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The Learning Curve

Educational School Trips in the Primary
  • Primary Matters
Christine Bearman

At this time of the year in school we enjoy the opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful weather here in the South of France and take our primary children out on their educational school trips. It is extremely important to us that these trips are seen as valuable learning experiences rather than just fun times out and about. 

As some of our students are away on their residential trips near and far, it is important to highlight the many other local opportunities that we take advantage of for our children's learning.

Here are some of the top reasons why we utilise our amazing local environment:

  1. Reinforcing and enhancing classroom work.

We view these trips out as a wonderful opportunity to enhance the learning of our children in a much more stimulating way. Our trips are thought through carefully and planned as part of the particular topics being covered within each year group.

  1. Experiential Learning

Because the trips are linked directly to topics there is a clear opportunity for us to develop the real-life learning of our children, bringing class discussions and work to life and providing a much more meaningful context and understanding for our children

  1. Learning by Doing

Often these trips can provide exciting opportunities for the children to learn skills in a practical way. For example the Year 4 students will need to ensure that their map reading skills are clear and focused so that they are clear on their walk from Bar-sur Loup to Gourdon. Opportunities to understand the consequences of mistakes and how to work to correct these are heightened and discussed.

  1. Critical Thinking Skills

Important skills such as effective communication, problem solving and critical thinking are a key element of the learning on such trips. The children must work together in groups developing their speaking and listening skills to effectively solve problems they are set. 

  1. Positively challenging their perceptions of each other and enhancing relationships.

Often working outside of the classroom can greatly change the dynamics of the children’s perceptions of each other - who they think is the most knowledgeable, skilled or strongest. In a very practical and new environment we often see a real shift in how the children see each other and new found respect and appreciation grows for many of the groups. This will be particularly true for those children returning from their residential trip.

The Top Three Places we would recommend for young children in this area are;

Oceanographic Museum - Monaco

Parc Phoenix - Nice

Grotte de Saint Cézaire (Domaine de la Grotte Saint Cézaire)  - Grasse

  • Primary