As the school year draws to a close and 2020 planning begins now for how to engage students in meaningful LEOTC experiences, it’s worth bearing in mind that those decisions could just be fundamental in shaping their future lives.
Place-based learning is out-of-classroom learning without the seven-hour bus journey and inevitable front seat vomiter. It’s about fostering a students’ love for their environment and a deeper understanding of where they live.
They may only be a few feet from their desk but crouched on a footpath using technology to document an experiment on how ancient fire building techniques work. Or they might be water testing along the banks of the local creek. It costs nothing but teaches children everything about getting their hands dirty with STEAM (or history, or geography).
While Australia offers numerous opportunities for out-of-classroom learning and sporting tours, finding somewhere to accommodate large numbers of school children can be an issue.Youth hostels and holiday parks have cottoned on to this and designed policies and procedures to take the headache out of organising group travel for under 18s.
Many have developed safety and security commitments which guarantee to separate students by gender where required, ensure shared rooms are exclusive to one school, and even allocate a staff member to brief group leaders on safety and be accessible 24 hours a day. Some accommodation providers also operate close-down procedures and fire security checks nightly.
Holiday parks offer the obvious added attractions of pools, jumping pillows, playground and games rooms and will accommodate children and staff in appropriate ratios in safe and budget-friendly cabins and camp sites.