Study reveals positive impact of school trips

A new study has revealed that UK school children are attending an average of three school trips a year, a result approved by parents.

The research, conducted by Oxford Home Schooling, includes data on how many trips children at different levels in the education system attend, alongside parents’ thoughts on the value of these trips, and the benefits of educational versus fun school outings.

According to the survey, which asked 1,697 UK parents of children aged 16 or younger in full time education, 46% said they believed children learnt more from school trips and visiting places than they did in the classroom.

Science and transport attractions were found to be the most popular for a school trip, followed closely by history and heritage and wildlife and nature trips.

The project found that parents overall have a positive attitude to school trips. Over a third of parents asked (34%) thought there should be more school trips available for school children, and 38% thought it was still important for children to go on school trips, whether it’s a treat or not.

Children in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 both attend an average of four trips a year, compared to those in Key Stage 1 and 4 who attend three, the report found. In addition, it seems schools in Ireland are the most relaxed when it comes to allowing children to leave the classroom, with 14% of parents in Dublin revealing that their child goes on over 10 trips a year, followed closely by 11% in Belfast.

Dr Nick Smith, principal at Oxford Home Schooling, said: “School trips are fundamental to a child’s education both academically and in terms of their understanding of the wider world.

“Our research revealed that in general, parents think school trips are very important and they think children learn more on these trips, than in the classroom.

“There should be a balance between spending time learning the curriculum and also attending school trips to enhance their academic performance, but also enjoy time away from learning, to have some fun.” 

Elaine Skates from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, told STO: “When pupils take part in educational visits we see a range of benefits from improved academic attainment and progress, to improved relationships and wellbeing. They are so much more than fun days out. Schools can maximise these benefits by focusing on learning outcomes and evaluating the impact of the trip.”

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