Scoil Náisiúnta Réalt na Mara Réalt na Mara National School

Mill street, Dundalk, Co Louth, A91 TD3H
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(042) 9327230
Principal: Mr Phil McCaul

Realt Na Mara National School Front photo

School Tours & Excursions Policy

Introduction

This policy was drawn up by the staff and circulated to the Board of Management (BoM) and Parents Association for observations and feedback. Taking into account the age and interests of the children and the curriculum being covered, school tours will be arranged by the school to present the children with a new environment in which they can observe, investigate and relate their findings to their own environment. Tours will be arranged at the discretion of the class teacher.

Rationale

The need for this policy arises due to children being exposed to a wide variety of different experiences while on school outings, and the necessity to have a framework for good practice in place to cover all eventualities.

Aims

  • To ensure all practical possibilities are covered in reducing the exposure of children to risk on outings
  • To provide an enjoyable educational experience for all children

Policy Content

It has been the policy of the school over the years to organise separate tour dates and destinations for each class level. The tours are structured in such a way as to provide an educational aspect in addition to an entertainment and recreational value. It has been recent school policy to limit shopping in shopping centres due to the unnecessary dangers children can be exposed to and the difficulty in providing adequate supervision.

Each teacher is responsible for their own class group. Class teachers are supported by SET teachers and SNAs who accompany the group.

  • Children must obey their supervisors at all times
  • Children must remain seated while the bus is in motion
  • Children must remain with their allocated grouping and supervisor at all times
  • Children will line up in their individual groups on disembarking from the bus
  • Roll calls/head counts are taken when children return to the bus after each segment of the tour
  • Eating crisps/popcorn/chewing gum is discouraged on school tours.

Success Criteria

  • Positive experiences for all
  • Children having a safe enjoyable experience
  • Teacher/Parent Satisfaction

Conditions of Hiring

All transport supplied, will be suitable and well-maintained. Teachers have the right to refuse any bus they find unsuitable for their outing. If the bus proves unsuitable a replacement will be supplied or the money refunded The driver will be used to dealing with children and have a thorough knowledge of and follow the itinerary and timetable for the tour. The driver is responsible for the safety of the children while they are travelling, but teachers have the right to intervene if it is felt the the safety of the children is compromised:

  • The group will have access to the bus for the full day
  • If the weather conditions are unfavourable the group will have the use of the bus for sheltering or for eating lunch.
  • The consumption of food(snacking) and singing on the bus - at an acceptable level - will be at the discretion of the teacher in consultation with the driver
  • Buses will be left as they were found

Tour Kit

Leaders will take a tour kit on all outings. These will be available from the office. The kit will contain:

  • First aid materials, refuse and illness bags, newspapers, kitchen roll
  • Maps of the locality, umbrella
  • Money to buy parents/teachers coffee/tea.

Cost

The teachers will ensure that the cost of the tour is reasonable and represents value for money. All children will be actively encouraged to save towards the cost of the tour. Tour proposals must be sent to the principal to review (in consultation with the B.O.M. if the principal feels is is needed before booking)

Spending money

Teachers travelling together will agree and notify their group of the upper limit on spending money. This will be based on age and venue.

Venue

Tours will be booked early in the 1st or 2nd term for a date as early as possible in the 3rd term. Teachers will be conscious of the likely busier days. Not more than two classes will travel together, unless venue and transport arrangements warrant otherwise.

Weather Conditions

Rain and head gear will be essential for all children and a change of clothes may be necessary, depending on the venue.

Uniforms

Teachers travelling together will decide whether uniforms should be worn.

Reports

Where problems arise either with venue or transport teachers will report back to the transport/tour organiser who will in turn will discuss it with the Principal.

Conduct on Tours

Pupils’ behaviour on tours will comply with the standard set down in the School’s Code of Discipline. In certain circumstances parents may be asked to agree to a contract on behaviour. Where it is felt that a child’s conduct would pose a safety risk or inhibit the educational benefit for self or others, the teacher may refuse the child permission to travel. Parents will be advised of this in advance.

Safety and Supervision

Teachers will be extra vigilant when taking children out of the school. Special attention will be paid to - Road Safety, Behaviour on bus, Risks posed by particular venues (e.g. adventure playgrounds etc.). The minimum supervision ratio will be 15:1 (adult).

Informing Parents

Teachers will ensure that Parents are given sufficient notice of:

  • Itinerary & Timetable
  • Cost
  • Special clothing necessary and packed lunch (no glassware).

Fieldtrips

Fieldtrips which relate to a particular curricular area are encouraged. These trips can range from simple walks around the school to organised trips to relevant places of interest.

The principal must be informed in advance if it is proposed that a class leave the school grounds.

Teachers are encouraged to plan and prepare children in advance of the trip and to carry out some follow up work in the classroom following the fieldtrip.

Teachers should ensure adequate supervision at all times. Where necessary, an SNA or parent / guardian should accompany the class on the trip.

Children should be appropriately dressed for the fieldtrip e.g. raingear, suitable footwear etc.

No child is to be refused participation in any proposed activity because of family inability to pay.

Buses booked for fieldtrips must be fitted with individual seatbelts and these should be worn by all children.

See also First Aid Policy.

Educational Tours/Outings

Proposed date

Proposed departure and return time

Proposed itinerary

Content

  1. What are the Aims/Objectives of the outing?

  2. What are the long/short term activities planned to achieve these aims/objectives?

  3. What activities are planned for the centre(s) visited:

  4. What follow-up activities are planned?

Cost

  1. What is the cost involved:
    • (a) Transport €…
    • (b) Visits
    • © Spending €…€…
    • (d) TOTAL €…

Supervision

  1. What ratio of supervision is necessary?: (minimum 15/1)

  2. Have additional supervisors been approached?: Who?

  3. What arrangements have been made for disabled children (if any in class)?

  4. What alternative arrangements been made in the event of inclement weather?

Organiser ___________________

TOURS CHECKLIST

Before the tour

  • Venue booked
  • Transport booked
  • Individual parents informed of travelling embargo on disruptive pupils
  • Timetable organised
  • Parents informed by standard letter
    • itinerary
    • timetable
    • cost
    • lunch arrangements
    • clothing necessary

Agreement on

  • Leader
  • Spending money
  • Acceptable behaviour on bus
  • Extra supervisors (minimum 15:1)

Day of Tour

Tour leader will ensure;

  • Tour kits are available for each bus
  • Cheques for venues
  • Cheques for bus
  • Money for coffee
  • Tip for drivers

After Tour

  • Report back to office
  • Send thank you cards to parents etc

ORGANISER………………

*check tour kits contain

  • First aid materials, refuse sacks, illness bags
  • Newspaper/kitchen rolls

 

 

This policy is revised annually or at other times if deemed necessary.

Chairperson, Board of Management