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FEATURE FOCUS: SCHOOL TRIPS


Why school trips unlock a different level of learning A school trip is the gateway to those very


experiences; those life-changing, confidence- boosting, penny-dropping experiences. Because it’s not just a change of scenery or a holiday – it’s key to shaping students into wiser, better- rounded young adults. That’s not to say classroom learning isn’t


valuable, of course it is. But a school trip can help create a sense of scale and importance to what they’re studying, as well as make sense of theoretical learning through more tangible examples. If anything, your students will end up caring more about the subjects they’re studying.


I


n our second feature this month looking at school trips, we hear from Jade Rowlatt of


Rayburn Tours, who discusses the educational benefits of getting children out of the classroom, and offers some pointers on getting the best value for money in what can be an expensive undertaking for schools and parents alike. A lot of the time, we learn through doing.


Having facts reeled off to us or reading a textbook doesn’t always stick, annoyingly. And as much as we’re told something, there’s no substitute for those real life experiences. Being told the number of people killed in the


First World War doesn’t compare to standing before the graves themselves. Looking at the features of a glacier on a page isn’t the same as hiking on the ice itself. And reading about the culture of a rural Moroccan village doesn’t sink in as much as mucking in with the locals themselves.


‘We had an amazing time; it’s always great when technologically advanced teenagers can still say ‘wow’ at nature!’


Lesley Moule, High School for Girls Gloucester, Geography Trip to Iceland


Students who don’t always thrive in a classroom environment can excel on a school trip Taking your students to a completely new environment throws up more benefits than you think, especially for those who aren’t always suited to classroom learning. Introducing them to new cultures, people, places – even food – shakes up their way of thinking and takes the focus off themselves and onto what’s around them. As they encounter new challenges, they’ll start


to ask questions, grow in confidence and discover new interests – which can all help to improve performance back at school. Students who are hard to interest in the classroom can suddenly


38 www.education-today.co.uk


blossom in a museum, a gallery, an amphitheatre or a national park. It’s that moment when a student clicks with something and discovers ‘their thing’ – all because you’ve exposed them to a wider range of experiences. It’s also a great way to give students a sense of


independence. Even spending a few nights away from parents forces them to think for themselves more. Have they set their alarm for the morning? Have they packed everything they need for the day? Have they budgeted their spending money to last the whole trip?


‘We took the students to Tapa Tapa [in Spain] and bought them traditional dishes to try. So many students told us that they would now be willing to try new foods and we have lots of coverts to paella, mussels and calamari. That’s life- changing.’


Pamela Jackson, Belper School & Sixth Form Centre, Language Trip to Spain


You don’t know your students until you’ve been on a trip with them Whilst students might feel like they know their classmates and teachers well enough, staying with them in a tight-knit community can be a real bonding opportunity. It can even bring students together from different year groups, which all helps to reinforce interpersonal skills like trust, respect, leadership and teamwork. More often than not, you’ll notice a shift in


your relationship with your students. Spending time together outside the classroom – where the


January 2020


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