The truth about school trips

  • Travelling on public transport with thirty children is like taking an entire zoo onto an aeroplane. Loud, turbulent and just plain wild. People will stare. And tut. And mutter obscenities under their breath. If the children notice, just point at the opposite window and shout ‘Wow, is that a cow?’ They’ll be none the wiser.


  • A walk that you – yourself – can do in five minutes, takes thirty children just shy of three years to complete.


  • Large groups of children also find it incredibly difficult to walk in straight lines. Instead, they will opt to walk backwards, sideways, and any other way they can, just as long as it’s NOT forwards. And they’ll do all this whilst shouting, laughing and waving their limbs about. They’ll have no awareness of trespassing on people’s drives. If the drive in question is not cordoned off by a wall or a fence, then the children consider it as a mere pavement extension for them to run all over. Any existing spacial awareness or peripheral vision that the children possess is left in the classroom (it’s too heavy for them to carry aswell as their packed lunch, you see). So it is highly likely, that at least three children will walk into an innocent bystander. Possibly more than once. This can get a mixed reception. As not everyone likes children.


  • At least one of the thirty will leave their packed lunch at school. In the classroom. On the desk. And you may have to give them your own. Sacrifice is a beautiful thing.


  • Whist we’re on the subject of the packed lunch, children will try to eat the entire contents before they have even arrived at the destination of the school trip. Keep an eye on that, as come lunch time they may try to eat yours. Or worse, another child’s.


  • Children will also spend a great deal of time, telling their peers about the contents of said packed lunch. Packed lunches can range enormously in nutritional value, depending on whether the child’s parents have forgotten about the imminence of the school trip, resulting in them having to frantically shove something edible into a plastic bag at the last minute.


  • To be honest a school trip is pretty much just a glorified picnic. Eating out of a plastic bag, somewhere other than school is the main focus of the day and quite often takes up more time than looking at the actual educational element you’re there to see.


  • The chorus of ‘Are we there yet?’ is a glorious sound, especially when multiplied by thirty and set at a high-pitched, slightly whiney tone.


  • More time is spent travelling there and back, then is actually spent at the attraction you are visiting. In truth you only spend about ten minutes, looking at what you came to see. The rest of the time is divided between eating lunch and escorting thirty children to the toilet.


  • Due to a lack of time you will have to insist that the entire class go to the toilet simultaneously, in unison. If a child proclaims that they do not need to use the toilet, you must insist that they try. Escorting thirty children to the toilet is a stressful experience and will involve at least five repetitions of, ‘Have you washed your hands?’ and ‘Voices off!’ Some children have a strange aversion to drying their hands and consequently will emerge from the toilet with sopping wet palms, shaking them off like a dog. Some of that water could well end up in your mouth as you open it to rebuke them.


  • The journey home will consist of lots of inane, shrill, and quite frankly irritating clapping games which make absolutely no sense. They will inevitably end up stuck in your head and may drive you partially mad.


  • Clipboards are heavy and cumbersome and at least seven will get broken because they are fun to fiddle with.


  • Upon returning to school you’ll discover a new-found appreciation for the all-in-one-place-ness of the classroom and an immense gratitude for the fact that the school trip is not a half-termly occurrence.


  • There is a high probability that you will fall fast asleep at approximately 7:45pm in front of the telly after a school trip; still full from your packed lunch and completely and utterly done with trains.


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