Planning a school trip is a stressful job, and as a teacher you have the responsibility to plan every point down to the minute details, as well as keep the kids entertained and happy. If you are thinking of organizing a school trip for you and your students this year, we are here to help you get it right.
There are many elements to organizing successful school trips and today we are going to run through them step by step. Whether you are new to planning a trip or you simply want to reduce your stress levels, we have a handy set of tips for you.
Choose a great destination
Before you do anything else, take the time to find the ideal destination for your trip. If you are an art teacher for example, this will involve finding the right art gallery to visit that offers displays of the right types of artists for your students. If you are a science teacher, a museum trip could be a great idea. Be sure that your choice of destination make sense and fits your needs.
Make sure there’s a purpose
Before you do anything else, you need to make sure that your trip is FOR something. There’s no point organizing a school trip if it won’t teach your students something. Plan a trip that allows them to either learn about a difficult concept or to teach them some new skills.
Bring the right teachers
Now, you might be thinking there’s no such thing as the ‘right’ teacher, but there really is. When taking a group of children out for the day, you want to bring a teacher who knows about the subject and who is friendly with the kids. Some teachers are meant to stay in the classroom! Bringing along a few other department teachers is a great idea and it will ensure that if the kids need to ask a question you can always answer it.
Create a register
If you think it is scary taking your own children out for the day, try that times 30. Being responsible for the safety of a large number of children will be incredibly scary, but you need to ensure that you keep your cool and don’t allow any kids to go rogue. Create a register of the kids attending the trip and be sure to register them multiple times during the day. When they get on the bus, when they split into groups, when you meet for lunch, and on the bus home.
Teach ahead of time
When setting up for a successful school trip it is important to build up to it over a number of lessons. Consider dedicating 3-4 lessons to the subject you’ll be covering before you go on the trip. Think of a school trip as a way to consolidate the lessons you have taught to your students, not as a singular way to teach it. By the time you go on your school trip your students should already have a good understanding of the subject, and this means being able to really appreciate what they see when at their destination.
Buy clipboards and pens
Before you head out for a school trip you should gather some essential items for the day. These includes things like clipboards and pens for taking down notes, and also to take any questionnaires you want to prepare to assess their knowledge. By bringing clipboards for every student to carry with them, they will be more likely to pay attention to your lessons and the people on the trip.
Book a coach
Now is the time to book a coach for the big day. It is important for you to try and find a coach that has a TV in it because this will make all the difference on the way there and back. Kids get very excitable when they are let out of the classroom, so providing them with entertainment on the ride will make a big difference.
Take sick bags
Not all kids can handle being in a car or coach. Make sure you have provisions there in case any of the students get travel sickness on the way to the destination.
Bring lots of food
Food is literally the saviour of any trip. If you want to avoid some hangry kids, you need to feed them throughout the day. If you are going to be responsible for food for the day, you need to be sure you have plenty of snacks and sandwich options for people to choose from. A good selection of choices could be:
- Ham sandwich
- Chicken sandwich
- Hummus sandwich
It will be worth checking if any of your students have specific dietary requirements, or if they are allergic to anything before you put options together.
As well as knowing about allergies, you need to gather a list of medical conditions. Many children will have medical conditions such as asthma which require inhalers, so make sure that you note these down and keep these safe with you on your trip in case they need them.
Split into smaller groups
When you reach your trip destination the best thing you can do is split up into smaller groups. Managing 30 plus kids at once can be daunting, so it is always good to break it down into smaller groups such as 10 kids per teacher. This ensures that the children are easily manageable and also that every child gets the best possible experience out of the day.
Bring some chaperones
Teachers and parents are a godsend on school trips. Don’t allow yourself to suffer alone, instead bring along a few chaperones who will be able to help you manage the kids. You can have a meeting with parents in the weeks leading up to the trip to let them know what will happen, and also to ask for a few volunteers to come along on the day. It will be the best decision you can make!