A school trip is one of the events of the academic year that young students really look forward to. These are the times when teachers can combine the natural curiosity of youngsters with a real opportunity to expand their educational horizons. These excursions, however, must be as free from danger as possible – especially since teachers and school administrators will be held responsible for anything that happens to the children. These tips ought to help make that task easier.
Conduct a school trip assessment
Scrutinizing the route and stopover points for risks and potential hazards is the first and most important precaution that must be taken. This is a research-intensive phase as teachers and/or administrators must spend a lot of time studying the intended destination, the weather patterns of the area, the condition of the roads, crime rates and other factors that could lead to harm. It is at this stage is is extremely useful to secure the services of a specialised travel company well versed in these aspects.
Plan out logistics
Once a destination has been selected, the next step in assessing the viability of an educational trip should be to list the needs of both teacher and student and drafting letters of permission for parents to review. These letters of permission must contain forms that inform teachers and trip planners of any medical and personal conditions that could pose a concern. Prescribed medication, allergies and disorders (ADHD, social anxiety disorder, claustrophobia, etc.) are some examples.
Pick a proven school trip service
Choose an established and reputable company for providing tried and proven itineraries and safe transportation for students. These companies not only utilize dedicated service vehicles but they also bring along trained personnel to help manage the journey. They can also book safer accommodations and are better prepared against potential hazards. It is important, however, to pick one with a track record of completing educational tours without incident. Asking for referrals from other teachers or school administrators for their opinions will help as well.
Set a group or buddy system
Children will be much safer when they move in groups of two to four at a time, so it is well worth the effort to group them up prior leaving. This grouping encourages students to watch out for each other and makes it easier for students to alert their teachers should something go wrong with their buddy or group mates.
Brief students on emergency procedures
Students must be told what to do and how to react in an emergency, as this will let them move faster and avoid panicking if something does go wrong. A few of the more important emergency situations to take into consideration include injuries, getting lost, being approached by strangers and figuring into an auto accident. This is a good opportunity to brief teachers as well.
While it is true that no school trip will ever be completely free from risk, it is certainly up to teachers and school administrators to minimize those risks and to better deal with emergency situations as they occur.