Far away places...
GLOBE trotting has become an integral part of school life at The Meridian School in Royston with more school trips being organised than ever before. While many schools are becoming increasingly reluctant to organise trips, teachers at The Meridian School
GLOBE trotting has become an integral part of school life at The Meridian School in Royston with more school trips being organised than ever before.
While many schools are becoming increasingly reluctant to organise trips, teachers at The Meridian School believe school trips, particularly those abroad, are an essential part of a student's development.
In the space of three weeks the school has organised four foreign trips, involving students from all year groups, including a media studies trip to New York and a religious studies trip to Auschwitz.
Head of sixth form David Atkins said: "We appear to be organising more trips than ever because we recognise the value of such visits educationally, and realise how much they enhance the learning and development of students.
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"They enhance the working relationship between teacher and student, and act as an extension of the classroom, enabling students to get involved.
"Pupils spend hours in the classroom but I wonder how many lessons they actually remember?
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"Those things you remember are those which are different, and school trips allow students to experience things at first-hand.
"There may be bad press surrounding the issue but students responses are always so positive."
Students on school trips can improve their foreign language skills, and immerse themselves in cultures they have never experienced before.
Stephanie Fox of Year 9 is looking forward to going to Belgium, while Becca Robinson of Year 10, also going to Belgium, said school trips enabled students to get out of the classroom and 'experience other cultures'.
Other students enjoy applying the skills they have learned to real-life situations.
Phil Clarke of Year 13 who is going to Belgium said: "All the theories you learn in the classroom can be put into practise."
Jenny Warburton, head of performing arts and music will be taking 42 students to Belgium next week on a music tour which also takes in northern France.
She said: "This trip is special because it is aimed at different year groups so it is very good socially for the students."
This is the first trip of its kind that has been run at the school for about 25 years.
"It will be very challenging for them.
"They normally perform in front of a supportive audience, such as their family and friends, but when they go abroad the audience will be more critical and realistic.
"However, they have been working very hard so the trip will be a reward rightly deserved."
Last week the students took part in a 12-hour sponsored playathon to raise money for the trip and raised about £40 each.
Johnson Matthey is sponsoring the trip, and the Friends of the Meridian School have also helped with funding.
With dozens of day and residential visits to UK venues also planned for the forthcoming year, it looks like it is going to be an eventful year for students.