At UK School Trips we can't endorse The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto that the Government launched last November enough.

When I look back at my own school days I can tell you in great detail about all of my school trips, even down to what I wore. It was a red polka dot, ra-ra skirt and it was the early 80?so please forgive me. I can remember the intense excitement on the build up to the trip, (Stratford seemed very far away from Dudley when I was 10) I can remember in vivid detail the day of the trip, (Would I get to sit next the pimple faced boy I fancied almost as much as I fancied Nick Heyward? Had I got a wagon wheel in my packed lunch and not yet another breakaway?) and I can tell you in minute detail about the hard work I put into a project on Shakespeare and how proud I felt when it was displayed on the school wall. Now ask me about any lesson in the classroom. Erm ? great big blank! Even though I went on to do very nicely in my O levels (my age is really shining through now) I can?t tell you a thing about a single classroom lesson.

Not because I didn?t enjoy them, but because they were routine and as we all know too much routine gets boring. Taken outside of that routine and put into exciting, new circumstances, children, just like adults, really open up and come into their own. This is where their natural talent and ability gets the chance to shine through and you discover some real hidden gems.

It's on the trips out where you actually get to express yourself, to develop your own identity and you learn more about relationships and social skills then you could ever dream of learning in the classroom. And to be quite frank its my social skills and ability to build solid relationships with people, much more so then my ability to remember Pythagoras theory (actually I forgot that the day after I sat O level maths) that have got me where I am today. Which is happily married, with a beautiful baby daughter, great friends and a great career.

It?s when we are Learning Outside of the Classroom that we learn ?real? life and we are put in ?real? life situations. I learnt more about my fellow classmates and myself in a five day trip to Astley Burf School Camp then the whole rest of my school days put together. We still talk about that trip now. We even had a song. It was, ?we all live in the huts at Astley Burf? ? sang to the tune of ?We all live in a Yellow Submarine?. I can still remember it and I?m 37 in April, that would be frightening if it didn?t prove my point so well.

Finally ? Everyday I speak to some fantastic people who put their all into the venues where they work and often live. They are so very proud of what they can offer and are waiting to share it with you. There are some excellent places for teachers, lecturers, nursery managers and parents, where your children will see something new, exciting and different and maybe when they are 36 they will still remember what they wore that day, who they fancied on the coach, they may well make up a song with their classmates that they can still sing 27 years later and they may do a fantastic project that you never thought they had in them. Importantly you may learn something great about them that you never knew before and may otherwise have gone unnoticed,

Please, please, please get the children outside the classroom.

FURTHER RESOURCES
Take a look in Tailor Your Trip for lots of ideas relating to your Children?s Age, Location you wish to travel to, type of visit you want and curriculum topics you want to cover. There is something new and exciting for everyone to discover.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Please sign up now for our free newsletter so that we can send you exciting information full of great ideas to get you out of the classroom or out on family days that are also educational. Do it now before you forget!

LEARNING OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM MANIFESTO
Please click on the link below to download a copy

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/teachingandlearning/resourcematerials/outsideclassroom/

JOIN THE DEBATE
Don?t leave us feeling lonely ? please send us your opinions.
What do you think about the manifesto?
What about your own personal experiences of going on school trips?
What are your experiences of taking children on trips
What types of venues would you like to see more of on www.ukschooltrips.co.uk

Please email me: clare@ukschooltrips.co.uk

By Clare Hunter

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