Schools are targeted with educating the next generations and in the modern world, that involves a lot more than just classroom instruction. Field trips are an essential part of any curriculum and with the focus on project based learning, groups of students can plan every stage of their project, which culminates in a field trip. If you are a teacher and about to organise next year’s learning content, here are some ideas to give you some inspiration.
- The Right Venue – It might be a museum, or historical site of some kind, and each student group would design their project around the venue. All the core subjects can be integrated into the project, and with each group focusing on something specific, the learning experience will be of great value. Of course, each group would present their project to the entire class, which is a learning process in itself.
- Arrange the Transport – Assuming you are planning for an event that will take place in a few months’ time, you will need to source a reliable coach hire operator and book a suitable vehicle. If, for example, you were looking for a coach hire company in the UK, there are established companies online, which means everything can be arranged through their website. Ideally, you would deal with a company that has school contracts, and reliability is an absolute must. You cannot prep and prime 50 children and then have them waiting in the playground for hours, while you try to locate the coach company to find out why they have not arrived.
- Project Planning – The groups should be no more than 5, and the teacher should spend time with each group, guiding as they try to decide on the content of their project. Each group must elect a team leader, whose job it is to oversee the discussion and formulate a tangible plan. The venue might be an ancient castle, and one group might choose a period of time in history and then discover what part the castle played in that historical era. Another group might focus on the architecture and their project will focus on defensive capabilities and structural issues, while others might want to look closely at the clothing people wore in those days. There are endless possibilities, and whatever the venue, each group must have a firm project design at a very early stage.
- Administration – As the teacher, you would be responsible for the excursion, which means you will need to check all the student groups and print out any worksheets you have designed. Giving the students predesigned tasks is a great way to stimulate learning, although if they have good project topics, you don’t want to draw their focus away from that. You would also be expected to liaise with the coach hire company and request invoices to be sent to the school.
- Safety – For some teachers, the very thought of accompanying scores of students out into the world makes them anxious. You, and hopefully a few others, are saddled with the responsibility of the students’ welfare and safety, and this must always be at the forefront of your mind.
School excursions are an excellent way for the students to experience active learning, and although it might be a little stressful for the teachers, the high level of learning that occurs will make it worthwhile.