You’re busy doing your planning for next term and you decide you really want to kick off your next topic with a WOW moment but you can’t decide whether to take the children on a trip or have someone come into school.

Your mind goes back to the last school visit, firstly there was the endless paperwork, risk assessments (What access do they have? How are we going to manage Sarah’s allergies?) Then there was the justification to the head for the money – now what learning objectives will it meet? Not to mention the letters to parents at least half didn’t return the permission slips so you were chasing and phoning and then being asked why their voluntary contribution is paying for teachers to go on a jolly!

Then the trip itself the endless counting of heads, being out of routine really exacerbated Kyle’s autism, who could forget the screaming or the endless loo stops. Then you look back and think what did they really learn? It didn’t really cover what you wanted it to so you had to teach that when you got back and it wasn’t as hands on as they said it was, it was just someone showing you around. Still there is nothing like seeing something first hand?

So you start thinking about getting someone to visit school, firstly no travel costs, no worrying you can get a coach big enough or paying for one that is half empty. No risk assessment – bliss. Plus those with autism are still in their routine and if they do have a wobble you can take them out to their space.

And you could get whoever comes in to tailor a workshop to what you want covered so you can carry on with the topic over the coming weeks (there was one company that would give you a 6 week resource pack with lesson plans) and the children were so inspired after that author came in to visit last time and there was a lot less preparation work for you.

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