loopyloulaura

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What REALLY happens on a school trip…

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Last week I accompanied Anya and her year group on a school trip to Windsor Castle. It was great fun and I loved spending extra time with her and making memories together.
I was a little disappointed as I has been on the equivalent trip with Matthew 3 years ago and we’d gone to Hampton Court. We have been to Windsor twce in the last 3 months so I didn’t find it quite as exciting, plus I had signed up before knowing the date which was the same as the Toy Fair in London. Mum blogger dilemma: what did I put first? Being a mum or being a blogger? No contest obviously…
Anyway, I digress.
I’m not sure if you know the level of planning that has to go into a school trip. Risk assessments, safeguarding factors, access arrangements as well as the general content of the day and organisational minutiae. Careful consideration is given to groups to make sure that any potentially disruptive behaviour is minimised. I wore a stylish high-vis vest and had my trusty backpack containing notes, itinerary and the all important lunch.

The excitement of the kids was making the room vibrate when we arrived at the classroom. The coach could have driven on the energy they were creating!
Every 2 minutes on the coach I was asked how long until we arrived. Imagine the game of ‘are we nearly there yet?’ played by 60 kids…? Luckily my knowledge of the route helped me to provide accurate information and point out when to look and in which direction, yay me!

We arrived at the learning centre and there began the great toilet trip of 2019. Whilst waiting, the first cries of hunger emerged and horror reigned as the kids were informed that lunch was another 2 hours away…
And that is how the next 2 hours passed! I think EVERY child asked when lunch was due rather than enjoying the spectacle of the castle. One boy was even concerned that someone would deliberately break into the learning centre to take his lunch bag and wanted me to go and check it was safe!
Finally the great moment came and lunch was enjoyed by all, phew! I was quite happy with my first vegan packed lunch of a cheese and Quorn ham sandwich:

 

We finished up the trip with a workshop and tour of St George’s Chapel. Again my historical knowledge and past visits meant I could point out important details such as the tomb of King Henry VIII.

The homeward journey was full of excitement as it snowed! Plus I had to deal with a nosebleed of the boy 4 seats in front…
This trip was pretty standard. It followed the same pattern that I remember from my own experience of working in schools: one trip to the British Museum, we spent longer having lunch than looking at the exhibits and even longer on the coach!
Kids are obsessed with lunch, the present, the physical. They often learn without knowing that it is happening, absorbing like sponges whilst seemingly unaware.

So why are school trips important? They offer an experience that some children may never get the opportunity to enjoy. Yes, Anya and our family have been to Windsor twice recently. We have had lots of days out, exploring the different amazing things our country has to offer.
Some parents do not or cannot offer the same to their children. Some children may have life experiences limited to their home and school. This isn’t a judgment on parents. It is a fact. Food, heating, rent is more valuable to the immediate comfort of a family.
Schools in turn are hugely limited by rising costs that mean school trips are not as prevalent as they seemed to be when I was at school. Trips are usually subsidised by the school’s already stretched budget.
The staff at my daughter’s school are fantastic and they made the day memorable for all. The children may not be able to tell their parents much about the day (kids are notoriously bad at reporting back on a day’s events, as I know from my own kids!) and the focus may be all on lunch.
The excitement, the chatter, the views, the history, the geography, the art. These are all priceless and beyond description, especially that available to 5 and 6 year olds.
I wonder where the school will pick for 3 year’s time when it is Zach’s turn…

All photos with the exception of me and my lunch are from our previous visits.

 

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25 comments

  1. This made me smile, I remember mine coming back from school trips and who got told off, or what they swapped in their packed lunches was all they could remember. Hopefully they secretly are learning too. #globalblogging

  2. Haha! I was wondering what this post would focus on. As a teacher, I find it quite stressful taking parents if I’m honest, it’s as if I’m ‘on show’ so to have a blog post written about it would be my worst nightmare! However, your post was so accurate and made me chuckle. Lunch. That is the trip really for this age group. Oh and the bus ride. I think the rest can go over their heads but as long as they enjoy the day out, that’s all I worry about! Oh! And I’m always counting heads! It’s very stressful when you take 30 kids out! Nice post. #globalblogging

  3. I have been on a couple of school trips with girls and they are lovely way of making memories. Never been to Windsor castle must go one day. Thanks for hosting #globalblogging

  4. Laura, we had nothing like Windsor Castle to visit on our school trips. We went to a dairy farm, a carpet factory, things like that. It wasn’t until many years later that I got to visit Windsor Castle, and I loved every minute of it (didn’t even think about lunch!). The Queen’s Doll’s House was one highlight.#globalblogging

  5. I agree, it’s so important that schools do such day’s out, even though such a trip is probably quite daunting to organise. But there will be always a few who would otherwise never get such an opportunity. #globalblogging

  6. Brought back fond memories of the one and only time I went on a school trip with one of my children. Depression and lack of confidence stopped me doing so as much as I should have. Lovely to make special memories together and with the other families and school too. I love how you are real in this post about the challenges facing so many families in the UK right now #GlobalBlogging

  7. I agree with you – school trips are so fun, educational and exciting. I remember loving even trips to the museum or places I’d visited with my family. It’s just a whole other experience getting on that coach, taking a packed lunch and spending the day out of the classroom with your friends x #GlobalBlogging

  8. Pingback: Diary of a vegan day 21-25 | loopyloulaura

  9. As a teacher, I detest school trips, but they can’t be done without the volunteers and it’s always good to have other adults around to pass some of the responsibility onto. By the time we reach the trip destination I’m usually too worn out to engage with the kids lol #globalblogging

  10. I always loved going on school trips with my boys. This is the last year that my youngest will be going on a school trip. As he gets into middle school and high school there may be one or two trips left for the next six years. So I’m taking advantage and going on every trip he has. I love the memories we make and the experiences he has! #GlobalBlogging

  11. The school my kids attend sometimes request parents to assist of school field trips. I’ve been on a couple of field trips – I love supporting by volunteering my time but I ended up so exhausted afterwards #globalblogging

  12. It sounds like a great experience, if exhausting for the adults! I think it’s pretty unusual here in Mexico for such young children to be taken out on a school trip, because of all the security risks. In the kindergarten where I work parents have to take their own kids and be responsible for them the whole time, the teachers supervise the trip but don’t have ultimate responsibility for the kids. So it’s a bit less stressful! #globalblogging

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