Travel abroad is well known to be a great learning experience and even more so for children and young people. Travel can open their minds to new places, how other people live, a love of the natural world and the wildlife that lives in it. School trips, whether somewhere in the same country or overseas, are always an incredible experience for students but also a very demanding project for the teaching staff organising and accompanying the school trip.
Teaching is definitely a vocation, and it is an extremely rewarding profession. However, looking after and helping to shape the lives of children can also be really stressful because it is a lot of pressure. Being a teacher in a school environment is one thing, but being a teacher as your class is leaving school grounds to go on a school trip is another entirely. Planning a school trip can be a challenge for even established teachers, let alone trainees, which is why we have put together this guide; take a look.
Hone in on the Purpose
Firstly, you need to work out what purpose the school trip is meant to be serving. If you teach secondary school and only teach a single subject, then this is likely to be easier than it would be for primary school teachers who are responsible for teaching the entire curriculum. It is still worth thinking about what you want this school trip to teach or reinforce – what are the students going to get from this experience? You will also need to consider when the trip is and what the time of year will mean for your options.
Organising Individually or Partnering with a Business
The next thing that you will need to work out is whether you are ready, as a trainee teacher, to take on all of the responsibility of organising the school trip in its entirety. There are a lot of moving parts to consider. Or, your other option is to partner with a business that specialises in planning educational school trips like NST. Planning through a business can be really handy because it takes the burden of working out all of the minutiae from you.
The next step is to begin to build the itinerary. If you are planning the school trip yourself, then this can be a lot to take on; if you are working with a business, then you can collaborate on this. Consider the size of the group and what you would ideally like the budget to be per student. The purpose of the trip will inform the itinerary. This could include taking a tour of different facilities or locations and maybe activities and experiments on-site or even workshops or whatever else.
Lastly, your school is likely to have its own policies in place when it comes to school trips as well as government legislation detailing childcare best practices. So, before you go ahead and finalise anything, you will need to have your plans approved by the school. Oftentimes, the approval process will require you to provide detailed documentation and evidence to support your plans for the trip.
To Sum Up
Planning a school trip is often a long process – especially for trainee teachers. There is so much to consider, and it would be understandable if your nerves were to get to you during the process. Luckily, with the right approach, it is actually a pretty straightforward. All you need to do is to think about why you want to take the trip and how it is going to fit into your lesson plans, build an itinerary and get approval. If Jack Black can get the Horace Green kids to battle of the bands, then you can organise a school trip too.