Let’s face it: excursions aren’t always easy to plan. They need to be carefully thought out, clearly communicated to other staff and parents, and often booked and paid for in advance. At Melbourne On The Move, our charter buses for school trips are very popular among school and university groups. We understand what it takes to plan a great excursion, and what kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself and others. We’re sharing some of the key questions in today’s blog!
#1: Where are you going?
While you may already have an idea of where you’d like to go for your next excursion, it’s always good to kick off the planning process by drilling down on an exact location you want to visit, along with the activities that would be held there. There are plenty of popular locations in Victoria for an excursion – a bit of research never hurts!
#2: How will this relate to the curriculum?
Think about what you want students to get out of the excursion, and why your chosen location and activities will help achieve this curriculum goal. For example, if you teach history, how does your excursion teach students something that is relevant to your teaching material? If you can explain your reasoning for your excursion clearly and convincingly, you won’t have a problem obtaining supervisor approval later on.
#3: How will you obtain approval and permission?
You need to run the idea of an excursion past your supervisor and any other relevant staff members at least two to three months beforehand. The principal or your supervisor will need to review and approve your plans at each step of the process, so make sure you keep them heavily involved. Depending on the excursion type, permission slips need to be drawn up for parents to sign approximately two months in advance. Any payments that parents need to make should also be taken at this time.
#4: Do your students know the ground rules?
The consequences for misbehaviour need to be made very clear before the camp or excursion commences. Will students be sent home if they behave rudely? Are the other teachers or volunteers on the school trip also well-versed on how to enact these consequences? Make sure everyone is clear on the ground rules, and what will occur if they aren’t followed.
#5: What does the schedule look like?
Packing in too many activities can make for a stressful, strictly-timed excursion. Meanwhile underestimating the time you have can mean you are left with gaps in your day. Instead, find a balance between the two, be realistic about what’s achievable within the given timeframe, and allow a little extra wiggle room between each activity.
Apart from the activities themselves, you’ll also need to plan:
- Where teachers and students will be having lunch (will it be an onsite or offsite restaurant, or will students need to pack their own lunches?)
- Where students will be dismissed from – if they need to be at school before dismissal, then you need to plan what time you’ll be back at school.
#6: What if something goes wrong?
You need to consider what would happen in an emergency situation, and what your contingency plan would be if something happened to fail on the day. The absolute must-haves in case of an emergency include:
- A first-aid kit
- Each child’s parents’ phone numbers
- A phone that is working and fully charged
- A roll that needs to be checked at several points in the day to ensure no-one gets lost.
#7: How are you planning to get there?
Perhaps the most important aspect of an excursion you need to organise is transportation. Depending on the size of your group and the location of the excursion, you may be able to take public transport or even walk to your destination if it’s nearby. However, in most cases, you’ll need to book a charter bus for a school trip, camp or excursion.
This means you’ll need to source a reliable transport company that can work closely with you on a pickup and drop-off schedule for the day. You will also need to book a charter bus well in advance to avoid disappointment. We recommend booking your bus at least a month or two in advance.
Book a charter bus for your school trip
Melbourne On The Move offers safe and flexible bus hire services for school group excursions and camps. Our drivers are trained to make your trip as safe as possible, and all our staff members hold ‘Working With Children’ licenses. We are very flexible with schedules, so we can work with your excursion plans or alternatively, you can choose from our existing itineraries. At the end of the day, our number one priority is ensuring your school excursion runs as smoothly as possible.
To speak to a friendly MOTM team member about booking a charter bus for your school trip, feel free to get in touch with us on 1300 55 86 86.