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Trip to Rome - help please

Discussion in 'Religious Education' started by ruthcatz, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. I am taking 30 pupils to Rome this summer with NST. I did not originally organise the visit (have taken over from someone who will be having a baby then) and have never been to Rome. Has anyone done this and got any advice/guidance to share?
    What things do I need to consider for my risk assessment?
  2. Thanks. How easy is it to get around Rome without using the metro?
  3. racbre

    racbre New commenter

    I did exactly the same thing 3 years ago - Rome, with NST, 30 pupils (mixed). Only difference was that I organised it from start to finish, but I had never been before either. There's a lot to do but it is definitely worth it!
    First thing to do is go to Rome for a couple of days, preferably with another member of staff, for the risk assessment. When I did it NST paid for board in a similar place to where we would be staying with the kids, and my school paid for the flights with a low-budget airline, and travel / food expenses when we were there. They were happy enough to do that because I did it taking one afternoon off school but two out of my weekend (left on the Friday evening, arrived back on the Sunday) - I think if you ask for 3 days out mid-week they might not be so keen!
    Your school or LEA should have a generic risk assessment form available for you to follow and complete, and as far as I can remember NST have some risk assessment tips to bear in mind as well.
    We went to most of the places planned on the itinerary, worked out metros / walking routes, and just generally familiarised ourselves with the city (as much as is possible in a few days).
    I booked a tour guide through NST who was very good - great for the first day, taking us to the Vatican and major sites etc. as he could speak Italian. This proved particularly handy when we got to the Vatican and they had no record of NST's booking!! They wouldn't let us through without paying so I had to put all of our entrance fees on my credit card and then had to chase NST for it (we got to the Vatican first thing in the morning, so the NST offices weren't open to sort it out). NST said it was the Vatican's fault and vice versa - but it did leave a bitter taste in my mouth - so make sure before you go that everything you have paid for in advance is booked! As I said, that would have been a heck of a lot more tricky without our fluent guide.
    I booked him for a second day when we were taking more of a leisurely stroll and to be honest I wouldn't do that again as the kids had done their 'culture' bit and were not as interested in the history narration he gave - they just wanted to buy souvenirs, eat ice-cream and take pictures. However, I suppose the age of the kids you take might alter that (mine were Year 9 / 10)
    I took Italian evening classes for a few months before hand just to get some basic vocab, but it's not necessary.
    Get a float from your school bursar of £100-£150 for unexpected expenses.
    Make sure all the kids have a laminated piece of plastic they can put in their purse / wallet with your name / school name & number / the school mobile phone number that you will have with you / name and address of the hotel you're staying at. I also got my Italian tutor to write 'Please help I'm lost' type thing on the back. Take care when you herd them on to the Metro. Make sure there is a teacher at the front and one at the back, who can stay on the platform and take the next train if any of you don't squeeze on (which happened to us when we were getting it at rush hour - it was packed!).
    We were allowed 3 teachers, a ratio of 1:10 pupils, but if by any way you can get a 4th or a spouse I would recommend it.
    I'm sure I've forgotten something, but overall it was an amazing experience and I wish you all the best :)

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