What are your strongest memories from school? For most of us, it’s not the hours of classroom study and learning from a textbook that we look back on with fond memories – it’s the excitement of school visits. Whether it’s a day out or a residential, educational trips give children the chance to experience life outside the school gates (and leave their uniform at home).
From visiting museums, theatres, religious centres and historical sites to going on cultural residentials, school visits encourage young people to learn and socialise with peers in a completely different way to within the classroom and are often the experiences they remember most.
Why we go on school visits
Bring subjects to life
Everybody learns differently. Some students find it helpful to take a hands-on approach to a topic. Indeed, there are few subjects that cannot be enhanced by experiencing them in real life.
The classroom can seem a formal and even stressful environment for some students, making them feel shy or unsure about asserting themselves. The idea of speaking out in front of the class can make them feel anxious, no matter what you do as a teacher to support them. Taking students out of this environment and letting them socialise in a more informal situation is a great way to develop their interpersonal skills and self-confidence.
Even the quietest students can really come out of their shell on school visits and take this newfound confidence with them back to the classroom. This can help them with everything from making new friends to improving relationships with teachers and expressing themselves in front of the class.
If children visit a place or see an artefact up close that they have been learning about in school, they might feel more enthusiastic and confident talking about it when they return to school. There is some evidence to back this up and suggest that school trips can lead to higher achievement and increased motivation in class.
Encourage good behaviour
Children with challenging behaviour can be difficult to manage in a classroom environment. They might show off because they’re in close proximity to their peers, or perhaps they are not interested in the topic and so cause trouble as a means of distraction or for entertainment. Whatever the reason, school visits can sometimes help to encourage better behaviour.
If children enjoy the visit, they are likely to learn without realising that they’re learning, meaning they don’t feel the need to rebel against teachers. Interacting with their teachers in a less formal environment can even help to develop a mutual respect that continues when they return to the classroom.
Broaden their horizons
School visits often allow young people to enjoy activities and places that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. This can help them to develop personal interests and, in some cases, discover interests they didn’t know they had.
It can also give them the valuable opportunity to practise their learning in a way that isn’t possible in school. Going on school visits helps children gain real-world experience that cannot be taught in a classroom, opening their minds to different cultures and strengthening their knowledge of the world around them.
Visits can also inspire a future career.
Bringing Visitors into School
There are many benefits to bringing visitors into primary schools.
Benefits of inviting visitors into our primary classrooms include:
- Engages children and it is very exciting
- Visitor will be an “expert” in their field
- Visitors will have the opportunity to bring in relevant artefacts which will therefore support the children’s learnin
- Most visitors are cost effective