A News story by 18 January 2024

AT E-ACT we have long recognised the immense value of complementing and extending the basic curriculum with school visits. These trips are not merely fun outings; they are pivotal in opening minds, thinking big, and broadening horizons of our children, offering them a tangible connection to the world beyond their classrooms. This approach is deeply ingrained in our commitment to providing equitable and enriching educational experiences for every single child in all E-ACT academies.

An example of this philosophy in action can be seen at E-ACT Pathways Academy in Sheffield. Here, school trips are carefully mapped as part of wider curriculum planning and include experiences such as visits to Sheffield Cathedral, which are integral to nurturing respect and a profound understanding of various faiths and spiritual beliefs. Headteacher of E-ACT Pathways Academy, Liz Long, believes that such experiences are invaluable, especially in a world increasingly characterised by diversity and multiculturalism. She believes that exposing children to places of worship they may ordinarily not have the opportunity to visit allows children to explore and appreciate not only their own beliefs but also those of their peers, fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

Similarly, at E-ACT Braintcroft Academy in Brent, the opportunity for children include visiting theatres and a plethora of museums across London, such as the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and Imperial War Museum. The carefully planned and purposeful offer is a testament to Andrea Rosewell’s commitment to expose children to the best cultural opportunities society has to offer. She believes that these visits serve as gateways to the vast world of history, science, and the arts, igniting curiosity and inspiring a lifelong love for learning. They are not just educational; they are transformative experiences that leave a lasting impact on young minds.

The importance of these school visits cannot be overstated. They provide a rich, hands-on learning experience that complements the theoretical knowledge gained in the classroom. By witnessing the richness of these subjects in real-life contexts, children develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of them. Moreover, such excursions are instrumental in building critical skills like observation, analysis, and critical thinking.

Martin Fitzwilliam, National Director for Primary Education,  says that “School visits play a crucial role in social and emotional development. They offer children a platform to interact with peers and adults in diverse settings both within and beyond their own communities and cultures, enhancing their social skills and emotional intelligence. These experiences also contribute to building respect, confidence, and independence, qualities essential for their future endeavours.”

In essence, E-ACT’s commitment to incorporating well-thought-out and carefully chosen school visits into the primary curriculum is a reflection of our dedication to offering a holistic education for every single child. We believe in the power of these experiences to enrich our children’s lives, equipping them with knowledge, skills, and perspectives that will serve them well beyond their time at our academies. This approach is not just about fulfilling educational objectives; it’s about shaping well-rounded, informed, and empathetic individuals ready to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

 

By Martin Fitzwilliam – National Director of Primary