Why set learning objectives for your school trip?

Rachel Lewis

22 Nov 2023, 13:04
by Rachel Lewis

You're taking your group on a jam-packed residential, full of activities and excursions. You already know your students and colleagues will have a great time, so do you really need to set learning objectives?

By defining a strong set of meaningful learning objectives, you create a framework and structure on which to base your school trip. This allows for clear expectations and a basis on which to evaluate successes.

The benefits of setting learning objectives for your school trip

  • Extension of the curriculum: outcomes aligned with your syllabus ensure that the trip serves to enhance classroom learning, making the content relevant and reinforcing what students have been studying. This will also support learning and progression on your return to the classroom, giving students a real life experience on which to base their learning.
  • Communication: Clearly defined learning objectives are beneficial for communicating the purpose and educational value of your trip which will support getting approval from SLT. Giving students and parents a clear idea of what learners can also help to increase numbers (making the trip more cost effective) as well as set expectations for those attending.
  • Student engagement: When students understand the purpose and expected outcomes of the trip, they are more likely to actively engage with the content and activities.  This will in turn help to increase motivation and develop confidence when taking part in the activities.
  • Student assessment: Linking your trip objectives to those of your cohort means you can use the trip to support assessment. Use the activities and visits to challenge students against your curriculum criteria and use the results to inform future planning.
  • Reflection and continual improvement: your objectives will provide a basis on which to reflect on student learning, colleagues' feedback and your own thoughts and views on how the trip met expectations. You can identify successful aspects and areas to improve and share these insights with colleagues to help develop best practice in your school.
  • A framework for evaluation: use your learning objectives to measure the effectiveness of the trip in terms of enhancing the curriculum for teaching and learning, educational impact in comparison to other enrichment experiences and value for money for students, parents and the school.

Whether you choose to focus your objectives on your specific subject or wider personal development skills, defining the key aims and goals of your trip will benefit all those involved. Once set, be sure to communicate your objectives to everyone—colleagues, students and parents —to make expectations and outcomes clear from the outset. You can then use this as a basis on which to measure and share how successful the trip was.

How can your travel partner support you?

Here at Voyager School Travel, we ask about your trip's objectives at the planning stage so that we can create an educational adventure that is truly aligned with your aims. 

How we help:

  • Your itinerary and activities have clearly identifiable educational benefits
  • Instructors and staff use teaching styles appropriate to your learners
  • The activities, equipment and materials are suitable for the age and ability of your students
  • Instructors support your evaluation, for example help to assess progress in language or confidence
  • Post trip feedback process to reflect on how the trip met your learning objectives to improve your next trip

Get in touch today to start planning your trip →

Extra resources you might find useful

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