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Chessington trip as a non-trained person - eek!

(24 Posts)
SawdustGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 14:40:58

I've been volunteering for a year in Y6 in prep for my PGCE in September. As part of the end of year chaos we're taking them to Chessington - a treat rather than an educational trip. I am going to have my own group of about 5 to take around. I've been out on a school trip before, but never the kind where we went off in groups.

Any tips?

I'm not so much worried about losing someone (most of my focus is going to be on that anyway!), more what we do if they're all tall enough for a ride except one, or how much control they should have about what we do. Can I send them on a ride while I wait? Should I buy them something if they didn't bring food/drink? What do I do with boys when we use the loos? How can I sanction them - their behaviour has gone downhill the last few weeks and I don't think "you'll have to stay in at break tomorrow" is going to have any effect, especially as I'm not a 'real teacher'.

I'm thinking of sitting down with the map at the start and have everyone pick their 1 top thing, then make sure we at least get everyone that so no one will be too sulky.

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 14:44:23

Talk to the adult in charge of the trip before you talk to the children.
get the ground rules from them. Have you read the risk assessment plan?

LIZS Sat 04-Jul-15 14:46:02

I would have thought most of that would be on the risk assessment Could you ask the course organiser if you can review it and raise your queries.

FeelingSmurfy Sat 04-Jul-15 14:47:28

Have the school done the trip before? Ask for any tips that they have picked up over the years

TealFanClub Sat 04-Jul-15 14:47:33

er - ASK?

CamelHump Sat 04-Jul-15 14:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SawdustGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 15:13:57

I have asked, but it's all a bit random. It's next week and we only finalised the numbers yesterday, they still don't know if we're having parents come along as well and some of the teachers didn't know that the 1-1 adults 'don't count'.

I haven't seen the risk assessment plan but I'll try and get hold of it - thanks! No one told me it was a thing - bear in mind I'm not a teacher and haven't had any school training at all. The school's a bit... disorganised. (I was alone with children for six months before they did a DBS check, things are constantly happening that class teachers don't know about)

The school have been on the trip before but the two Y6 teachers are new, and the TAs haven't been with this class before but all seem very relaxed!

I'm not panicking, just wondered if anyone had any experience.

CamelHump Sat 04-Jul-15 15:23:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SawdustGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 15:33:06

Yeah, the DBS thing was weird. When my friend did her school experience she had to be escorted to and from the loo without one! I have one now, at least, although if I hadn't brought it up I don't think it would have happened. I mean I know I'm not a danger, but I could be anybody!

Thanks for the advice, I've also been familiarising myself with the park beforehand - last time I went I think I was in primary school myself.

Finola1step Sat 04-Jul-15 15:44:28

I've done the Chessington trip with Year 6 many, many times. They key is this: Remember they are not little kids, they will be excited, they will want a little bit of independence.

So at the very beginning when you split off into groups, talk to your group on your own. Be straight with them. You all want a good day. So we will all listen to each other and no get over excited.

Top10 tips:
1. Do not leave water rides like Ramses Revenge until last as there is nothing worse than wet kids on the coach/ train back to school.
2. Keep an eye out for groups of secondary school kids roaming without a teacher - can be a bit intimidating for Year 6s, especially on the bumper cars.
3. If one child does not want to or can't go on a ride, you stay with them and wait for the group at the exit.
4. Consider joining up with another group so there are 2 adults.
5. Always send boys to the toilet together. Never send a boy into the toilets on his own (assuming that you are female and can't go into the toilets to check). Always make it very clear that you are waiting right outside. If you are nervous about this, escort them into the ladies yourself.
6. At the very beginning, arrange an emergency meeting place incase anyone gets lost. I usually choose by the lockers in the Market Square.
7. If they are getting really over excited, a walk around the zoo or a ride such as the Bubble Works will calm them down a bit. Or the over head land train.
8. Take some spare cash just in case one of them has forgotten lunch.
9. I always tell my groups not to waste money on the arcades etc. They have paid enough to get in, don't waste money on extras.
10. Have a good time. Its one of the highlights of primary school. Let your hair down a little. They will thank you for it in some shape or form.

twinkletoedelephant Sat 04-Jul-15 15:45:25

I am a parent helper at both my children's schools am drb checked and generally get given 'OK' kids as I can handle a bit of cheek miss behaviour and the children are use to me being around. The angels go with parents new to doing trips ( still drb checked).

Do check that you will get you own child though as in DDS school parent helpers don't get their own child ( most parents only do it the once as you think you going to have a nice day out with you child and you end up with 6 unruly 9 yr olds.. Who you have never met)

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 15:58:13

Check that you have the contact numbers of the people in charge of the trip, as well as the school.
Definitely a good idea to have two adults and 10 children if you can join with another group. Then you back each other up.

SawdustGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 16:14:11

Finola & HagOtheNorth - thank you, that's really useful. I'm getting a nice group, too, so they should be okay!

twinkletoe my child isn't at this school, which simplifies things!

HagOtheNorth Sat 04-Jul-15 16:19:37

'most parents only do it the once as you think you going to have a nice day out with you child and you end up with 6 unruly 9 yr olds.. Who you have never met'

And that understanding is why the best parent helpers realise that it's not a freebie day out for you and your child, but a serious and sometimes challenging responsibility. Parents who have the former view rarely get chosen twice. Or once.
Trips are fun, but they should be a big deal for all the adults involved, safety-wise and experience-wise.

FeelingSmurfy Sat 04-Jul-15 16:51:55

If they are getting a bit out of control then sit down together until they can calm down, explain that this is what you will do at the start of the day, remind them that time sitting down calming down is less time on rides and then if things are getting a bit out of control ask if you need to stop and sit down for a bit and that should hopefully be enough to get them to calm themselves back down again.

Obviously they are going to be excited and you want them to be, but if they get over excited and start playing up someone can get lost or hurt so the time to calm down isn't a punishment (no set time, just until you feel you are all OK to go off again) its just so that you all get to enjoy the day as much as you can. You could also use this time to discuss what you are going to do next, don't have to sit in silence!

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 04-Jul-15 16:57:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 04-Jul-15 16:59:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cuppaand2biscuits Sat 04-Jul-15 17:03:57

I volunteered at 2 different primary schools 3 years ago. I was at both for over a year and was never crb checked. I was responsible for my own group on outings including taking them to the toilet.
One school was visited by ofsted on a day I was helping and they rang me and told me not to come in due to crb so they were aware.

SawdustGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 19:18:03

thanks so much for all the advice everyone! I like the idea of just giving them time to calm down if they're too hyper - I want them to have fun, not be frogmarched around.

I've also got to remember my travel sickness meds or I'll be the one throwing up on the way!

NotCitrus Sat 04-Jul-15 21:26:54

My first job was being a group leader for a summer playscheme - my group were 10-11yos but all the kids were "known to the police" or their parents were well-known.

Being 20 years ago, my training was non-existent.

I can confirm that if your kids start climbing out of the boats on the Bubble Works, you will all get thrown out of the ride and watched for the rest of the day, but the staff are very well trained and were very nice about it. They were also lovely when we returned lots of wallets to the ticket office, after frisking the kids before the ride home...

In other words, it'll be fine no matter what!

Suttonmum1 Sat 04-Jul-15 21:40:54

Just remember that many schools have parents taking groups on trips and they have no real means of sanctioning. Definitely take a rucksack and a spare carrier bag for the one whose packed lunch bag disintegrates before they have eaten it. Make sure they are dressed appropriately before you leave school - you'd be amazed how many lug jumpers and coats round all day.

Maidupmum Sun 05-Jul-15 21:15:57

Suggest grouping them according to their ride preferences & height as opposed to friendship groups. Works for us smile

SawdustGirl Wed 08-Jul-15 20:21:53

Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice, the trip went well and apart from a sore throat (from shouting over park-noise, not at the kids!) I survived.

Even got to go on two rides myself, and the child who was sick wasn't in my group! Success all round.

FeelingSmurfy Wed 08-Jul-15 21:18:28

Thanks for coming back to let us know smile glad it went well

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