After an18-month pause on field trips due to the COVID pandemic, our creative faculty and staff worked diligently to create a safe way to take learning out and about, and classes have wasted no time, hitting the ground running for the 2021-2022 school year.
Why We Value Field Trips
When our students adventure out, leaving the classroom behind, they have the opportunity to make connections between what they are learning at school and what is happening in the ‘real world’. Additionally, field trips give children an opportunity to see, touch, and feel the different topics and concepts that they are studying in the classroom, which helps to engage the content in new ways, allowing for deeper learning that is more memorable and relatable. Furthermore, field trips offer a multi-sensory learning experience that brings lessons to life in a new way, creating excitement for learning that is hard to replicate inside the four walls of the classroom.
Leaving the classroom to explore the greater world also gives children the opportunity to develop empathy - drawing a direct connection between what they are studying in school to what others in the world have experienced. When students visit a museum, they have the chance to see photos and hear stories of real people living through historical hardships, like war, pandemics, and natural disasters, and through this exposure, the experience becomes more than just a paragraph or main lesson book page, it quickly becomes a real-life situation that is relatable. Known as historical empathy, these experiences can impact how children see the world and how they grow up to find their place in it.
Field trips also challenge students to think outside of the box, allowing them to further develop their capacities for critical thinking. A day trip to the botanical gardens or a multi-day camping trip in a national park allows for new experiences and thoughts, sparking interesting conversations and ideas. These types of field trips give children the chance to observe what is around them, helping them to exercise their minds and strengthen their problem-solving skills.
Finally, the social-emotional benefits of exploring the world with classmates outside of school are huge! For students who struggle with concentration and learning in traditional classroom settings, being in a different environment where they can gain knowledge in new ways can grow confidence and excitement for learning, serving them far beyond the trip. The shared experience of field trips also can lead to a deeper bond between classmates and teachers, serving for more comfortable classroom exchanges, group learning, new friendships, and nurturing of the “class family."
The return of field trips this year has meant new adventures for many classes, and we are only six weeks into the new school year. So far this year, our 3rd-grade visited Soil Born Farm, the 4th-grade visited the Effie Yeaw Nature Center, the 5th-grade traveled to San Francisco to spend the day in the Botanical Gardens, the 6th-grade spent three days visiting Pinnacles National Park and the 7th and 8th-grade will soon travel to the foothills to spend the day participating in Synergia's ropes course, and our dear 1st and 2nd-grade classes will have their very first field trip to Dave's Pumpkin Patch this week. This is just the beginning of what’s to be a very adventurous school year - oh, the places they'll go!