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Co-op Academy Glebe

Educational Visits Policy

Academy Owner:

Mandy Hancock

Governor Owner:

Vicki England

Policy Date:

7 December 2022

Review Date:

December 2023

Frequency: 

Annual 

Overview

Intent

At Co-op Academy Glebe we see the benefits to learning outside the classroom and educational visits to be crucial to the ‘Catch Up’ and recovery to learning post pandemic. We have seen real disruption to our routine, and the traumas faced by students, parents and staff has affected us all in very different ways. The opportunities to rebuild trust and relationships are often greater whilst out of the classroom. Being outside also encourages physical activity following a period where some of our school community have been housebound.

Implementation

Learning outside the classroom activities and educational visits and are used as teaching and learning tools for the delivery of elements of Co-op Academy Glebe’s Statement of Intent.

Impact

Learning outside the classroom activities and educational visits have clear and measurable aims which link to Co-op Academy Glebe’s statement of intent/curriculum intent. The impact contributes to pupils’ attainment and progress. Co-op Academy Glebe’s approach to the evaluation of activities and visits is set out in this policy.

Context

We believe that educational visits are an integral part of the entitlement of every pupil to an effective and balanced curriculum. Appropriately planned visits enhance learning and improve attainment, and so form a key part of what makes Co-op Academy Glebe a supportive and effective learning environment. The benefits to pupils of taking part in visits and learning outside the classroom include, but are not limited to:

  • Improvements in their ability to cope with change.
  • Increased critical curiosity and resilience.
  • Opportunities for meaning making, creativity, developing learning relationships and practicing strategic awareness.
  • Increased levels of trust and opportunities to examine the concept of trust (us in them, them in us, them in themselves, them in each other).
  • Improved achievement and attainment across a range of curricular subjects. Pupils are active participants not passive consumers, and a wide range of learning styles can flourish.
  • Enhanced opportunities for ‘real world’ ‘learning in context’ and the development of the social and emotional aspects of intelligence.
  • Increased risk management skills through opportunities for involvement in practical risk-benefit decisions in a range of contexts, i.e. encouraging pupils to become more risk aware as opposed to risk averse.
  • Greater sense of personal responsibility.
  • Possibilities for genuine team working including enhanced communication skills.
  • Improved environmental appreciation, knowledge, awareness and understanding of a variety of environments.
  • Improved awareness and knowledge of the importance and practices of sustainability.
  • Physical skill acquisition and the development of a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Application

Any visit that leaves the school grounds is covered by this policy, whether as part of the curriculum, during school time, or outside the normal school day.

This Educational Visits Policy should be read in conjunction with:

  1. The Co-op Academies Trust policy document ‘Educational visits statement’ (available to all staff via Evolve).
  2. National Guidance www.oeapng.info

Co-op Academy Glebe uses EVOLVE for all educational visits.

All staff are required to plan and execute visits in line with school policy (i.e. this document), the Co-op Academies Trust policies and National Guidelines. Staff are particularly directed to be familiar with the roles and responsibilities outlined within the guidance.

Types of Visit & Approval

There are three ‘types’ of visit:

  1. Visits/activities within the ‘School Learning Area’ that are part of the normal curriculum and take place during the normal school day.

These follow the ‘School Learning Area’ Operating Procedure (Appendix 1).

  1. Other non-residential visits within the UK that do not involve an adventurous activity.

These are entered on EVOLVE by the visit leader and submitted to the EVC for checking. The EVC then submits to the Head for approval.

  1. Visits that are overseas, residential, or involve an adventurous activity.

As above, but the Head authorises and then submits to the Trust for approval.

Timescales

Co-op Academy Glebe uses the Evolve system to plan, manage and record educational visits.

Visit Leaders should plan and prepare visits allowing time for internal and external vetting and approval as required. Normally this will mean that visit plans should be submitted to the EVC by the following deadlines:

  • 3 to 6 months before departure for Overseas Visits
  • 5 weeks before departure for Residentials
  • 5 weeks before departure for Adventure Activities
  • 2 weeks before departure for other types of visit

If for any reason these deadlines cannot be met, clarification and approval should be sought from the EVC.


Roles and responsibilities 

Visit leaders are responsible for the planning of their visits, and for entering these on EVOLVE (where required). They should obtain outline permission for a visit from the Principal or EVC prior to planning, and certainly before making any financial commitments. Visit leaders have responsibility for ensuring that their visits will comply with all relevant guidance and requirements.

The Educational Visits Coordinators (EVC’s) are Mandy Hancock and Tristan Warrilow who will support and challenge colleagues over visits and learning outside the classroom (LOtC) activities. The EVC is the first point of contact for advice on visit related matters, and will check final visit plans on EVOLVE before submitting them to the Head. The EVC sets up and manages the staff accounts on EVOLVE, and uploads generic school documents, etc.

The Principal has responsibility for authorising all visits for submitting all overseas, residential or adventurous activity visits to the Trust for approval, via EVOLVE.

The Governing Body’s role is that of a ‘critical friend’ and it will:

  1. Adopt and periodically review this policy, as required.
  2. Ensure there is a competent Educational Visit Coordinator (EVC) in place who meets the requirements outlined in ‘National Guidance’ and has completed the EVC Training Programme and any updates as required.
  3. Review the range of visits provided by the school via a report submitted twice a year by the EVC.

Individual governors may request ‘read-only’ access to EVOLVE.

The Co-op Academies Trust is responsible for the final approval (via EVOLVE) of all visits that are either overseas, residential, and/or involve an adventurous activity.

Evaluation

Co-op Academy Glebe evaluates activities and visits.

Evaluation may include:

  1. The impact on learning; in addition to usual assessment methods, we use
  • Photographs / Video
  • Of specific processes –measuring, data collection, data recording, use of creative language, sequencing etc.
  • Pupil Voice
  • Develop questionnaires to capture physical activity levels & happiness
  • Other measures (e.g. attendance, behaviour)

  1. The arrangements (e.g. risk assessments, value for money, lessons learned)

Staff Competence

Co-op Academy Glebe recognises that staff competence is the single most important factor in the safe management of visits, and so we support staff in developing their competence in the following ways:

  • An apprenticeship system, where staff new to visits assist and work alongside experienced visit leaders before taking on a leadership role.
  • Supervision by senior staff on some educational visits.
  • Support for staff to attend training courses relevant to their role, where necessary.

In deciding whether a member of staff is competent to be a visit leader, the Principal will take into account the following factors:

  • Relevant experience.
  • Previous relevant training.
  • The prospective leader’s ability to make dynamic risk management judgements, and take charge in the event of an emergency.
  • Knowledge of the pupils, the venue, and the activities to be undertaken.

Emergency procedures

A critical incident is any incident where events go beyond the normal coping mechanisms and experience of the visit leadership team.

The school has an emergency plan in place to deal with a critical incident during a visit (see Appendix 2). All staff on visits are familiar with this plan and it is tested at least bi-annually and following any major staffing changes.

When an incident overwhelms the establishment’s emergency response capability, or where it involves serious injury or fatality, or where it is likely to attract media attention then assistance will be sought from the Co-op Academies Trust.

Educational Visits Checklist

Co-op Academy Glebe’s Educational Visits Checklist forms part of the risk management process for visits and off-site activities. This has been adapted from the National Guidance generic checklist. A visit should usually only go ahead if the answer to all relevant questions is ‘YES’. Co-op Academy Glebe’s Educational Visits Checklist may be downloaded from EVOLVE Resources.  

Parental Consent 

Consent is not required for activities within the School Learning Area that are part of the normal curriculum during normal school time.

The school obtains blanket consent at the start of each year for certain other routine activities, e.g. Local walks, swimming, etc.

Specific, (i.e. one-off), parental consent must be obtained for all other visits. For these visits, sufficient information must be made available to parents (via letters, meetings, etc), so that consent is given on a ‘fully informed’ basis.

Inclusion

Co-op Academy Glebe is committed to inclusion and will include all students in our offsite activities wherever this is reasonably practicable. 

Outdoor learning and off-site visits should be available and accessible to all, irrespective of any special educational or medical needs or protected characteristics.

The principles of inclusion and equality should be promoted and addressed in policy and practice, ensuring:

• an entitlement to participate;

• accessibility through adaptation or modification, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services;

• integration through participation with peers.

Charging / funding for visits

Charging and Funding for visits is incorporated in Co-op Academy Glebe Charging and Remissions Policy.

There may be occasions when we can only run visits if we get sufficient voluntary contributions to break even.

Transport

School / hired self drive minibus –

Glebe Academy Trust follow Co-op Academy Trust Guidance.

For managing groups on public transport, coaches, etc. the information is included in each relevant visit risk assessment and is tailored to the cohort attending the visit.

Use of staff cars to transport pupils – Refer to the Co-op Academy Trust’s guidance document.  

Insurance

Visits are covered under policies arranged through the Co-op Academies Trust.

Other topics

  • Dismissal of pupils (e.g. at the end of the visit or activity) is included in the visit risk assessment

  • Use of volunteers is in accordance with The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP)

  • Swimming Lessons are in accordance with The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP)

  • Sports Fixtures details are included in the visit risk assessment

  • Overseas Visits not currently carried out but will be in accordance with The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel 


Appendix 1 – Local Educational Visits  

General

Visits/activities within the ‘Local Educational Visits’ (including those which are walks in the local vicinity) that are part of the normal curriculum and take place during the normal school day follow the Operating Procedure below.

These visits/activities:

  • do require parental consent and this is sought on an annual basis
  • do need a risk assessment which is cohort based
  • do need to be recorded on EVOLVE

Operating Procedure for Local Educational Visits

The following are potentially significant issues/hazards within our Local Educational visit :

  • Road traffic.
  • Other people / members of the public / animals.
  • Losing a pupil.
  • Uneven surfaces and slips, trips, and falls.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Activity specific issues when doing environmental fieldwork (nettles, brambles, rubbish, etc).

These are managed by a combination of the following:

  • The Principal or Vice Principal must give verbal approval before a group leave.

  • Only staff judged competent to supervise groups in this environment are approved. A current list of approved staff is maintained by the EVC and office.
  • The concept and Operating Procedure of the ‘Local Educational Visit Area’ is explained to all new parents when their child joins the school, and a synopsis is in the School Prospectus.
  • There will normally be a minimum of two adults.
  • Staff are familiar with the area, including any ‘no go areas’, and have practiced appropriate group management techniques.
  • Pupils have been trained and have practiced standard techniques for road crossings in a group.
  • Where appropriate, pupils are fully briefed on what to do if they become separated from the group.
  • All remotely supervised work in the Local Educational Visit is done in ‘buddy’ pairs as a minimum.
  • Pupils’ clothing and footwear is checked for appropriateness prior to leaving school.
  • Staff are aware of any relevant pupil medical information and ensure that any required medication is available.
  • Staff will deposit in the office a list of all pupils and staff, a proposed route, and an estimated time of return.
  • A school mobile is taken with each group and the office have a note of the number.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment is taken when needed (e.g. gloves, goggles)

Appendix 2 – Emergency Procedure

Our plan in an emergency is included in the Emergency Plan for Major Incidents on Educational Visits policy.