An experts’ guide to getting school trip numbers!
Our colleague Richard from the Es Pla Education Centre has shared his expertise on what to do if your trip numbers aren’t what you hoped they would be.
Richard is an experienced British geographer who has worked in 20 countries across 4 continents. He has led fieldwork courses for more than 300 different groups.
“Trip cancelled due to a lack of numbers.”
Having to write this phrase is incredibly frustrating for any teacher who has expended a great deal of time and energy in trying to organise a school trip.
However, the harsh reality is that if ten or less pupils sign up for a school geography fieldwork trip, the price may be too high for many parents. The reason for this is due to the fixed costs (i.e. the fieldwork guide, the coach, and the teacher’s flight and accommodation) which are always divided between the total number of students. The less pupils there are, the higher the price per pupil will be.
However, if you only have 7 pupils in your A level class, do not despair! There are a number of possible solutions…
3 steps to improving school trip numbers
1) Consider running a trip for both A level and GCSE students (or IB Diploma and MYP).
An experienced local fieldwork guide will be able to advise on sites that provide fieldwork opportunities for both groups of students and to supervise the collection of two different sets of fieldwork data.
For example, in Mallorca, when studying urban regeneration in Palma, older students can use more sophisticated data collection techniques such as a perception survey. Younger pupils can find it harder to be objective so they can be given a simpler task such as collecting the number and type of shops and services in a specified block. Data can then be pooled if required.
2) Make sure you launch your trip with a bang
Visit the Launch Pad for everything you will need to get your students and their parents engaged and excited about your upcoming school trip. From parent letters and permission slips to winning PowerPoints and plenty of tips and guidance.
3) Speak to a colleague from a different department to see if they are interested in running an inter-departmental trip.
Subjects that can successfully combine with geography include art, history, politics and Spanish.
In Mallorca, a trip with students from the geography and Spanish departments can work extremely well. For example, there is the opportunity for the language students to attend Spanish classes in the morning. They can then put into practice what they have learnt in the afternoons. They can assist the geography students with their data collection by conducting questionnaires in Spanish.