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Pre-Prep staff love taking the children’s learning outside the classroom to support what they are learning inside the classroom. I consider our children very fortunate to have teachers who ensure this happens every half term. Organising a trip takes a significant amount of time and energy: pre-visiting the location to ensure its suitability, booking a date that suits the diary, completing a very comprehensive risk assessment to ensure the safety of the children, ordering packed lunches and packing the required kit for the day are just some of the ‘jobs’ that need attending to. Add to this the enormous sense of responsibility that sits on staff shoulders when taking children out of school can make one wonder why we do it at all! However, the opportunity to experience first-hand learning is too good to miss. It enhances the children’s learning in a way we cannot possibly replicate in the classroom, even with the advances in digital technology and the world of virtual tours; being able to ‘live’ experiences such as boarding a pirate ship, feeding giraffes at a safari park, gazing at the night sky in a planetarium, scrubbing the floors of a Victorian kitchen, walking along the Quantock hills to find out what is there and taking a steam train to the beach to go rock pooling (among many other trips) are priceless and certainly worth the time and energy expended to make them possible.

The other reason we do them is because our children are always such a pleasure to take out and often receive comments from members of the general public about their good behaviour and polite manners. I always tell the children my measure of how successful their trip has been is the size of the smiles on their teachers faces when they return to school (I am happy to report the smiles are usually fairly beaming; likely a mixture of having enjoyed the day combined with a sense of relief that all has gone to plan and the shoulders can now let the responsibility slide away!) It was therefore, rather lovely to receive the following email from a member of the public following Year 2’s recent trip to Longleat:

"I would just like to say how beautifully behaved, the school group of children visiting Longleat were today. We had the pleasure of being surrounded by them, on the boat. They, oh, and their teachers were lovely company, and an absolute pleasure to be amongst."

What more can I say?

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