This year’s School Trip Champion Jacqui Hargreaves talks about winning the award at the School Travel Awards 2017/18 and the response she’s received from her students. 

Jacqui at Tiananmen Square

At the School Travel Awards 2017/18, Jacqui Hargreaves, head of Design Technology and Food Science at Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, was presented with the School Trip Champion Award. This award is designed to acknowledge the hard work of an individual who goes the extra mile when it comes to getting children learning away from the classroom.

Jacqui, who has been running school trips for 35 years on a voluntary basis, organises learning schemes and lesson plans for a team of four staff and three technicians and a wide range of learning support staff. In addition to that she plans resources and training for the department.

Over the course of the academic year she will run a number of school trips and all of these take part during students’ school holidays, meaning no curriculum time is lost.

On winning the award, Jacqui told School Travel Organiser: “It is just an absolute privilege to be awarded the accolade. It felt like some real recognition. Not that I don’t get recognition from parents and students but outside recognition is really nice, especially as all of my trips are organised voluntarily.

“I watched the clip in the official STO Awards video online of me after they called out my name as the winner. You can see my reaction, and it was just complete shock. When I was shortlisted I had no idea I would win, so to do so was absolutely amazing.”

Jacqui told us that the reaction from her students in particular has been great, plus the story went into her local newspaper which prompted a big response from all the parents.

“Lots of cards came in, and I received chocolates and some flowers, so it’s been great,” she said.

Learning outside the classroom plays a huge role in Jacqui’s life and in that of her students. In a full interview, she explained: “I think it’s integral to get young people overseas to give them an impression of other cultures… it’s just so rewarding overall.”

You can read the full interview with Jacqui in the December edition of School Travel Organiser Secondary.

Do you have LOtC experiences you’d like to share?

Each month we run a Teacher Talk interview with a teacher or LOtC organiser in the magazine. And we’re always seeking out new individuals who would love to be interviewed. You can see an example of the feature here.

Sound good? All you need to do is drop us an e-mail with a bit of information about you and how your teaching role links to learning outside the classroom.

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