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Field trips: learning outside the classroom

Published on 22/01/18

Participating in field trips is a great way to enjoy a unique learning experience outside a classroom environment. Field trips are not only good fun, they allow students to absorb, interact and immerse themselves in a practical way.

What are the key benefits of field trips?

  • On a field trip, students are more likely to retain information. Being immersed in information and being involved in visual and practical experiences will help students remember, learn and understand subjects.
  • Field trips will help reinforce classroom materials, bringing lessons to life. School trips give students the opportunity to visualise, experience and discuss information on a subject.
  • Going on field trips offers students a unique cultural learning experience. It allows students to be involved in new environments, key to encouraging curiosity about a given subject. It is also valuable as an exercise in broadening a student’s understanding of the world and their place in it.
  • Educational trips encourage the development of social, personal and study skills. It has been observed that students appear to come out of their shell on field trips, becoming creative and displaying leadership qualities.

Ofsted back field trip education

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) recognise and support educational field trips, stating:

“Unengaged students in particular experience events and engage socially in new and positive ways; they will learn in the real world in a manner that is not possible in a classroom. Ofsted’s 2008 report ‘How far should you go?’ concludes that well-planned out-of-classroom activities, which include trips, not only enhance pupils’ learning, but can also re-engage those who are hard to motivate.

The above Ofsted report concluded that learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.  In addition, there are a great number of research papers and evidence which highlight the benefits of taking students on trips, particularly abroad.”

CLOtC (The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom) is a UK charity organisation, founded to promote educational learning outside the classroom. CLOtC state:

“We believe that every child should be given the opportunity to experience life and lessons beyond the classroom walls as a regular part of growing up. These experiences expand the horizons of young people, opening their eyes to the wonders of areas such as art, heritage, culture, adventure and the natural world.”