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Education

Outdoor educational trips

(30 Posts)
Ellianne Mon 05-Oct-20 18:50:04

I heard on the news today that a letter has been sent to the PM asking for the lockdown ban on residential school trips to be lifted.
I was strongly in favour of schools returning for all sorts of reasons, but I cannot see many parents or teachers wanting to take a party of children away for a very very long time.
Dare I say, some of these visits are just an excuse for a jolly anyway.

tanith Mon 05-Oct-20 19:20:30

My GD had lots of theatre trips last year for her Drama course but sadly that’s all stopped too not sure how exams can be taken when the curriculum isn’t being fulfilled. I don’t agree that trips are an excuse for a jolly, it’s a shame children are missing out on all the wonderful experiences but it’s just not safe which is such a shame.

Ellianne Mon 05-Oct-20 19:51:43

Yes tanith, day trips to theatres, museums etc have a place in the curriculum, especially for older pupils. In my opinion the five night residential visits for younger children with the likes of PGL are not really essential. And safety has to come first.

25Avalon Mon 05-Oct-20 19:53:53

A jolly for whom? The kids? Certainly not the teachers!

MamaCaz Mon 05-Oct-20 19:55:04

I've worked in an outdoor education centre, and having seen how frazzled the teachers (primary) are after two nights with little sleep, plus days often spent wading through mud in the rain. Certainly not my idea of a jolly.

As for the children, some have never seen countryside before, don't recognise a sheep when they see one, and in some cases have never even walked on anything other than flat, paved/surfaced ground before. It is hugely educational for them.

Whether it would be a good idea right now is a different matter.

Part of me thinks that if a group is already a bubble in school, they are at little if any extra risk on many residential trips.
The other part of me thinks that it might increase risks to staff of both the school and the outdoor centre. Transport alone could be problematic.

I'm glad I don't have to make that call.

mcem Mon 05-Oct-20 20:54:12

On a PGL trip our city kids were taken on a walk through a glorious ancient Scottish forest. One had a minor stumble over a tree root and cursed loudly about 'folk leaving lumps of wood lying around'!

There's a great deal of value in these trips and I enjoyed several - though not a 'jolly' for staff.
I regretfully accept that my P7 grandson will miss out on it this year - I would have been happy to pay for it, as I did for his 2 older sisters.

Galaxy Mon 05-Oct-20 21:02:34

Both of mine gained such value from residential trips such as PGL, and for some children those trips are life changing. It's not a great idea at the moment though.

MrsRochester Mon 05-Oct-20 21:06:23

Jolly? Don’t think so.
Teachers go well above and beyond on these trips. Love the outdoors but throw in 20 kids and I’m certainly not cut out for it!
Add Covid and it’s attendant risk and I think it’s just expecting too much of them.

Marydoll Mon 05-Oct-20 21:08:26

Having been in charge of taking 11 he olds on many residential trips, I can assure you, it's certainly not a jolly.☹️ You are on duty 24 hours a day!

I certainly wouldn't consider it at the moment.

EllanVannin Mon 05-Oct-20 21:29:55

Not my idea of a " jolly " at all. Teachers are, and have to be dedicated to their jobs to take a class of children out on trips.

M0nica Mon 05-Oct-20 21:39:50

The majority of school outings are not 'jollys', nor do they last a 'very long time'

DGS is in Year 6, the last year at junior school. At the beginning of the school year he should have spent a school week at an activity centre. This outing is enormously good for all the children. Many children have never slept away from home on their own before and many of the children come from poor homes so have never been on holiday before. It was of immense benefit to DGD, who gained in assurance and confidence and DGS had been really looking forward to it.

MawB2 Mon 05-Oct-20 21:51:47

Jolly?
I should cocoa!
Apart from the sheer exhaustion, the responsibility , because there is always one kid regardless of age with a death wish, the 12 page risk assessment, the lack of sleep as you will be up all night, the setting of work for the classes you will miss and then marking the stuff when you get back, returning your classroom to less than a bomb site, putting your dog into kennels at your own expense, making arrangements for the children (thanks Mum/MIL) filling the freezer, catching up on the laundry and ironing....
Need I go on?
One memorable year in the week before a residential in Germany, due to leave on the Saturday, my week was as follows
Monday - DH into into hospital 50 miles away in London with a mystery infection/suspected sepsis
Tuesday - DD2 knocked off her bike at that big roundabout at the Elephant&Castle
Wednesday- dog diagnosed with an eye problem which risked making her go blind
Thursday- DD1 (6 months pregnant) in hospital at Selly Oak with a suspected DVT ? And I was due to fly to Hamburg and there was nobody who could go in my place
Jolly?
No (repeatable) comment.
Oh that was the year I decided to retire.

Gingster Mon 05-Oct-20 21:54:12

My 10 yr old DG was lucky to be able to go on her school trip this year in March. It was just before lockdown and she had an amazing time. A week away, experiencing and learning new things with her school friends.

What a shame other children will be unable to have this wonderful time away from home. I really don’t think it would be feasible at this time.

Not a ‘jolly’ for the teachers , giving up their time . It must be exhausting.

GagaJo Mon 05-Oct-20 22:10:55

Off on a week long school trip on Sat. Dreading it. I'm too old for all that malarkey.

MawB2 Mon 05-Oct-20 22:14:36

GagaJo

Off on a week long school trip on Sat. Dreading it. I'm too old for all that malarkey.

I did my last one aged 61.
You’ve got years in you yet! gringrin

Grammaretto Mon 05-Oct-20 22:14:42

Maw the stuff of nightmares................. shock
Our own DC went on residential trips with school and I still have their camp diaries. Wonderful! 2 weeks in the Highlands in P7 with parent visit allowed in the middle. Possibly a phone call and letters home!.

DGC had trips until this year. Not sure what's happening now.
I never envied the teachers on these occasions.
A friend who taught French says the one time he reverted to English was when counting his class back onto the coach in Paris.

GagaJo Mon 05-Oct-20 22:16:37

Rock climbing and mountain biking Maw. I think bl**dy not. I'll be in my room with a book.

MawB2 Mon 05-Oct-20 22:21:58

A friend who taught French says the one time he reverted to English was when counting his class back onto the coach in Paris
I was struck (if that is the word) at the casual attitude of French or German staff on the return leg of exchange visits.
The French would get on the coach with a casual “Tout le monde est là?” (Everybody there?)
Whereas we, to copy a phrase, counted them all out and counted them all in again - about every half hour.

Marydoll Mon 05-Oct-20 22:39:22

I've done it all, rock climbing, gorge walking, etc. The one I refused to do was climbing the 60ft trees! 😱

I was once thrown in a rock pool by an instructor and some pupils. Some walkers passed and commented: That child is having a great time! My colleague replied: That's not a child, that's their teacher!
I loved those trips, but it meant little sleep and bone numbing exhaustion.

WOODMOUSE49 Mon 05-Oct-20 22:44:06

M0nica

The majority of school outings are not 'jollys', nor do they last a 'very long time'

DGS is in Year 6, the last year at junior school. At the beginning of the school year he should have spent a school week at an activity centre. This outing is enormously good for all the children. Many children have never slept away from home on their own before and many of the children come from poor homes so have never been on holiday before. It was of immense benefit to DGD, who gained in assurance and confidence and DGS had been really looking forward to it.

I used to plan "Kingswood' 2 nights' stay for the Year 6 children. These took place just before half term so the staff could catch up with some sleep on returning home. We had one hour off before lights out as the centres' staff would do an activity for all the children together e.g. disco / circus tricks /film. Then we'd be lucky to get a couple of hours sleep. 2nd night was always better as a full days activities after little sleep, the children were exhausted.

So agree with you M0nica Children really benefit from these type of residential stays both emotionally and socially as they give them the chance to mix with other children from around the UK. We never planned more than 2 nights as many of our children came from socially deprived homes and couldn't afford any more. We managed to get subsidies for a few families.

sparklingsilver28 Mon 05-Oct-20 22:58:11

I looked at this and must admit as a child would have hated it all. Cold, wet walking through woods certainly not my idea of fun. Went camping once and never again. The same goes for family seaside holidays - boring as hell. Set me down in a library surrounded by books more my thing.

Marydoll Mon 05-Oct-20 23:09:02

It was surprising how some quiet and shy children blossomed on these trips.
I always remember one very effeminate boy, who was always being mocked for his Irish dancing hobby, climb the 60ft tree before anyone else.
He gained so much Kudos that day. It was a joy to witness his sense of achievement.

Sparklingsilver, as a child I was like you and turned down a funded trip, as I thought I would have hated it.
I realised was so wrong, when I went as a teacher.

Gingster Tue 06-Oct-20 07:51:49

These trips are very expensive though. I think my GDs was £300 plus for a 5 day trip. My DD has 4 children including twins. There was no way they could afford it. No help from the school. You either paid up and went or stayed behind at school and were put in a class below.

Marydoll Tue 06-Oct-20 07:55:08

We always helped out children who couldn't go for financial reasons.
I worked in an area of high deprivation, so there were quite a few children.

Grandmabatty Tue 06-Oct-20 12:05:51

This has brought back memories of a school trip we took to Russia. I was the Russian speaker. I don't know how many times I counted those teenagers on, in and off buses! We didnt get to bed til after midnight then had to be up early,again checking rooms. Having said that, it was a fantastic trip. I will always remember standing in Red Square with St Basil's Basilica in front of me, Lenin's tomb behind, the gates of the Kremlin occasionally opening to let out some dignitary and the snow gently falling. We went in late January. We started in Leningrad (as it was then) and travelled by train to Moscow. It was a fabulous trip and the school helped pay for children who would have struggled. It all happened just before Glasnost too so it felt like we were living through history. I could go on for ages.