This week I have been out of school, supporting Mr. Sayer with a Geography field trip to Flatford Mill, one of many residential trips the school offers each year. I thought that I’d write about the overall offering of trips at SW and why we think such experiences are important.
It seems to me that one of the main reasons for offering trips is that they contribute to a much wider picture of school life. Indeed, for many of us, school trips are one of our fondest school memories. Perhaps not the actual content of the trip, the educational bit, but more the other parts- the coach journeys, shared dorms, sightseeing and being with teachers and peers but in a completely different setting. That is quite exciting and often the stuff of fond memories.
There’s more to it than that though. Firstly, they increase confidence. We introduce bi-annual residential trips at Sancton Wood as early as Year 3, with the time pupils spend away from home being two nights, three days. For some of our pupils, these overnight trips are their first real taste of independence. Experiencing this independence in a safe and positive environment will boost self-confidence and are essential for personal and social development, allowing new friendships to bloom and new challenges to be faced.
Furthermore, school trips are a lovely way to safely take children out of their comfort zone. In Y4 children get to experience the Anglo-Saxon Village in West Stow, an experience that transports them to another period in history and encourages them to develop an appetite for trying new things. Trips such as this enable our pupils to enjoy experiences that cannot be replicated in the classroom environment.
In this way, trips contribute to a wider world perspective. With each one, children venture into undiscovered territory and as their life experience grows, so does their perspective on the world we live in. This experience broadens in seniors where pupils get the first opportunity to travel overseas and these trips transport education to new and exciting locations. No more so than the KS4 Performing Arts trip to NYC, next scheduled for Feb 23 which offers children the opportunity to experience a Broadway show, a workshop at the MOMA alongside sightseeing opportunities at the Empire State Building and walking tours of Central Park.
Sports trips allow students the opportunity to build team skills and compete against other schools from different parts of the country. This year the Senior girls took a team to Wiltshire for a netball tour and next academic year, there will be a senior boys rugby tour to Wales. The PE team will also offer a skiing trip in Feb 24.
Some lessons in life cannot be taught in class. The planned robotic and computing trip to Japan would be a splendid example of that. An opportunity for students to experience a very different culture whilst focusing on high-tech, exciting computing, and robotics challenges.
Read the previous “A word from the Principal” here