is the students who get left behind because their parents can’t afford to pay.
Try to get the excursions as cheaply as possible and look into support for low-income families. It’s important that all pupils benefit from outdoor education – the poorer children are the ones that need the day out the most.
Plan Learning Outcomes
While you’re organizing the trip, plan the learning outcomes that will bolster the students’ knowledge. You can get in contact with other departments that would benefit from the trip too – often, there’s a crossover. The larger the group, the cheaper the day will become, especially for trips that require tickets.
Although it’s exceptionally rare that a student will get injured on a trip, it’s obviously a concern. Always ensure that you get parental authorization for emergency treatment before the students set off for the excursion.
This post has been produced by Jemma, a British lifestyle and educational blogger. If you’re a teacher looking for day out inspiration with your students, Knowsley Safari Park school trips make for a fun, exciting and memorable day out.