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Residential versus LOTS of day trips

(18 Posts)
Shadowboy Wed 25-Jul-18 13:03:12

So my subject has a compulsory minimum of 4 days in the field- this has to be signed off by students, teacher and head (OFQUAL requirements). It would be much easier and much more beneficial as we could go to more effective locations to run a residential. This would be 5 days Monday-Friday at a cost of £350. 11 months notice would be given to parents to pay. Alternatively I’d have to run a minimum of 8 day trips because each coach can only seat 54 and we have 102 students and I don’t have enough staff to take all at the same time so I’d have to run 4 one week and 4 the next and would need to pay for cover staff for 2 weeks. (But the field centre can provide staff and accommodation for all students.)The locations we can get to would not be as effective to demonstrate the subject as we would have to get there, collect data and return in one day. The cost of cover, coach hire etc would be £80 per student- again 12 months notice. From a teaching point of view the residential is 200% better but I feel like parents would prefer the day trips? As parents would you baulk at £350?

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Shadowboy Wed 25-Jul-18 13:04:03

Sorry that should say 64 seated

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TeenTimesTwo Wed 25-Jul-18 13:17:20

If I were given notice when my child selected GCSE Geography in mid y9 that at Easter y10 (so a year's notice) there would be a field trip week in the holidays, I would much prefer that to random days out of school causing disruption to other subjects. Especially if the learning would be better too.

If it were a week out of school lessons I would be more hesitant, again due to impact on other subjects. (But our school doesn't do week long trips in term times).

I could imagine a scenario where you might have to run both. The better holiday time residential for those that can, and the cheaper day trips for those that can't afford / don't want to afford / don't want to give up holidays.

BubblesBuddy Wed 25-Jul-18 14:05:20

I don’t think it should be pick and mix. Residential every time. If you have poor parents in the main, day trips should be considered, but then the pupils miss out on other subjects on those days which is not good. What if other subjects also want/need trips?

TeenTimesTwo Wed 25-Jul-18 14:11:28

I can imagine it would make teaching easier if everyone has been on the same trips as well.

Sadik Wed 25-Jul-18 15:37:50

What sort of demographic do you have? Are you in the sort of place where parents are on the whole likely to be able to afford £350 & then PTA might be able to support/subsidise a small number who can't?

I'd have been more than happy with £350 with a years notice for a genuinely good and educational trip, but where we live I suspect it'd lead to quite a few parents discouraging their dc from taking geography.

(I think offering both & therefore poorer pupils getting a less good educational experience is probably the absolute worst choice btw)

Sadik Wed 25-Jul-18 15:38:33

Sorry, assuming you're geography, just realised you don't say & was another poster mentioned the subject.

HolyPieter Wed 25-Jul-18 18:14:52

Learn to be inclusive of all pupils and go for the cheaper day trips rather than the more expensive residential.

Not all parents have £350 up their sleeves.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 25-Jul-18 18:41:49

Can you think of any sources of funding / sponsorship?
e.g. Your PTA, or any local businesses?

Can school PP funding be used to subsidise for those pupils that qualify?

I see what Holy says about being inclusive, but if academically you feel the residential is 200% better, then is it really preferable they all miss out rather than just some?

I do think as this is part of the curriculum you should be as imaginative as you can to get all of the students the better option.

peodar Wed 25-Jul-18 19:03:58

Push for the residential, but if it's not approved then make sure your 4 days take the entire cohort by bringing multiple or a double decker coach, and you can use staff outside your department for support - they don't need to be subject specialists to support the ratios but this is way better than multiple days out for the same thing

Shadowboy Wed 25-Jul-18 19:22:59

It is geography yes. The problem is the type of geography we need to see to collect decent data really needs Snowdonia or Scotland or the lakes and we are in the Cotswolds. We could go within 90min and see some basic relic glacial environment but it wouldn’t be as clear for the students or provide as effective data which is to be used in the CW (worth 20% of the A level) basically the students would arrive in the first year and be warned that in the September of the second year there would be a field trip.

In terms of taking 100+ students I just don’t know how safe that is in the field and effective for getting a good understanding with only 3 specialists. Especially when this is for CW. Arg I’m very torn. Town is very mixed. Some very affluent families but also some on FSM. The school does provide 1/3 of cost towards compulsory field trips for those on FSM if that makes a difference?

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TeenTimesTwo Wed 25-Jul-18 20:45:06

As it is A level, you can reasonably expect the students to be interested and keen enough that perhaps they could contribute to cost via part time jobs if needed?
Most students can also be warned on application (so autumn of y11?) that there is a field trip for coursework so that would be nearly 2 years warning.
Not unreasonable to go for the residential for A level.

peodar Thu 26-Jul-18 10:44:38

For ALevel it's almost impossible to do with day trips. One option could be to offer 2 trips to different yet still appropriate locations that will have different price points. Could teaching groups be juggled to accommodate this?

user1499173618 Thu 26-Jul-18 11:37:24

It sounds as if the only negative of the week’s residential is the cost in £. The negative of the day trip scenario is the cost in disruption and the lesser experience. You need to make a really clear chart that shows the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario, including impact on exam results, and have a closed ballot.

GahWhatever Thu 26-Jul-18 11:49:42

If the residential gives a better learning experience then that's the gold standard and should be what is aimed for if at all feasible.
If the trip costs £350 and those on FSM pay £233 I'd be tasking the PTA with fundraisers for specific academic trips. Bear in mind that not all 102 will want to attend even if it were free. You have 102 pupils on the A level geography course at a secondary school? Your school must be massive!

Shadowboy Thu 26-Jul-18 16:08:42

The school has a sixth form college attached to it. We have nearly 2000 a level students!

Ok I think I will draft out a letter ready for new students on arrival in September. I know it’s a substantial cost so I’ll see if there is any leeway for costs but I really do see it as a valuable part of the learning experience.

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user1499173618 Thu 26-Jul-18 16:11:12

If you sell the idea to them with well formulated arguments and a neat payment plan you will have given it your best shot.

Knittedfairies Thu 26-Jul-18 16:38:04

From a learning point of view, it has to be a residential - and logistically too. I think giving parents/carers enough notice should be fine, but I would also flag it up to any students considering geography i.e. at the end of GCSE. My husband ran residential trips for his geology classes - they got far more out of them than they did going on day visits.

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