Tours and visits outside school are an important aspect of school life. They complement the school based teaching and learning activities. They provide an opportunity for pupils and teachers to interact in a less formal way than usual. They provide an opportunity for school staff to observe pupils outside the classroom setting. School tours and visits also provide an opportunity for parents to support their children’s learning, through helping out with school trips and organising family visits outside school.
We have agreed that:
1) The children should have experienced a range of tours and visits by the end of their primary schooling, which reflects the primary school curriculum and the core curriculum programme.
2) All tours and visits should have an educational aspect.
3) In general, tours and visits should involve active learning methodologies.
4) Venues of national significance (such as national cultural institutions) will form a core part of the tours and visits programme each year, particularly given our location near the city. .
5) We should also make use of our local area for tours and visits.
6) Cost and value for money is a factor in selecting tours and visits.
7) Early each school year, the programme for that year will be agreed at a staff meeting to assist in teacher planning.
8) Pupils should visits each venue no more than once in the junior cycle of primary school and once in the R3-R6 cycle – exceptions should be agreed with the Principal or Deputy Principal when the programme for the year is being complied.
9) Sufficient helpers should accompany the school staff on a tour – a general rule should be 1:10 although this may vary depending on the age and needs and size of the group of children and the nature of the tour.
10) Parent helpers on school tours and visits should not have unsupervised access to children. See Garda vetting policy.
11) The Principal should be informed of all excursions out of a school in advance and all tours and visits should be entered on Google calendar. The Secretary or Principal/Deputy Principal should be notified that the group are leaving the school building and of the estimated time of return. The school should be contacted in the event of any change in the time of return.
12) An all day school tour will normally take place in the final term.
13) Rang 6 normally have an overnight trip to mark the end of their primary schooling. The decision regarding such trips is made annually in consultation with the class teacher taking into consideration the needs of the group in question, teacher availability and tour availability.
14) Normally, pupils will go on one out of school tour or visit per term. In addition, local visits to the library, for example, or to local parks or the canal will be ongoing. Other opportunities for excursions out of the school will be considered as they arise.
15) Pupils who do not behave appropriately during school may not be permitted to take part in school tours. See Code of Behaviour/Anti-bullying policy.
16) Where possible, payment for tours should be made through the school office. Invoices must be presented before payments will issue. Requests for cheques should be made well in advance as these are processed through the Board of Management account.
17) An account for school tours is sent to parents at the beginning of each school year. The cost is based on the previous year. Financial support will be provided by the Board of Management where necessary.
18) Teachers should have a mobile phone with them on visits in cases of emergency.
19) All requests for the office to book tours, transport etc should be emailed to the office, so that we have a record in the event of no shows etc.
20) Related policies: Child Protection policy
Code of Behaviour Anti bullying policy
Health and Safety policy
Special Educational Needs policy
21) This plan will be reviewed regularly.
A programme of visits suitable for the various classes for 2013-2014 is attached (Appendix 1). This is followed by a list of suitable places for teachers to consider (Appendix 2). Teachers can select from within the choices suitable visits for a particular class. In addition to the formal programme, regular local visits, (for example to local parks, the library, the canal) in all classes are encouraged as appropriate in order to enhance curricular provision.
Approved by RMDS Board of Management 7 November 2013
Signed: Colm Healy
Chairperson, Board of Management