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4 Ways to Plan a Fantastic School Trip

15 Aug 2019
School trips can (and should!) be fun, educational and enjoyable activities for both teachers and pupils alike. The aspect of school trips which can be most daunting and leads to less and less teachers taking the plunge is most certainly the planning. From choosing which pupils to take, to sorting out sleeping arrangements around friendship groups, to deciding how to fit everything in to the dreaded risk assessments, the planning can be more stressful than the trip itself! 

In my last academic year before joining Twinkl, I planned and led a school trip to Paris with 36 pupils. It was one of the most intimidating, exhausting things I did as a teacher… and without a doubt a highlight of my career. 

Here are some tips worth bearing in mind to ensure things go smoothly and enable you and your colleagues to really offer the pupils the experience you originally intended.

1) Why should we go?
When you first decide to plan a trip, map out all of the benefits of the trip before you begin to plan the ins and outs. Consider the impact it will have on the pupils’ learning - you may need to provide evidence of this to your line manager(s) before the trip can take place and it will help you keep the outcomes in mind when planning.

TIP: Consider any lessons pupils may miss as well as the positive impact on the specific aspect of the curriculum. Is there a way to ensure pupils will catch up? Do you need to prioritise these lessons over the trip?

2) The sooner you start the risk assessment the better!
Start the risk assessments early! They need to be considered at every point during the planning process and to be updated regularly in line with any progress or changes made.

TIP: Check if your school is already a member of any risk assessment package already as this will save you time and ensure you fill in everything as necessary. If not, use existing policies and risk assessment documents in place and ensure your colleagues double check everything with you.

3) Why are you running the trip?
Play to your strengths when planning the trip - what do you feel comfortable leading? Is somebody else in the potential staffing really good with money and can be the treasurer? If you aren’t 100% sure about an aspect of the planning, ASK! Planning a trip is not and should not be a solitary task - the support of admin staff and SLT is vital and shouldn’t be ignored.

4) Don't have a failure to communicate
Don't be a Cool Hand Luke - communication is key. Keep parents, colleagues and pupils informed every step of the way. With the Paris trip, we intended it to be run each year (if successful) and therefore created an editable booklet which could be easily distributed to parents and adapted as necessary. This contained all relevant information such as costings, key location information, contact information and information for pupils on what to bring and trip rules. Regularly meet up with parents and colleagues to ensure everybody is on the same page and answer any questions which arise. 

A lot of aspects of your trip will be specific to you and your school but these things will put you in good stead when it comes to the planning. Follow procedures and everything else will fall into place, meaning you can ensure the main two reasons for planning school trips are kept in mind: enhancing the pupils’ learning and having fun! 

Rose Moss taught French and English in Derbyshire for 4 years. She is also the content writer at OneStep CPD, Product Owner of Leader's Digest, and provides support to Twinkl customers as part of the TwinklCares team.

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