3 Tips For Keeping Pupils Safe on School Trips
Every teacher knows no amount of planning can eliminate all risk from school trips. However, it is certainly possible to foresee some of those risks and keep the chances of problems arising to a minimum.
This is essentially the purpose of conducting a risk assessment: to identify potential hazards and difficulties that may arise when on an outing to a particular site. It’s largely concerned with asking questions to find out if there are any substantial threats to the group, who they potentially affect, and what steps to take in the event of an emergency.
As you can see, risk assessments cover most the practicalities and help ensure you’ve done all the preparation you can. But as mentioned, there will always be a small chance of risk that goes unaddressed. And for that reason, you need to do a bit more than filling in a few forms to make for a safe and enjoyable school trip.
Aside from the formalities, then, here are three general rules you should keep in mind when venturing off on a trip away from school grounds.
1. Know your pupils inside out
Few people know their students better than their teachers. Away from the guidance and scrutiny of their parents, students can behave completely different and teachers are there to see and deal with it all. Although it doesn’t seem it, this can be a big advantage when on a school trip as you’ll instinctively know what types of visits or activities are best suited for your pupils.
For example, the physical demands of certain activities may be unfit for some, while the mental demands may be taxing for others. Add that to impairments such as poor eyesight, individual temperaments, and general suitability, and knowing your students inside out is one of the best ways to make for a smooth outing.
2. Plan for the unplanned
Planning for the unplanned seems pretty impossible, but it’s not as difficult as it first may seem. More than anything it’s about being aware that things don’t always go as expected and that there are many variables that are subject to change.
That means having a Plan B and a Plan C, as well as ideas of what to do in a range of possible scenarios. These will all depend on the age and type of students you have as well as the destination, transport, and duration of the trip.
3. Be a weather person
You only have to have lived in the UK for a few days to know the seasons and weather forecasts have nothing to do with what the weather actually does.
So no matter what month it is or what the news says, it pays to always be prepared for every weather condition. That means things like umbrellas, raincoats, dehydration salts, thermal covers, sunscreen, and lock de-icer should appear on your packing list at most times of the year. Not to mention a solid plan of action should you have to jump ship and return back earlier than expected.
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