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Some parents have little idea of the work and commitment that goes into providing students with the opportunities and experiences they get from participating in a school’s education visit or trip.

Sometimes parents and carers have either a rose tinted view of educational visits (due to their memories of their own educational visits as a child) or an unrealistic view about the type of experience their child should have, and don’t always appreciate the level of work and commitment that goes into providing students with opportunities and experiences they would not necessarily get otherwise.

Engaging parents in the educational visit from the very start will help to alleviate some of the over or under expectation that some parents and carers may have.

We know that all educational visits, be it a trip to the local library or an adventurous overseas trip, when carefully planned, have educational value, and we know that this will vary from skills based visits to curriculum development focussed visits. What the purpose of the visit is will depend on your own schools educational visits policy, and your school priorities.

Communicating with parents and carers before, during (particularly if the visit includes a residential element) and afterwards (so they can continue to support the learning), through the use of safe social media, children’s work and other activities, will prolong the impact of the visit.

Parents being engaged with educational visits means they have the potential to be even more successful in terms of pupils learning.

I couldn’t leave the topic of parents without including this story about a colleague who took a small group of students on a country walk, accompanied by a long suffering (it becomes clear why shortly) parent volunteer.

All risk assessments had been carried out, the teacher had done the walk previously, and planned activities along the way, with the final activity, as a bit of fun, being rolling down the hill at the end of the walk.

Unfortunately when he, the children, and the parent were rolling down the hill, it became clear that the farmer had utilised the field for his herd of cows, and that their deposits were right in the path of the parent, who then had the trip home on the coach to deal with, whilst not wearing the perfume of her choice.  I think in this case her expectations were not met!

In my next article for Edition 6 of The Juniper Express, I will deliver a festive article in this season of Advent with Christmas now looming.

Norberto Fusi

Norberto Fusi

Norberto is the Educational Visits Adviser for Juniper Education. He has worked in secondary schools for 11 years and managed a residential Education Centre for Essex County Council for 20 years. Over the past 11 years, Norberto has been a member of the Outdoor Education Adviser Panel (OEAP), an assessor for the LOtC Quality Badge, and associate adviser for EVOLVEAdvice.