Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Excursion - What You Do On The Day

200604 school excursion
200604 school excursion (Photo credit: iambents)
by Richard D Boyce

Educational excursions are part of the modern curriculum of many schools around the world.

Educators believe they offer experiences to our students that are closer to real life than we can simulate in the class room.

They do, however, require careful planning to be effective and involve a great deal more supervision than is normally the case in the school yard.

Poor planning can create a very stressful day for the teachers and will reduce the possibility of good educational outcomes.

This is the second in a series of articles on the organisation of an excursion and concentrates on what the teacher must do on the day of the excursion. What follows is a step by step procedure for when you have that first excursion.

1. Arrive at the gathering place at your school early. Mark the roll at the appointed time.

2. Check uniforms (dress), shoes, and hats. Remind the class to apply sunscreen and have a full water bottle.

3. Organise the students on the bus. Check all students are on the bus by physically counting every student on the bus seat by seat.

4. Send a copy of the roll to the office for their records.

5. Organise any equipment you need on to the bus after you have done a stock take. Make sure you have a check list of the equipment you take. You should do this before the students assemble.

6. Before each stop on your excursion, explain carefully what is to happen at that stop.

7. Count the students onto the bus after each stop to check everyone is there.

8. Have a recall signal/time and a meeting place for each stop.

9. Create a buddy system to enhance student security.

10. Any student who breaks the rules stays with a teacher at all times from that time onwards, i.e. the student must always be within both sight and hearing range of that teacher.

11. Explain safety precautions and security precautions before each stop if necessary and emphasize strict observance of those rules/precautions.

12. When you are on a walking tour, all students should be behind the lead teacher and in front of the last teacher, the 'Tail-end Charlie'.

13. Have a lost procedure for students. Make it simple. Part of it should be that the buddy must know where their mate is at all times. If not, then he/she should inform a teacher at once.

14. Seat allocation on the bus should be planned so that buddies are together and discipline problems are separated.

Excursions Using Trains

15. The students would assemble at a nominated place as above. The roll would be marked and checks on uniforms, hats, sunscreen and water bottles would be made.

16. The teacher would discuss with the students the process of getting to the station, including the route and safety issues.

17. For students travelling by train, the following conditions apply:
(a). arrive 15 minutes before departure time
(b). accurate head count of students and teachers
(c). block of tickets purchased
(d). payment by cheque or exact money
(e). Teachers must have a ticket
(f). After the excursion, teachers must accompany students from railway station to school

These steps will allow you to be prepared for any problems that might occur. They will also insure that you have a successful excursion where your students will enjoy the experience and learn much.

This article is part of the advice in an eBook, "Camps, Tours and Excursions". It can be found on the website

Our author and his editors have organised many excursions, tours and camps during their careers. The book is practical advice that can only be gained from actually doing the job 'at the coalface' of school camps, tour and excursions. These activities have been carried out in a variety of subject areas and year levels.

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