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Parent helpers on school trips(16 Posts)
I'm doing my first parent helper trip with Y2 this week - its an all-dayer. I've never helped out before, can anyone tell me what they'd expect from me?? My DC wants me to go but I think is also worried I may be embarrassing
I'm sure I'm worrying about nothing, but I want to make sure I'm a help not a hindrance!
They'll allocate you three or four little cherubs, probably your own and a couple of their friends and your job will be to shepherd them in the direction the group is going and don't lose them! It's very simple. I was worried I'd be an embarrassment to my dds but they love having me there. Was shed loads of walking though, I was knackered!
That sounds doable! I shall make sure I have decent trainers too
It’s a few years since I did it, and each school probably does it differently, but when I was a parent helper I had a small group of children to shepherd for the day. Generally, you take your lead from the teacher - if s/he says it’s time for everyone to wash their hands before lunch, you make sure your group go and wash their hands and so on. The rest of the time you’re giving your group help and encouragement with whatever the day’s activities are, chatting to them, handing out pencils and so on.
Most children are thrilled to have a parent there, so you won’t be embarrassing.
Also be prepared for your little group to talk your ears off all day! It is great fun, they love having a parent there and my DS is so proud when I go along to help. The other little kids have a great time and just want to talk talk talk!
Dd is 10 and usually very embarrassed by me, oddly she loves me coming on school trips, something I didn't do when she was younger as I was working.
Our school won’t allocate your own child, you get a random selection between 2 and 5 depending how old they are and where you go.
Take a backpack for your stuff, you need the hands free. Wear very comfortable shoes, your feet will thank you.
Have enough to drink with yiu, no chance to buy a coffee.
Have a great at home for yourself that you survived the day.
I have been on every school trip this year with my child. The teacher was so positive towards me on the first one that I volunteered for everyone since.
On the day, we get given a risk assessment to read and get given a group listings sheet. The teacher then goes through, in detail, what will happen throughout the day. It is usually have a group and follow the teacher instructions but it is a great day out.
Advice: Make sure you wear sensible shoes!
I've had my own child in the group on both trips I've been on this year (our school's more laid back on this one than a lot of schools I think). Basically you spend all day mentally counting you've got the right number of children and just roll with it depending on what the teacher wants you to do. Help them at lunchtime getting into all their tupperware and packets for their lunch, hear about who lives where as the bus goes past the local area on the way out.
We run a guess the number of kids who will fall asleep on the coach back mini competition as well. Backpack, loads to drink for yourself in this heat, suncream, hat for yourself. In this heat it'll be loads of checking the kids are topped up on suncream and wearing sunhats as well.
The walking at one of my kids trips fecking killed me!
Yes I'm one of "those parents" that seem to get picked for every school trip - I'm honestly not fussed about getting to go on them but school know I'm reliable and will do what I'm needed to and not behave like a plonker basically (and I know the kids cos I'm in classes a lot).
This is how I looked after my groups.
1) Talk at the start of the day about how we are going to have fun and I am sure I will have the best behaved group out of all of them.
2) Learn their names!
3) If walking in a crocodile with the other groups keep the children ahead of you, not behind.
3a) In general keep them together as a group, unless OKed by teacher to let them be more free rein
4) Engage them in the topic, don't just babysit them
5) Don't be afraid of keeping them in line / telling them off if necessary
6) Defer to the teacher on anything out of remit (eg particular bad behaviour)
7) At the end of the day praise them for good behaviour, and tell the teacher too
1) Ignore them all except your DC and their best friend
2) treat it as a day out for you and your DC
3) Wander off at lunchtime without letting teacher know you are off to loo/grab coffee
4) Take photos (safeguarding)
I have never been put in a group with my DC..
You will do a lot of head counting.
I helped out in year 2, had both my dc us a few others. I checked I knew all the names and we had a timings sheet and map from the teacher. As a group we had a team name and I taught them to count off - each say their number as a quick check you have them all. I ended up holding hands with some children during the day as some like to hold hands with a grown up. We had a great day but I didn't get a chance to eat all day.
I’ve only been with junior children and secondary, but I think keeping an eye on them and looking for the answers to any worksheets keeps you and them engaged.
We also had to know medical needs of anyone in the group. The group leaders had to understand what medication could be needed. Luckily never had any emergencies!
Never had sleeping on the way home - only enthusiastic singing!
You should be given a copy of the risk assessment to read. There will be basic info about things like:
- toilets (parents usually leave that bit to the teachers)
- walking (adults walk on side nearest the traffic)
- who does the first aid if anyone is injured/ill
- any medical info that the parent needs to know
Sometimes parent helpers are given small groups to look after. Teachers will usually take pity and try to give them the easier children. You may or may not have your own child in your group.
Your group will usually tag along with a number of other small groups so that you are not by yourself. You will also spend your day obsessively counting the children in case any of them have wandered off. You may wake up during the night still counting to 6/7/8.
The general rule is to follow the teacher's instructions. Don't be the parent who wanders off from the group to take photos of their own child or the one who walks round looking at their phone instead of the children. And definitely don't be the parent who thinks it's okay to stop for a smoke because "We're outside, aren't we?"
It can be stressful but it's also a good day.