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School Trip - New York

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by wingwalker, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Myself and a few collegues have decided to organise a school trip foy yr10 and may be 11 to New York. Take in Broadway etc. Does anyone have any advice, experience that you may feel would be useful??

    Has anyone been on such a school trip and can advise on anything that went well in terms of activities. Teacher / student numbers etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. Myself and a few collegues have decided to organise a school trip foy yr10 and may be 11 to New York. Take in Broadway etc. Does anyone have any advice, experience that you may feel would be useful??

    Has anyone been on such a school trip and can advise on anything that went well in terms of activities. Teacher / student numbers etc.

    Thanks
     
  3. This is a career-ending move and you are absolutely *stupid* taking kids of that age to New York. If/when anything happens to one of them, you will be the one in the newspapers; you will be the one the parents blame, the school blames etc etc. No amount of Risk Analysis forms will protect you form a lawyer seeking to find someone on the trip to blame.

    Don't do it.
     
  4. Hi wingwalker - you're not stupid - from many perspectives it's a brilliant idea - kids overawed, no alcohol, etc.

    I took a group of 26 last year and I would be delighted to let you have my itinerary and all the details. The secret is to walk them off their feet so that they're begging to get to bed come 11 o'clock. My kids were (yr 12/13. We had absolutely no trouble whatsoever. If you e-mail me directly I'll give you further details. g.woodhead@hautlieu.sch.je

     
  5. took a group of 90 over easter, was amazing and kids had a fab time!! only problem was one kid lost their purse, apart from that it was fab!! go for it!! but as another post said walk them loads, we walked them everyday ans showed them all the sites and famous places in 3 days!! organise empire state group booking in advance, we tried to but they forgot to book us so when we arrived we had to cue, still got up it but took a while longer! kids loved times square an dthe restaurants and shops around there, great at night!!!
     
  6. I'm from New York (now living in the UK), and I think a group of 15 or 16 year old kids could handle a school trip and have a fantastic time.

    Having said that, I think these are the things you must consider:

    1. First and foremost, you know your kids. Are they sensible, or are they irresponsible? If the latter, I would not recommend this trip.

    2. Assuming they are sensible children, I would have a high adult to child ratio, maybe 1:5 if you can manage it.

    3. The kids need to be fully prepared for the trip: how to get around New York, where to go for help if they get separated from the group, even how to cross the street. There is no equivalent to the zebra crossing! They should have subway maps and metro (like Oyster) cards.

    4. A show is nice, but I would recommend New York's fantastic museums, especially the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.

    5. All of these museums are not far from Central Park.

    6. Go to Chinatown (downtown), eat in one of the restaurants and browse the shops for trinkets. This will be less expensive than eating uptown, and will be an experience for them.

    Now I'm homesick! I think if this is carefully planned, and everyone is fully prepared, it could be a wonderful experience, and it is worth looking into.

    Jane

     
  7. The NASUWT gives the advice it gives for very good reasons. With all the planning in the world and the very best intentions, it will take just one event by one pupil, or one event to happen to one pupil and your life could be turned upside down. The chances are it will be a great trip and everyone will enjoy it and get a lot out of it. But if you get unlucky, can you cope being suspended whilst your supervison is investigated, whilst every detail of every bit of your planning is questioned and probed? Could your family face the stress of you being put under enormous pressure? And if you lose your job as a result, can you pay the mortgage? If you like playing poker with your life and career, go for it.
     
  8. We have just come back from New York at Easter. We took a group of 30 15/16 year olds and had a fantastic time. We managed to see everything we wanted to, including all the major sites in 5 days, oh and lots and lots of shopping! The pupils really enjoyed it and it was an excellent experience for them. For us it is run as a history and geography trip.

    I can understand some people's reluctance to take a trip like this and we were lucky that we had no problems at all. (The only thing that was a bit of a pain was on the plane on the way back, when BA 'conveniently' had our pupils anywhere from row 50 to row 30, in two different sections of the plane making it a little difficult for us to keep our eyes on them. However most of them were so tired after 5 days of NY that they went to sleep straight away!)

    We had 4 staff so had a good ratio and the kids were briefed as to what to do if they got lost etc. We did the subway, Times Square (a number of times) and many other extremely busy places with no problems.

    We did the same as Woodie, walked them off their feet. Most days we were out before 9am, back for a pit stop about 6pm then off out again. During a room check at 10.30pm most of them were already in bed asleep!

    A couple of things to suggest ? ESB ? don?t go there at dusk, everyone seems to have the same idea and it can be a nightmare to find people. Book anything that involves tickets before you go as it can be a real problem to find the time to do it during the trip. On the subway have a nominated person to ?sweep? to make sure no-one gets left behind. And book a walking tour of Manhattan for the first day, four hours is the minimum, but this will orientate everyone to the whole area and make finding things much easier.

    This is the fifth or sixth year we have run the trip and it really is the mix of pupils and staff that make it a success. Like other people have said, don?t take anyone you are remotely not sure about.

    If you leave your email address I can send you more details! Go for it!!
     
  9. RKM

    RKM

    Taking them on an experience is amazing, but how would u justify the reason for taking them to NY.

    We are doing an enterprise project and the amount of hassle i had just to take them Oxford Street was a mission.

    We had to visit the head office of the business we r working with and they are just off Oxford Street. I thought it would be a good idea to spend the last 2 hours having a walk down Oxford Street and let the kids experience London.

    Justifying New York would be hard

     
  10. Thanks everyone for your advice so far. Some real good stuff.

    I understand the caution that some of you have suggested to going to New York and really do understand at where you are coming from. However, we will not take anyone we have any slight doubt about. And some of these kids are great but think there small town is all there is. If we can open their eyes just a bit and show them a different world and a great time then I'm willing to shoulder the responsibility.

    By the way, walking them until they drop has been noted and will be done.

    My thanks
     
  11. Good luck.

    So what will you do for your next career?
     
  12. at Half term the plane over to Philadelphia was full of pupils on a trip to NY who got diverted because of the snow, they plonked them in several different sections and the teachers got put in business, they were immaculatley behaved, the cabin crew talked a couple of them into sharing a can of lager which I thought was sensible, Issue them all with a map, book them on a greyline coach tour £25 odd for 48hrs of hop on hop off tour at the main attractions, and walk everywhere else!
     
  13. I actually went on a school trip to New York in year 10, which was considered very ambitious considering the school that it was. But we had a fantastic time and there were no incidents. Twenty-four students from one class went (as others opted out due to the price), and I think that there were 3 adults accompanying us. I think it was a five-day trip, and we did the following attractions:

    Statue of Liberty.
    Ellis Island.
    A couple of museums.
    Shopping (where everyone went where everyone wwent where they wanted for about 3 hours!).
    Tour of the city.
    Central Park (snowball fights!).
    Ice Skating in the Rockerfeller(?) Centre.
    Madison Square Gardens.
    Yankee Stadium.
    Empire State Building (go on the Skyride, its amazing).

    This obviously involved many forms of getting around the city, including the underground, and we had no problems at all. We stayed at a hotel in studio apartments, which meant sharing with 5 other people. We also were responsible for getting our own meals ? there were a number of restaurants nearby, and so long as we were back in our rooms by 10, we could go where we wanted to (within a couple of blocks radius). I must admit through that I was surprised at how safe I felt walking around New York in small groups, and we were really given quite a lot of freedom. Myself and my peers had an amazing time on the trip, and I would recommend it to anyone. I can understand some people?s perceptions of New York, but I think it takes gong there to actually change your opinions of the city. So long as the students are reasonably mature, I can?t see a problem ? we certainly didn?t experience any!

    Should you decide to go, then have a brilliant time! The kids will love it!
     
  14. In my previous post, myself and two colleagues took 30 Year 10 students over there, with a media studies focus. It was an amazing experience for me and the kids. Organising it was a nightmare, but once we were there it all went very well with no hiccups. We used NST Travel group, and they were great in helping with the mammoth organisational tasks.
    After leaving my post, I know another group have been to New York, and I believe the next trip planned for next year is to LA to visit the studios.
    For all we justified it as a media trip, we did visit the Museum of Moving Image (in Queens) - well worth a visit - but we did manage to squeeze in a good couple of days worth of shopping too!
    One word of warning though, your risk assessment will take up a good few trees, and you'll need a strong sturdy bag to carry all the paperwork for day-to-day visits (medical forms, itineraries, kids money etc)
    Good luck!
     
  15. I've taken alot of school groups away and never regretted a minute of it, I think it is a vital part of a student's education and am really sorry to see other staff refusing to take them.

    My 2 tips for success would be (other than those already mentioned)

    1 - allocate a group of students to each member of staff, so every time you meet up each adult has to count/check a small group then report back rather than one person doing the whole group

    2 - make sure all staff are aware of their responsibilities and your expectations of them and try to give them a bit of free time if possible (even if only an hour!)

     
  16. Hi,

    I can understand peoples doubts about trips especailly in this blame/claim society. I went on a school trip to China - there were 50 of us for 3 weeks. It was such a fantastic experience. Fortunatly the only bad things were a kid who thought it was a good idea to use the hotel gym and fell on the treadmill head first and lost a bit of skin! He didnt do it again! and one of the teachers fell over after getting excited seeing the pandas and broke her leg!!!

    So its not only the kids who get excited!

    It would be a great experience for the kids - once in a lifetime for some/many.

    You have my support.xxx Jem.xxxx
     
  17. I think school trips abroad are a fantastic idea and I take part in them each year (as many as i can get away with!). I'm interested in why you chose new york - couldn't you go somewhere just as great but much cheaper? paris? barcelona? rome?
    How have you/will you jusitify it to the school in terms of linking it with the curriculum etc?
     
  18. It's really easy to link curriculum subjects into a visit to the US. I was teaching the American synoptic unit in English, so I opened the trip to History and Photography. We went to Washington as well as New York so, for instance, on our museum afternoon, the English students went to the Museum of the Native American, the History students to the Holocaust Museum, and the Photography students to the Air and Space Museum.

    I can understand Piggypiggy's reluctance to a degree: a few of our own teachers refuse point blank to take trips away, mainly those who are Union reps. I know the harm it could potentially do to your career but for the majority of students who get the opportunity to go on a trip like this they understand the implications of bad behaviour. Whatever way you look at this, it is an expensive trip and students aren't going to blow it: they also recognise the immense amount of work taken to organise it and are really appreciative. Let's be honest - most careers are shattered from incidents that happen INSIDE the school.

     
  19. New York is a fanstastic place to take students. I have taken a party of year 10-13's for the past three years now and they have loved it. JUst make sure your risk assessment is comprehensive as i have had medical emergencies each year which required hospitalisation...but apart from that all went well. lol. Go for it .
     
  20. We have had several international (as far as Borneo!) trips at our school and on one something did go wrong- a child was injured and had to go home with broken bones. Because the risk assessments, supervision and so on were thorough, this did not result in any litigation. It was all down to planning very very carefully and totally covering our backs.

    Something just as bad could happen on a residential to London- I'd be more nervious (from a professional POV) about UK trips because the organiser is more likely to be complacant on 'home turf' and forget one vital form or risk assessment.
     

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