There simply is no better way for kids to learn than through practical, hands-on experiences and going on a field trip or short break is an awesome way to introduce your class to the world at large.
Of course, there are loads of factors to consider before taking a group of children out of school, however if you have the paperwork signed, the PTA’s permission and the backing of your school’s official leadership then the list below may give you a few ideas of what to do on tour.
Introducing students to a new town or city can be a daunting prospect so get them orientated as quickly as possible. A treasure hunt or scavenger search is a brilliant method of getting kids acquainted with their environment and if you have the time to produce a printed map complete with question sheet then they’ll be able to get to know how to get around as well as discovering different facts and sites along the way.
Top tip: if you have a chance to recon the area and write your own question sheet then great, however check online first as you may find one that’s already been tried and tested.
Wherever you’re intending to go on your next field trip make sure you check out what museums and galleries are around the local area. These days most cultural centers have info packs and activity sheets that are designed just for schools and websites usually have a section just for visiting teachers. There’s so much to learn from interactive displays and kids love the opportunity to use cause and affect facilities. These will ultimately help them to learn, understand and retain information through actual physical experiences.
Meet the locals
You don’t have to go abroad to meet new people and you may be surprised at how getting in touch with a school from another state or county can open up a communication channel that will form myriad learning and social opportunities.
From twinning with a group in another country and learning about different cultures and customs, to getting together with a like-minded school just a few miles away, the chances to interact and communicate with a group from outside of your school can reap rich educational rewards.
Leave it to the pros
Whatever your class are into: sports, music, science or geography, there’s bound to be an organized camp or workshop near you. This is great news for teachers as it takes some of the hard graft out of having to prepare work sheets and itineraries for themselves. Non-competitive and creative programs such as America Sings! provide a great example of how school groups can learn, have fun and develop confidence away from home all within a safe and secure location.
There are plenty of other excellent camps, festivals and parks dedicated to all sorts of educational disciplines available and all you have to do is research online and leave the rest to the professional school tours planners.
Throw in a theme park
Wherever you plan to go to develop your school group’s education the chances are that they’re going to need some time and space to let off steam, I mean museums can be awesome but even the most studious of child won’t want to be there all day.
Mixing up an itinerary to incorporate zoos, aquariums, parks, woodlands and even theme parks can be an excellent method of motivating even the most reluctant learner and if you can curtail any mini-rebellions with the promise of a trip to the local splash park or leisure center in the afternoon then everyone’s going to be happy.
Biog: Chris has been a teacher and has also worked with a student travel company to help out with designing itineraries for school tours.