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Trips have their educational value

Column by Jaz Abeysekera, marketing manager at Grantham College

The last couple of weeks of term for a lot of schools have been used as a time to take children on educational trips around the country.

Some have visited local animal shelters to read to kittens and rabbits, others have been to places like Alton Towers.

You might be wondering how this is relevant to a young person’s education and assume that it’s just a ploy to get the teachers out of lessons for a day.

Jaz Abeysekera (6000134)
Jaz Abeysekera (6000134)

Educational visits have been on the rise in recent years and the variety of places and even different countries that students these days are visiting is vast. During these trips, students are learning a whole host of things; from social skills to money management and cultural differences to development of knowledge.

I was speaking to a teacher from a local school recently whose students had just returned from a trip to Iceland. My first reaction was “wow, I’d have loved that opportunity when I was at school!” The things those students will have learnt on the trip aside, they will have seen some fantastic places, enjoyed a different culture and for some, it may well have been the first trip they had been on without their parents being nearby; that in itself would have been a learning curve.

Of course, trips such as these can be nerve wrecking for some, leaving their home comforts for somewhere they are unfamiliar with however I’m sure nine times out of ten, they return wanting to do it all over again.

Students come home with stories about what happened on the trip to last for days not realising how much they have actually learnt in the meantime, which in my opinion is one of the best – and undoubtedly fun - ways to learn.

The most beneficial trip that some students at Grantham College have enjoyed over the past few years is an overseas trip as part of the Erasmus+ programme. An all-expenses paid trip to a European country where they also take part in a two-week work experience.

Students have come away with a wealth of knowledge about a new country, having made foreign friends and picking up basics of a new language along with learning about how businesses and companies work differently abroad and perhaps most importantly, keeping their time management skills in check to get to work on time every day.

Unfortunately, with Brexit negotiations, the programme may well not continue but I hope there will be something similar available to students if this is the case. The feedback received when students return from these trips is invaluable.

Not only are field trips enlightening, they are a great way of rewarding students for all the hard work they have put in throughout the academic year and hopefully a way of encouraging them to continue to do so.

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