Trips and Visits

School VisitOne of the things you will come across as a Teaching Assistant is the inevitable visit to somewhere of educational value.

These are tiring but generally (I have found) quite good fun.

The main rule here is this: Don’t lose any children

On any trip the ‘Don’t lose any children’ rule comes above everything else. These young minds you are helping to shape are (on the whole) the parents most important thing in their lives so we need to take care.

Alright, I am being a bit flippant and it is obvious but you do have to count and recount, keep a close eye on the children you have been assigned.

You will know you class and can probably guess who is likely to cause issues because they tend to do it in school, in the classroom or playground. To be though fair they do get excited and who can blame them, a day out from school and I get excited.

So where might you go?

Well that depends where you school is, the financial side of it and a number of issues that you may have within your class.

I have been on local visits to say somewhere like Hampton Court for Tudor Workshops,  up the London for Greek Workshops and a variety of others but the rules remain the same.

Make sure you understand where you are going as it may be on bus, train or coach. Your teacher should have done a risk assessment and will be looking at:

  • Age and number of pupils involved
  • Pupils’ special educational or medical needs
  • Degree of responsibility and discipline shown by the group
  • Type of visit and nature of the activities
  • Level of risk
  • Location and travel arrangements

There may well be other concerns that need to be factored in so please ask and be aware.

It is always worth reminding any children that they are on their best behaviour and that they represent their school.

Make sure you have all the contact numbers you need (Teacher, School etc.) and carry first aid (or any other medication needed).

The children will be excited, join in their fun but also keeping an eye on behaviour and keep a lookout for any children who are quiet and withdrawn – there may be an issue you need to deal with.

Oh and don’t forget the main rule here Don’t lose any children!


Opening Up

Today, I took one of the children out of class for their daily Maths/English intervention. These take about 15 minutes and the term used for them is Precision Teaching.

627447040However, he decided with children milling around us to tell me something of his life.

The child has been in interventions with me for couple of years. I knew a little of his background but today was the day that I got too know a whole lot more.

Obviously I cannot go into any detail suffice to say it was one of the most moving moments I have experienced in a school or possibly in my life.

I asked some open ended but gentle questions about how the child felt and what did it mean to them and when finished I was told that ‘I was the first Teacher he had spoken too about all this’. I have to say that I had a tear or two in my eyes at the end of it.

It is important that you have no secrets at school, it is part of Safeguarding and with that in mind I spoke to my teacher who suggested that I spoke to the head. I explained everything that was said and because of the nature of it she followed our protocol of writing all the details, signing and dating.

This will also go to the SENCO and will be kept on file.

Days like today make my job worthwhile.