School trips are a great opportunity for students to get away from their desks, venture out into the real world, explore different cultures and learn about themselves. However, for teachers it can be a stressful and worrying time.
Here we’ve listed the top four school trip priorities you should consider before leaving the school car park. These will help you organise a successful and safe school trip.
The four things that matter most on school trips
Your students’ safety should always be at the top of your school trip priority list. This is especially true if they’re exploring an unfamiliar foreign country where the language could be a barrier.
You need to keep an eye on them all, no matter where you are. This can be difficult with 30+ pupils on one trip, so you may need some support. This can come from fellow chaperones, or a tour operator.
A tour operator gives you a security cushion, just in case something untoward happens. This means it is not your sole responsibility and there are strong contingency plans in place if you (or your students) are affected. Tour operators can assist with:
- Health and safety concerns
- ABTA and ATOL bonds
- On-the-ground support
- Travel logistics
You and your tour operator can define the trip rules for your students. You’ll find the balance between allowing them to act responsibly on their own and maintaining necessary oversight.
Let your students know where you’ll be, and establish meeting spots for certain times to keep them safe. To make the register – a key part of school trip security more fun, assign each student a number, and get students to ‘number off’. You will easily spot a missing number from the sequence.
Some students may think of a school trip as a holiday, but it’s the teachers’ job to make sure it’s educational too.
Plan learning objectives for the trip before you leave, and make sure the students know about them too.
Make sure to select specific locations/attractions that are relevant to their course, and learn some fun facts that are bound to intrigue them. For example, the West Exit of the Colosseum in Rome was called the ‘Gate of Death’ as that was where dead gladiators were taken.
Your tour operator will have standard itineraries to match your chosen subject, but they can also help you create a bespoke one aligned with your specific learning objectives. That way you can make sure your trip is educational and accurate before you leave.
3. Fun and engaging
Though your trip is educational, it should be fun too. Making it engaging should be one of your top school trip priorities.
Tour directors can help with this. Their local knowledge, enthusiastic personalities and tendency to ask students unusual questions about the destination keep the students on their toes and keen to impress.
If you don’t have a tour director on your trip, you’ll have to fill the gap. So brush up on your destination before you leave, and keep the students entertained.
4. Independent learning
For many students, this trip could be one of the first times they’ve travelled abroad without their parents. This trip is a huge opportunity for personal growth, as well as learning on their own.
Give them independence by letting them choose the direction of their own learning. In museums or galleries, let them go off in groups and explore the exhibits that most interest them.
By paying attention to these four school trip priorities, you and your students will have a fantastic, and educational, time.
To find out more about organising school trips, get in touch with WorldStrides today.