St Ivo Academy has a long track record of providing a wide range of educational visits for students across Years 7 to 13. Indeed, past and present students, parents and staff often reminisce about the impact of visits on their educational experience and the way they have positively shaped the mindset and indeed subject and career choices or our young people over the years.
The visits are a mixture of local, national and international experiences, and include both day visits and residential. We believe visits form an important part of each student’s education, enabling them to experience something new, and hence we would encourage them all to undertake a trip at least every key stage of their learning journey. Through experience we have found that students benefit from these activities in a number of ways, particularly on residential visits and involving outdoor activities. These benefits include helping to build self esteem, confidence and independence, as well as learning to co-operate and work well in a group. Also, through the activities that they choose, students will receive hands-on learning and learn to manage risk.
Examples of educational visits
In previous years there has been a wide choice of visits and we hope to continue this in the future. Examples of just a few of the visits we have offered in the past include:
Year 7: Castles (history); Space centre (Science); Varsity rugby (PE)
Year 8: Grafham water (geography); French Christmas markets (languages); Switzerland outdoor experience; Black Country outdoor industrial museum (history)
Year 9: Dunwich coast (geography); skiing (PE)
Year 10: WWI battlefields (history); Iceland (geography), Auschwitz (RE), catering
Year 11 only and/or Sixth Form: Vietnam, China, Ireland (history); Snowdonia, South Africa (geography); UK galleries, Italy (Art); skiing (PE), law courts; economics conferences.
Across the year groups, most departments offer opportunities, not just those above, but also for dance, drama, music, English, food technology and design, maths, textiles, STEM, and university experiences. Some of these include occasional free visits and activities outside or inside school for a few lessons during the school day, for example collecting geography fieldwork data in St. Ives, visiting a local place of worship in RE, and food technology demonstrations. Students may also be offered additional opportunities that arise, for example theatre and dance productions where we are able to secure tickets. Sometimes sporting events are offered (for example Wimbledon tennis tickets, golf, and cycling), with priority given to students taking Vocational Sport and/or those involved in extra-curricular sports clubs.
Visit categories: A, B, C, D
We are acutely aware that educational visits can put financial pressure on parents/carers. The letters sent to parents/carers will include a statement about financial assistance for each particular visit. In addition, each visit is categorised by the school to inform parents/carers about the nature of each trip:
- A: HIGHLY IMPORTANT: The visit is highly important to the course because students strongly benefit from it when seeking to complete or pass the course. The visit aims to involve all students studying the course. Hence, the suggested financial contribution is kept to zero or as minimal as possible (usually under £50).
- B: INTEGRATED: The visit is not essential for studying the course. However, the visit is tightly integrated with the course, closely linked to the scheme of work, and used as a resource for lessons, student classwork and homework. The visit aims to involve at least half to all the students studying the course. The suggested financial contribution is medium level (usually £50-£100).
- C: CONNECTED: The visit is not essential for studying the course. However, the visit has connections to the course and offers useful extended experiences for subject knowledge, cultural insights, and personal development. The visit tends to involve a minority of the students studying the course. The suggested financial contribution ranges from high to expensive (usually £100 upwards).
- D: DECIDING CAREERS: The visit is not essential, but highly useful for considering career paths after Y11, Y12 and Y13. Such visits are free when possible, or a suggested financial contribution to pay for transport costs e.g. coaches, trains.
Consent for non-residential local trips and sports fixtures
From time to time students may participate in the following types of visits:
- Walking into the local town of St Ives, including buildings available to the general public, for example businesses, shops, post office, library, museum and places of worship.
- Local field work within the town boundary.
- Non-residential sports fixtures.
- Timetabled courses at local colleges, for example car mechanics.
Staff will plan such visits thoroughly, including ensuring that an appropriate staff to student ratio is in place and that they have access to parents/carers contact details. However, for these visits, the school will not typically ask parents/carers for separate consent. In the case of sports fixtures which run outside of the normal school day, it is the responsibility of the student to inform parents/carers of the details of the visit, including the venue, departure and return times so that parents/carers can ensure students have a safe way to then travel home. Parents/carers have the right to withdraw consent for their child to participate in zone 1 visits. To withdraw consent please email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Mr A Ward, Director of School Strategic Operations.
Although St Ivo Academy wishes to ensure that outdoor learning activities and educational visits are available and accessible to all, the school will always take into account the safeguarding and safety of students. Hence, St Ivo Academy may withdraw the chance for a student to take part in educational visits and outdoor learning if their behaviour falls below expectations in school or on previous educational visits and outdoor learning activities. Should this arise you need to be aware that cancellation charges will apply.
Contact details for questions
As parents/carers will appreciate, the organisation and administration of educational visits is a major challenge for teachers and support staff in the finance department, medical room, staffing office, and Learning Support department. We endeavour at all times to ensure a smooth and safe process, and seek to make improvements at every opportunity. If you have any questions, please email Alison.email@example.com (visits administrator) and/or Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org (Director of School Strategic Operations and EVC – Educational Visits Coordinator).