School tours are great fun but can be very daunting for new and even more experienced teachers. These tips will help make the trip less stressful.
- Find a place- usually tours are linked to the curriculum. There’s lots of options throughout the country from farms to galleries and museums to adventure parks. (Check price and availability)
- Find a date that suits (have 3/4 options in mind) – call and book – approve with principal. Decide on the mode of transport to get to the place. (Book this too).
- Visit the place if possible – get an idea of what the children will see/do and any problem areas.
- Confirm with the place and the bus company 2 weeks before the date of the trip.
- If the trip is expensive – send a letter home with plenty of notice so parents can pay the cost in installments.
1 week before
- Send a letter to parents with details about the trip, cost, and what the children need to bring with them. (Packed lunch, spending money, rain gear, change of clothes etc.)
- Confirm dates with principal and see which other staff can accompany you. Also check if 1/2 parents can come too.
- Send home permission slips.
2/3 days before
- Talk to the children about the trip – what they will see/do, who will be coming with them, what they need to bring, the rules for going on a school trip. Also go through what they need to bring with them.
- Photocopy a worksheet for the children to do when on the trip (This is great for museum/gallery trips as it gives a good focus)
- Make sure you have all the permission slips.
- Get a list of contact information for parents in case you are late back or there is an accident on the trip and you can’t contact the school/there is no one in school (if you arrive back later than school finishes)
Things to bring (Teacher)
- Mobile phone (to be able to contact school/parents if necessary)
- Toilet paper
- Bin bag
- Baby wipes
- Sick bags (for long bus journey)
- Packed lunch (and a little extra – in case someone forgets their lunch)
On the day
- Do a headcount at the start of the day. (Check regularly throughout the day)
- Go through the rules once more.
- Make sure everyone has been to the toilet.
- On the bus; check seatbelts, make sure no child is sitting beside an emergency exit etc.
- If the children are being split into 2 groups – be careful of the groupings (keep children who don’t work well together apart).
- When changing location do a headcount.
- When walking on the road/footpath – one adult needs to be at the front and one at the back (if there’s more than 2 then another adult should be in the middle)
- Children must stay with their partner at all times
- If children need to use the bathroom- they go in pairs with their partner and an adult.
- Take lots of photos of what you do/see and of the children (great to have for a display and to look back on at the end of the year.)
- Relax and enjoy the day!