Life after SATS week; school trips to de-stress

Date Posted: 10/05/2017

As headlines roll out about the negative effects sats are having on both children and teachers, here we suggest a few feel-good school trips where the learning doesn't feel like learning. 

Almost 600,000 ten and 11 year olds will sit their sats this week, and recently released research by several organisations suggests that no-one is having an easy ride. 

Thinktank LKMCo has just released an interim report on the future of assessment in teaching called Testing the Water. In this document, it raises concerns over the pressure pupils are under, suggesting that some children are making themselves physically sick over the fear of being labelled a failure after sats.

At the other end of the scale, there's concern for teachers. On 1st May the Commons Education Select Committee released a report suggesting that high stakes testing, like the sats, was 'affecting teacher wellbeing.'

So how do schools show pupils that there's a light at the end of the sats tunnel? The promise of a school trip can help.

Here are five locations where children can enjoy a feel-good school trip, and a few suggestions for how to sneak in that essential bit of learning, too. 

Rainbow Factory, Leeds

Established in 2015, this interactive centre celebrates storytelling and brings stories to life through theatre, music and crafts. Facilities on site include Goldilocks' Creative Kitchen, the Secret Garden and The Enchanted Theatre. School trips here can be curriculum linked or set up just for the purpose of reward, and involve everything from theatre shows and drama sessions to illustration and storytelling. 

Ace Karting, Walsall

At Ace Karting children get unleashed on a 360 metre racing track, where karts can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The fastest recorded lap time for an under 12 is 16.948 seconds. There's also a media room on site, where educational sessions can be delivered. Plus, there's the chance for pupils to get hands on as they learn about kart design and engine rebuilds. A fun Karting Disco can also be arranged. 

Oxygen Freejumping, UK wide

Oxygen Freejumping has parks in London, Derby, Leeds, Manchester, Wigan, Croydon, Southampton and Sheffield. School trips can be organised that link to the curriculum, but also give pupils access to a 'field' of 150 connected trampolines, wall trampolines, an airbag leap challenge and obstacle course. Dodgeball tournaments can also be set up. 

John Bull Sweet Factory, Bridlington

John Bull Confectioners makes everything from fudge to rock at its site in Bridlington. Factory tours are available to schools, where pupils can find out how sweets and biscuits are put into their packets, and have a go at rolling a stick of rock. Taste tests are available, too, and the beach is a short walk away, where all sorts of subjects can be studied, from Maths to Geography. 

iFly, UK wide

With locations in Manchester, Milton Keynes and Basingstoke, iFly is home to vertical wind tunnels where children from age four upwards can experience what it's like to skydive. The centres run Icarus Flight School sessions for primary schools, where pupils can have a go on the flight simulators and learn about the Science of flight. 

School Travel Organiser's Guide