Today, schools are expanding their extracurricular programmes in the form of educational school trips abroad to facilitate the meeting of learning objectives for their students in addition to achieving the requirements of Ofsted.
But what are the benefits of school trips abroad?
The right school expedition can provide a unique and rewarding learning experience for students. It can open their eyes to the world around them, whilst also teaching them about what they have to offer, as they develop skills throughout the experience. Below, we explore the associated benefits, as well as hearing Ofsted’s view on the matter.
School expeditions abroad are far more than just a learning experience outside the classroom.
There is a demand for schools to provide experiences with real meaning and purpose, and that bring many educational benefits. The true educational value of school trips is apparent when seeing the impact that they can have on students; individuals often acquire transferrable skills that can be taken into everyday life. The importance of school trips in giving students the chance to character build and develop their resilience, as well as grow in confidence and adapt to different social situations, is not to be underestimated. There is evidence that the knowledge and skills gained from such experiences simply cannot be taught inside the traditional classroom setting.
Challenging and rewarding school expeditions overseas have been shown to be beneficial by:
- Encouraging students to bond with peers with whom they would not usually interact and develop their team building skills. When students are faced with a challenging situation where they must work together to achieve a common goal, they learn to communicate and connect with one another as a group. It also allows for students and teachers to build better relationships with one another.
- Helping students expand their knowledge, better understand topics and retain information by learning in a real-life context. This method of learning can help students to be more engaged and maintain focus, allowing them to gain a greater understanding of what they are being taught.
- Enabling individuals to develop a broader perspective of the wider world by being exposed to different environments and cultures, which influences them to develop their communication skills and learn to be respectful of diversity.
- Giving students a focus and teach them to be self-motivated and driven in planning and preparing, for example, in terms of fundraising ahead of their trip. Students learn to forward plan, budget and make sacrifices through their fundraising ventures, with the opportunity to use their initiative, foster their creative abilities and become budding entrepreneurs. Through such endeavours, individuals become more independent and responsible.
- Providing students who have behavioural issues, or those who have not been performing well academically, the chance to excel by offering variety and different learning styles. Through this rewarding opportunity, students can grow in confidence by realising that they can achieve their full potential and teachers can be reassured by this.
The benefits of school expeditions abroad are aplenty.
Ofsted are very much in support of learning outside the classroom. In a blog provided by The School Travel Forum, Ofsted were quoted as saying:
“When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.”
It was also found by the School Travel Forum that 60% of teachers noticed increased confidence, resilience and well-being when learning outside the classroom provisions had been in place. The benefits to academic achievement have also been shown, with 71% of students feeling teachers better understood their learning habits and 61% of students achieving higher than their predicted grade.
The Health and Safety Executive fully acknowledges that learning outside the classroom through experiences such as educational trips abroad helps to bring the curriculum to life and allows students to gain a deeper knowledge of their subject. In addition, students gain self-confidence, develop essential skills and become better prepared for their future working lives.
Find out more about exciting school trips abroad with our school expeditions to Africa.