What to consider when setting learning objectives for your school trip

Rachel Lewis

23 Nov 2023, 11:30
by Rachel Lewis

The benefits of clear learning objectives to create a structured framework for your trip are numerous. So when it comes to planning outcomes, what should you take into account to make the most from your trip?

We have explored some factors to consider when setting your learning objectives and trip goals and outcomes.

When are you travelling?

Your objectives and outcomes may differ depending on when you take your students away. While your choice of dates might be restricted by the school calendar, different seasons offer a range of different opportunities.

Autumn term trips are great for confidence, building relationships and setting the tone for the year’s learning; visits in the spring can be an opportune time to boost assessment preparations such as unscripted speaking and listening; and summer is a good time to focus on cultural tours or adventurous activities.


What does your cohort need?

You know them best… consider what knowledge and skills they need as these can be reinforced with different activities available on your trip.  A French or Spanish cooking lesson uses a range of verbs, weights and measures; raftbuilding includes teamwork and communication skills; a market mission allows for unprepared, real-life language interactions.  

For some students, the school trip may be their first experience staying away from home or their first time in another country. The benefits of these experiences are vast, especially when shared with peers. Consider including personal development goals and promote student agency by discussing and defining learners’ needs and the trip’s objectives as a collective.

“Outdoor learning and off site visits can have a profound effect on children and young people and their well-being; positively influencing behaviour and relationships, developing self-confidence and raising achievement” 

OEAP EVC National Guidance

What experiences and resources are available?

Trips and residentials offer great opportunities for intense subject focus and immersion. Visiting battlefields, ancient amphitheatres or active geothermal springs adds real depth, bringing the curriculum straight to the students.

Many destinations, activities and excursions have a range of cross-curricular opportunities which is a great way to get more from your trip and the time away from the classroom, especially if you are sharing your trip with another department. Review our school trip destination guides or discuss your options with our tour experts to create the best itinerary for you.

Acropolis theatre 


  • Specific learning and personal development objectives will support the evaluation of your trip and assessment of your students
  • Consider when you are travelling and who you are taking – goals and objectives will differ and change with availability and your group’s needs
  • Communicate your goals with colleagues, students and parents, as well as your tour coordinator who will help you build a trip to support your objectives
  • Take the time with your students to revisit and review the trip and how it met the objectives – feed this back to your tour operator to make your next trip even better!

How can we help?

To help inform your learning objectives we can organise an inspection visit so you can assess the experiences and resources on offer and their suitability for your specific learners.

On a subsidised inspection visit to one of our residential or partner centres, you have the opportunity to meet our language instructors and discuss in person how our programmes can support your teaching aims.

Get in touch today to start planning your trip

Extra resources you might find useful

Hellenthal Eifel student love cropped

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