Taking students outside the classroom is hard work! There’s no doubt about it. The planning and organisation, the paperwork and risk management, the cajoling of senior managers, time away from the classroom, loss of free time. Have you ever wondered why you bother, especially when people come up to you asking if you’ve “had a nice holiday” when you get back?
When you take students out into the field the immediate impact can be obvious – animated faces, excited chatter, constant questions and dare I say enthusiasm – but does this have any lasting impact or does it end as soon as the bus pulls up outside school.
As part of a presentation I’ll be doing at the GA Conference in April I’ve been looking at what impact learning outside the classroom has on young people. It’s been really inspiring to talk to students, past and present, about what they think is the value of learning outside the classroom and the benefits it brings.
Last week I was lucky enough to catch up with two students I taught 10 years ago (yes I feel old). Mike is 26 and works in design and Carol, 27, is now a geography teacher. I wanted to talk to them about the fieldtrip they took to Iceland in the Sixth Form to find out what they remembered and whether they felt this was a valuable and important part of their education. It was fascinating to hear their memories of the trip, many of which are still so vivid and rather emotional at times as they recounted their lasting impressions and how being a part of that adventure has helped to shape their lives.
Join me at the University of Manchester on Saturday 11th April at 09.00 to find out more. I hope to see you there.