How to boost the educational impact of your school trip
26 May 2023, 18:13
by Rachel Lewis
We all love a school trip - the songs on the coach, the bunk-bedded dorms and the obligatory group shot in front of the local landmark... but how do you make sure that the school, your students and their parents are getting the most value from your school trip?
The educational value of those few days out of the classroom can sometimes be a challenge to justify. Creating the right trip for your group that works with your syllabus is vital in ensuring that the time and cost of a school trip are worthwhile. We've brought together examples of how to add value to your next school trip.
Choose a school trip linked directly to your curriculum
While all trips have their learning focus, you can add more educational value to your school trip by covering a broader range of curriculum outcomes. Picking a trip with those learning links already in place will help you evidence the value of your school trip to parents, SLT and even the students themselves.
To help you demonstrate the educational value of your school trip we have mapped our French, German and Spanish language trips to the national curriculum objectives and outcomes. Compared to a normal school trip, our language immersion programmes contribute to 20 of the MFL GSCE curriculum objectives, as well as covering areas of SMSC, D&T and PE depending on the activities and excursions available.
Pack in practical opportunities for students to learn in context
A visit to Europe will never cease to amaze and inspire your students, however the educational benefits of your trip can be greatly enhanced when combined with real-life and practical opportunities for learning.
For example, our team of native-speaking language instructors based in Normandy, the Opal Coast, Paris, Germany and Spain, will totally immerse your students in both language and culture during their stay, taking them well beyond what is possible in the classroom.
Every opportunity is used for language learning. From facilitating activities, leading excursions, providing classroom lessons and hosting mealtimes, our instructors lead groups in their target language from the moment they arrive to the step back on the coach at the end of the trip. This adds an unparalleled educational aspect to our school trips so that your time out of class can be the most valuable possible.
Hear Luke Woolnough, MFL Teacher at The Sweyne Park School, explain the educational benefit and results achieved by a French language immersion residential at Château de la Baudonnière in Normandy.
Make the most of existing learning resources on your school trip
Recording the learning taking place while out and about can be a valuable aspect of your school trip and a ready-made resource can help you prepare students for the trip and reinforce learning back in the classroom.
While some teachers love the worksheets on offer at museums or other institutions you visit on a school trip, others are not so keen. And while on a residential trip, a bunch of worksheets may not be a practical way to evidence learning.
Designed by teachers, our tailored workbooks and assignments are an integral part of value-added school trips such as our French language school trips and student conventions. Our language workbooks are designed to be used before, during and after a trip to introduce key concepts and vocabulary, encourage extended journal writing and reinforce learning and reflection back in the classroom.
Make your school trip accessible to more students
While it would be lovely to have an endless school trip budget, it is just not viable for most groups. Keeping costs down as much as possible is a sure-fire way to boost take-up and gain more educational value from your school trip.
Being flexible with dates, location and travel options can help to make considerable savings on the cost of your trip. For example, avoiding the summer term can save up to 20% - offering the same learning opportunities, just at a different time of year. Also, choosing accommodation a little way out of the big tourist areas can save a considerable amount per person.
It can also be viable to share a trip with another school or learning department. Many locations in Europe are rich in art, history, science and cultural experiences that other teachers could benefit from. Sharing the cost of a coach can significantly reduce the cost per person.
Our blog - Five ways to make your school trip more affordable - offers some top tips on how to try and keep costs down and value up.
Get in touch with one of our educational travel experts today to get the most value from your next school trip