5 reasons why school excursions benefit children
The Woolies Class Visits are something to look forward to at UCS. The primary school learners are filled with excitement as they countdown to the date of the visit. It’s a little like anticipating a birthday, or even Christmas.
The reason for all the excitement is because the Woolies Class Visits take place only once a year. It’s also the only excursion the UCS primary school learners will go on in the space of a year. The school understands the importance of outings but lacks the budget for transport. It does the best it can with the money it has by sending the children on one worthwhile educational trip.
The Woolies Group
The Woolworths Group sends a representative to the UCS Grade 4, 5 and 6 classes. “The lessons are derived from the syllabus for those grades. They are taught where food comes from, the manufacturing process and many other relevant topics for these grades,” explains Louise Tamboer, deputy principal at UCS.
After the Woolworths representative has finished presenting a lesson to the various classes, the children then take a memorable trip behind the scenes of Woolworths’ stores. They visit various branches and distribution warehouses where they learn all about the journey food takes from factory and farm to shelf. They also learn all about food as a nutritional source. “They talk about The Woolies Class Visit for weeks after the outing and they learn so much from it,” says Louise.
Children spend a lot of time in classrooms listening to their teachers and learning in the process. It’s therefore vital for their young minds to explore beyond the four walls and blackboard. School outings are purposefully placed in the curriculum for learners to benefit from the incredible interaction and engagement they receive when they leave the classrooms to learn something.
The UCS high school also has an excursions programme where Grade 7s go to Sci Bono, Grade 8s to SABC, Grade 9s the Delta Environmental Centre, Grade 10s to the Pretoria Prison, Grade 11s to Gold Reef City, and Grade 12s get to enjoy a theatre visit based on their set work.
Here are 5 reasons why school excursions are so important for learners:
- They reinforce – Excursions are an excellent and interesting way of reinforcing what is being taught in class. They help the children to better understand.
- They encourage engagement – Teachers and learners can interact and engage more when out of their day-to-day environment. Trips can be turned into mobile classrooms and teachers can instruct learners to investigate topics differently to the norm and then quiz them when they are back in the classroom.
- They build social skills – The children get to interact with their classmates, teachers and excursion representatives. They learn how to socialise and behave out of the school environment.
- They provide exposure – The children get to visit places where they have never been before. This is a big plus for learners who are less fortunate and don’t have the opportunity to travel.
- They help with retention – Educational trips create “episodic memories” which ultimately help children to retain information for much longer periods. In other words, excursions provide unforgettable moments so everything learnt on these special trips remain as good memories.
The educators at UCS have experienced the benefits of school outings first hand and would like to increase the learner’s excursions to at least 3 a year. This would provide more variety for the children and help them learn and explore in exciting new environments. Ideally, the school requires more funds to finance the transport to and from excursions. Click here to find out what the budget looks like for 3 annual school outings.