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Loughquittane National School

School Tours & Fieldtrips Policy

Introduction

This policy was drawn up by the staff of Loughquittane N.S. in April 2016, and ratified by the Board of Management (BoM). Taking into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered, school tours will be arranged by the school to present the children with a new environment in which they can observe, investigate and relate their findings to their own environment. Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher.

Rationale

The need for this policy arises due to children being exposed to a wide variety of different experiences while on school outings, and the necessity to have a framework for good practice in place to cover all eventualities.

Aims

* To ensure all practical possibilities are covered in reducing the exposure of children to risk on outings

* To provide an enjoyable, age-appropriate educational experience for all children

Policy Content

It has been the policy of the school over the years to organise separate tour dates and destinations for:

* Infants

* Junior Classes (1st & 2nd)

* Middle Classes (3rd & 4th)

* Senior Classes (5th & 6th)

The tours are structured in such a way as to provide an educational aspect in addition to an entertainment and recreational value. It is school policy to limit shopping on school outings due to the unnecessary dangers children can be exposed to and the difficulty in providing adequate supervision.

No teacher is responsible for more than 20 pupils. It is school policy to assign individual groups of 10 children approximately to individual teachers. This becomes possible as support teachers accompany mainstream classes on school outings.

* Children must obey their supervisors at all times

* Children must remain seated while the bus is in motion, wearing a seatbelt.

* Children must remain with their allocated grouping and supervisor at all times

* Children will line up as instructed on disembarking from the bus

* Roll calls/head counts are taken when children return to the bus after each segment of the tour

* While Loughquittane N.S. has a healthy eating policy, treats are allowed on school tours. Chewing gum is prohibited.

* Children may NOT bring electronic equipment on school tours and outings.

Success Criteria

* Positive experiences for all

* Children having a safe enjoyable experience

* Teacher/Parent Satisfaction

* Educational value of outing

Review

The school is moving towards a policy of single class tours as opposed to multi-class outings. This new departure is proving to be successful and less stressful to all. Further reviews will be conducted in the light of experience.

Transport

The transport organiser of the tour will ensure that:

* Tenders are sought for all tours

* A form of transport, appropriate to the distance and the numbers travelling will be chosen

* Reputable bus companies are used.

Tour Kit

Leaders will take a tour kit on all outings. These will be available from the office. The kit will contain:

* Class lists including contact numbers

* First aid materials and refuse bags

* Maps of the locality where applicable

* School camera

Cost

The teachers will ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money. All children will be actively encouraged to save towards the cost of the tour.

Spending money Teachers travelling together will agree and notify their group of the upper limit on spending money. This will be based on age and venue.

Venue

Tours will be booked early in the 2nd term for a date in the 3rd term. Teachers will be conscious of the likely “busier” days. Not more than two classes will travel together, unless venue and transport arrangements warrant otherwise. The teacher will be “au fait” with venue, with particular reference to educational opportunities afforded, and services available (phone, toilets, emergency facilities). The individual needs of children and the needs of the class will be considered when selecting a venue.

Weather Conditions & Clothing

School tracksuits should be worn on tours, Full uniforms to special events and other school outings. Rain, head gear and suitable footware will be essential for all children and a change of clothes and sunscreen may be necessary, depending on the venue.

Reports

Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the principal.

Conduct on Tours

Pupils’ behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Behaviour. In certain circumstances parents and or pupils may be asked to agree to a contract on behaviour. Where it is felt that a child’s conduct would pose a safety risk or inhibit the educational benefit for self or others, the teacher may refuse the child permission to travel. Parents will be advised of this in advance.

Safety and Supervision

Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school. Special attention will be paid to – Road Safety, Behaviour on bus, Risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds etc.). The minimum supervision ratio will be 15:1 (adult). This is determined by the age and needs of the class.

In the event of an emergency parents and school will be contacted.

Informing Parents

Teachers will ensure that Parents are given sufficient notice of:

* Itinerary & Timetable

* Cost

* Special clothing necessary and packed lunch (no glassware).

Tours list

A list of sample suitable tours for all classes has been compiled. Classes may choose a venue suitable for their own level or lower but not from levels above. Teachers will ensure that venues are suitable for pupils with special needs, and that children are offered a variety of tour experiences throughout their primary school careers.

Infant Tours

* Muckross Traditional Farm

* Knockreer and Playground

* Kennedy’s Farm

* Fire Station

1st/2nd Class Tours

* Tralee Wetlands

* Buddies Bowling

* Playdium

* Crag Cave

* Lee Strand

* Kerry County Museum.

3rd & 4th Class Tours

* Star Outdoors, Kenmare

* Muckross Traditional Farms

* Active Kingdom, John Mitchels

* Let’s Go, Mallow

* U.L. Activity Centre

* Farren Activity Centre

5th & 6th Class Tour

* Dublin inc. Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Jail, Glasnevin Cemetry & Collins Barracks

* Croke Park

* National Gallery

* Hill Walk / Gap Trip

* Foto Island

* Castlegregory Water sports

Fieldtrips

Fieldtrips which relate to a particular curricular area are encouraged. These trips can range from simple walks around the locality of the school to organised trips to relevant places of interest.

The principal must be informed in advance if it is proposed that a class leave the school grounds.

Teachers are encouraged to plan and prepare children in advance of the trip and to carry out some follow up work in the classroom following the fieldtrip.

Teachers should ensure adequate supervision at all times. Where necessary, an SNA or support teacher should accompany the class on the trip.

Children should be appropriately dressed for the fieldtrip e.g. raingear, suitable footwear etc.

No child is to be refused participation in any proposed activity because of family inability to pay.

Buses booked for fieldtrips must be fitted with individual seatbelts and these should be worn by all children.

See also First Aid Policy.

Planning a Educational Tours/Outings

Proposed date

Proposed departure and return time

Proposed itinerary

Cost

1. What is the cost involved:

(a) Transport €…

(b) Visits

(c) Spending €…€…

Supervision

1. What ratio of supervision is necessary?: (minimum 15/1)

2. Have additional supervisors been approached?: Who?

3. What arrangements have been made for disabled children (if any in class)?

Organiser ___________________

TOURS CHECKLIST

Before the tour

* Venue booked & confirmed

* Transport booked & confirmed

* Individual parents informed of travelling embargo on disruptive pupils

* Timetable organised

* Parents informed by standard letter

o itinerary

o timetable

o cost

o lunch arrangements

o clothing necessary

Agreement on

* Spending money

* Acceptable behaviour on bus

* Extra supervisors (minimum 15:1)

Day of Tour

Tour leader will ensure;

* *Tour kits are available for bus

* Cheques for venues

* Cheques for bus

* Each class teacher will be responsible for Aladdin attendance

After Tour

* Report back to office

* Send thank you cards to guides if applicable

*check tour kits contain

* Class list & conmtact information

* First aid materials, refuse sack

* map of locality

* camera

This policy of School Tours and Fieldtrips was ratified by the Board of Management of Loughquittane N.S. and will be reviewed in 2018.

Chairperson: _______________________ Principal: _____________________

Date: _____________ Date: ________________