Target the small and local if you want to find fulfilling places to visit with your pupils, says Hannah Frankel
You don't have to scour the country for rich and fulfilling educational visits. Small local trips have the edge on their better-known counterparts, offering hands-on experiences and better value for money.
"Distance is a major consideration for us because of the rising cost of diesel," says Anne Newton, an administration assistant from Toll Bar Primary School in Doncaster, who helps organise school trips. "If the coach journey is too long, we find the pupils are tired and lethargic when they arrive. We make sure the trips we go on aren't more than an hour away."
Just travelling within the vicinity, Toll Bar manages to squeeze in three residential trips a year, plus more than 20 day trips - excluding extra- curricular sports or literature visits.
Staff create a trips wish list that Anne and the visits co-ordinator weigh up in terms of cost, relevance and distance. Governors then make the final decision based largely on risk assessment.
"It has to be hands-on and visual," says Anne. "A lot of our pupils are from deprived backgrounds and they won't be having these experiences with their families, so it's important they are well-maintained and interesting.
"We invite parents along too and are starting to get quite a few Romany mothers as well, together with a member from the school's Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service."
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