Children learn in a number of ways and the best lessons do not necessarily come from the classroom. Learning in the field promotes additional skills and school trips provide an excellent opportunity to do this, while they also contribute to a child’s personal and social development. Beyond encouraging curiosity and promoting learning, most trips tend to result in improved performance back in the classroom.
Learning in a New Environment
School trips take children away from the classroom and promote a different type of learning. They can be exciting and refreshing, providing children with a way to learn about the larger world around them. Trips not only increase knowledge, but they also nurture greater understanding, new perspectives and acceptance of new people, places and ways of life.
A day trip is a break from the norm, a time for teachers and students alike to get away from everyday rules. As such, every schoolchild looks forward to a school trip. Looking forward to it means they are more open to learning; a lot of the time they are not even aware that they are learning because it is combined with hands-on activities and fun.
Putting Theory into Practice
School trips give children the chance to see the practical application of the subjects and topics that they are learning about at school. Students will see first-hand how the world is connected, realising that individual topics are not dry, separate subjects but are all intrinsically linked and all very much alive.
Kinaesthetic Learning (Learning by Doing)
Often learning from books can only take understanding so far. Educational visits take this one step further; they allow children to learn by taking part. Many of the subjects studied in the classroom, from history to science, can be enhanced with journeys beyond the text book. From dressing up to experiments, all can contribute to the acquisition of knowledge.
A trip away from the classroom is also a chance to open children’s eyes to new opportunities and inspirations. Not all students share similar backgrounds and some have had little exposure to culture and educational trips than others. A school trip exposes these children to an experience that they would otherwise not have, opening their minds to new ideas.
School trips promote interaction and teamwork. Pupils will get to know fellow classmates as well as teachers in a different capacity, adding a further dimension to relationships. It is also often an opportunity that lets quiet and shy students in the classroom shine, relishing the change of scene.
Not all children are inspired by lessons in the classroom. Especially with more active children, sitting at a desk and staying still can seem more of a chore than anything else and as a result they may not be inspired to learn. However, a trip that allows a more hands-on approach can increase a child’s motivation to understand their subjects. They can even turn their school subjects into life-long interests and passions.
It is important to build a curriculum that includes school trips for educational purposes. It is refreshing to take a step away from the regulations of the classroom and allow a sense of adventure. It is a chance for children to build up the skills that are required beyond the classroom, skills that are needed to tackle the challenges of everyday life. There is no substitute for real world experience and school trips help to provide this. Few experiences could be more beneficial for developing minds.
This post was contributed by a guest blogger currently writing on behalf of Knowsley Safari Park, who specialise in school trips as part of your curriculum.