Learning outside the classroom – so much more than just geography and biology

world and overnight school trips provide so many opportunities for young people including learning new skills, building confidence and establishing long-lasting friendships". In our first look at school trips this month, Mark takes a closer look at why it’s important to get young people outside and why it’s critical for schools to be able to start taking pupils on residential trips again in 2021..

There is nothing like the real thing. Textbooks and screens can only teach us so much – experiencing the landscape and the natural world first-hand is what actually engages all the senses. It is this that can really fix something in the

minds and memories of young people and they themselves have told us that they have been in exam rooms and been able to recall those first- hand experiences. Seeing and experiencing a landscape or


etting children to spend time studying and connecting with the outside world

has multiple benefits. In the words of Mark Castle, the chief executive of the Field Studies Council: “There is no substitute for hands-on practical experience in the natural

habitat that you are studying helps consolidate learning and it can make sense of and pull together the many strands of a subject. Indeed, despite the overwhelming response to

FSC’s #fieldworklive sessions on YouTube which were seen by more than 400,000 learners, their


feedback showed that this much appreciated response to lockdown only fuelled their enthusiasm for being able to get out and do fieldwork for real.

Getting to know each other We all know that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone but it was particularly so for schools, teachers and students as they adapted to new ways of safe working, online study and grappled with the difficulties and disruption associated with students being sent home for long periods to isolate as a result of localised COVID-19 outbreaks. Emerging from the shadows into 2021, we feel

overnight stays (when guidance allows) will provide a chance for some concentrated and uninterrupted study, giving learners some essential catch-up time and reducing stress for pupils and teachers as they try to cover the curriculum content. A residential trip can pack in a lot of learning.

For example, input from our experienced tutors during residential trips not only boosts knowledge but allows teaching staff the time and opportunity to assess where learners are progressing, where there are gaps in their

January 2021

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