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If my children don't go on the school residential trip, would we regret it?

(31 Posts)
hattyyellow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:00:57

School residential trip to a major city for 4 days. For the price we could go on a family holiday..DH convinced they would get more out of it going on holiday with us. I'm worried that kids would feel left out, get left out - they're quiet kids anyway and are on the fringes of the group. But their primary school splits the year after into 4 different secondary schools anyway - so even though the teacher is saying she thinks it would affect them in the bonding of the class having been on the trip without them, i can't help thinking that they would probably not see most of their class for that much longer after they came back!

Need to decide today! Any experiences/thoughts much welcomed. We have been to the city and visited half the places, could do most of them again - a few special experiences i.e. tickets to a musical would be a lot more as a family - but we could do all the cultural stuff and stay locally with friends for free..

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 17-Dec-13 12:15:54

I think the financial arguments have to weigh heavily - and it sounds like it would be very expensive if you could have a family holiday for the same money.

Having said that, do you know what the ones who aren't going will be doing? That would be a strong deciding factor for me if you could otherwise afford it. When DD2 went on a school trip to France, the ones who were left behind had fun activities every single day as well - not normal school work. If not going meant your DCs were languishing in class doing work whilst everyone else was off having fun, I think that would have an effect on them.

hattyyellow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:20:39

Thanks so much for your thoughts. The ones who stayed behind last year went into the class below and had normal lessons with them, including a school trip locally where they got some nice treats but at a fraction of the price. Trip is £300 per child..

PointyChristmasFairyWand Tue 17-Dec-13 12:25:35

That's a lot of money, but the school's provision for those who aren't going sounds really poor, it will make them feel left out. I wish schools would get this right.

Based on that I would say let them go if you can possibly afford it. It isn't just seeing the sights, it's also being away from your parents, sleeping in dorm/hotel accommodation with your friends, adventure and independence. We've always been lucky enough that we could comfortably afford school trips, also because mine are 2 years apart so it's rarely been more than one trip per year. They have always had an amazing time and come back with their independence and confidence boosted, and that is valuable.

ProfYaffle Tue 17-Dec-13 12:27:18

My dd went on a residential trip last year (yr 4) and I was a bit hmm about the cost and whether it was really necessary etc. However I'm really very glad she went in the end. She had an amazing time and the teachers were canny in how they divided the girls up and dd made new friendships which have been invaluable this year. I would've felt she'd missed out if she hadn't gone.

fedup21 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:39:05

Ours was nearly £400 last year. DS loved it and had a fantastic time. About 25 out of the 90 didn't go and did fab things locally -day trips etc

What does your DC think?

hattyyellow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:42:10

Thanks so much all, lots to think about. They don't know what to think! They are nervous about going away from home, but i'm sure would benefit. However, it's still a lot of money that would be a stretch for us! I can't help thinking that in my school days, we didn't do residential trips until secondary school - do primary school kids really need to go away from home on trips at that price? Could they not go away for one night? We'd think very carefully before spending £600 on anything to be honest..

happyoverhere Tue 17-Dec-13 12:43:08

Not sure what sort of school your DC are at, but is it feasible to say to the school "we would really like them to go but we cant quite afford it". Do they have hardship fund/access to other funds to top up your contribution?

hattyyellow Tue 17-Dec-13 12:58:38

£600 is at the hardship fund rate - Would be £800 otherwise for two of them!

PastSellByDate Tue 17-Dec-13 13:34:08


I think you have to ask yourself is the trip phenomenal - a once in a lifetime thing - or something that you or your DCs might do anyway in future.

So for example, if it's a trip to Paris - but you're likely to do that with them at some point in the future - maybe £600 right now is worth a miss.

We had two big trips this year for my DD1 in Y6. A ski trip in Europe and a PGL in Wiltshire. Each year we chose 1 trip. This year we've chosen the ski trip. DD1 does want to go to the PGL, but understands that Wiltshire isn't that far away. Climbing walls, rope swings, etc... are great fun but she has done them previously - and that a week learning how to ski and going abroad with some great friends is pretty exceptional.

I can't say she's totally content to not do both - but she does accept it.

Sometimes learning that your parents aren't made of money - have to make difficult decisions because they can't afford everything - have to save for things that a boring (a new fridge, car, etc...) is also important.


eromdap Tue 17-Dec-13 14:00:13

I believe these trips away from home are fantastic for all children. Not necessarily from an educational point of view, but more from a social view. The children learn to be independent, they get to know more about each other, they find out more about themselves and become more self confident. They form stronger friendships and although they can also fall out with each other they gain experience with dealing with conflict.

Although some of this experience can be gained from just the school environment, they can also be avoided in school. Whilst they are staying away with their school friends they are giving the opportunity to develop these relationships further.

In 3 years I will all 3 of my dc on residential, total cost will be around £700. As I know this cost is coming up we shall ensure there is enough money for them all to go. It is an opportunity I cannot replicate for them at any cost.

Sickandsad Tue 17-Dec-13 14:04:32

DD did her Y6 school residential trip this year and loved it. the whole of the year went except for 1 girl, who I felt really sorry for as the trip is a big deal at DDs school. For example there have been work assignments based on trip activities and a whole year assembly with parents invited to see all the photos and hear the funny stories, culminating in a mock awards ceremony with an award for every child that went.

SanityClause Tue 17-Dec-13 14:10:37

I wasn't able to go on a school trip in secondary school due to the cost.

I was a swotty, geeky, "on the fringe" type person, and while it hasn't scared me for life, it certainly helped to emphasise my "otherness" within the class.

JohnnyUtah Tue 17-Dec-13 14:16:27

They do benefit from trips in terms of their friendships, coping skills, resilience, confidence. It isn't about where you go, it is about going without mum and dad.

ProfYaffle Tue 17-Dec-13 14:42:35

My primary school had residential trips in the 80's but they were cheap and cheerful Youth Hostel stays. I missed a few secondary trips, skiing and the like, due to cost but as I lived in a fairly deprived area only a handful of kids went anyway and it wasn't a big deal.

advicemuchneeded Tue 17-Dec-13 14:46:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

overthemill Tue 17-Dec-13 14:52:24

What year is your dc? I'm very mixed on school trips that cost so much money. It goes against the grain to spend so much on a beano although there are great benefits for the kids who go. Could your dc get a different experience by, say, a brownie camping trip? My dd didn't go away except for brownie 2 nights camp until yr 8 4 night trip to school education centre at seaside. That trip was great for her, cost £250 and was worth every penny but that's probably it for her unless she does an language exchange next year.
I prioritise family holidays.
I am a teacher btw

TheNumberfaker Tue 17-Dec-13 14:55:29

What Jonny said.

overthemill Tue 17-Dec-13 14:59:08

Agree that being away from mum and dad is really good for kids but doesn't have to be expensive school trip. There are alternatives. And if you can't afford it, don't do it

Badvocatyuletide Tue 17-Dec-13 15:02:34

My ds went on a residential trip in may who he as about that price.
He loved it.
Am so glad he went.
If you can poss afford it then I think they should go.

Leeds2 Tue 17-Dec-13 15:11:36

Would your DC be the only ones who didn't go? That would have an impact on my decision.

Fuzzymum1 Tue 17-Dec-13 23:22:32

My older boys both went on school residentials at 10 and 11, the one they did at 10 was to Paignton Zoo and even now at almost 16 DS2 still talks about it and DS1 (almost 20) still remembers it well. Quite a lot of the class work in the following weeks was done based around the trip so anyone who didn't go was disadvantaged to a degree but the impact was minimised as far as is possible.

MincedMuffPies Tue 17-Dec-13 23:29:25

I went on 2 school trips year 4 for 2 nights and year 6 for 4 nights.

Our school did a book thing where parents paid a little bit of money every week to spread the cost out over 6 months.

I had an amazing time both times and I really look back fondly. I'm still friends with most of the girls I shared a room with on the yr 6 trip now.

BackforGood Tue 17-Dec-13 23:34:36

I understand it's more difficult if you have to pay for 2 at once, but if you possibly can, I would let them go. I have very fond memories of the residential I did when I was 10 (4th year Juniors then) and that's a VERY long time ago. My dcs all went on their Yr6 trips and remember them fondly. I think great memories are made.
How is it you are only having to make the decision now though ? Apart from the fact we knew about it from when they started the school, the initial information came out about 8 months beforehand for ours - meant people could pay in £x per month if that made things easier for people.

defineme Tue 17-Dec-13 23:43:43

Ours let us pay in instalments over nearly a year.

I'd be very interested to know if your kids want to go?

I'll have to pay £100s for the y6 trip for my twins in 2 years time and it'll be on a teacher's budget too! My eldest loved it and we enjoyed a different family dynamic too. However, if your child is a very shy anxious type, perhaps not-one child was very homesick and didn't eat for several days!

We actually visit every trip venue in advance because ds1 has asd and it helps him. The trips really aren't about where, it's being away from mum and dad and being with friends. However, if they're independent kids who aren't that bothered I'd not do it. I would make sure I booked another family holiday pronto if that was my reasoning.

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