Manitoba Education

Science Safety

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Appendix F

Field Trip Checklist
Information Letter Checklist for Routine Field Trips

Field Trip Checklist

Field trips can and should be valuable learning experiences, allowing students to apply classroom learnings to real-life situations. Field trips also allow students to learn directly instead of indirectly. Learning is enhanced through direct experience. Field trips are fun and are remembered for years.

Successful field trips require careful and thorough planning. This process takes time and patience. Make sure to check with the school division/district if there are any policies regarding field trips and follow these policies carefully. See Section 8 for more planning ideas. When approaching the idea of a field trip, apply the five Ws (and more) used in writing news stories:

Why do you want to take your class on this particular trip?

  • Is this mainly a science activity or does it integrate other subject areas as well?
  • Are the planned activities valid learning experiences?

What learning do you expect your students to apply and gain from this experience?

  • Have objectives for this field trip been established?
  • Have appropriate activities and instructional approaches been selected?
  • Have you and your students done thorough background research?
  • Are expectations about student behaviour on the trip clear and realistic?

Where do you plan to go with your class?

  • Is the site accessible to all students?
  • Is permission of landowners or officials required in order to visit this site?
  • Is there an admission fee?
  • Does the site have facilities such as bathrooms, lunch areas, shelters, meeting areas, etc.?
  • Are there appropriate emergency facilities nearby?
  • Is it possible for the teacher to visit the site before the field trip?
  • Are locations established at which various activities will occur?

When do you plan on taking this field trip?

  • Is there adequate time to plan this trip?
  • Will relevant information be provided to students before the field trip occurs?
  • Is there adequate time after the field trip to do a wrap-up or analysis?
  • Are there any potential conflicts with the selected date?
  • Does the selected date indicate the need for special clothing or supplies?
  • Is there a contingency plan for bad weather?

What safety precautions are required?

  • Do you have adequate first aid kits readily available?
  • Do you have adequate fire prevention equipment?
  • Are students given survival training?

How are you going to get to the site?

  • Will transportation be required?
  • Is appropriate transportation both available and affordable?
  • Can the students be actively engaged in learning during the trip to the site?

How long will this particular trip take?

  • Can time be used efficiently?
  • Can this trip overlap vacation periods?
  • Is there too much to do in the time available?
  • Is time provided for some relaxation by students?

What is the effect on the rest of the school?

  • Will someone have to cover your supervision of other classes?
  • Will a substitute be required?
  • Will others have to change their planned activities?
  • Will students on the field trip miss other important events or activities?

Who is coming with you on the field trip?

  • Has parental consent be received for each student?
  • Have medical information sheets been provided?
  • Has the class been divided into teams or working groups?
  • Have group leaders been identified?
  • Are there sufficient supervisors for the number of students and the activities?
  • Have people in the community been utilized for their expertise?

Has the trip been approved by appropriate superiors?

  • Approved by __________________________________________.

Although this may seen like a great deal of work, planning should be done before embarking on a field trip. Good planning reduces or eliminates trouble-shooting during the trip. By doing more concrete and detailed planning, the more likely it is that the trip will be a success.

The next step is an information letter for students and parents

Information Letter Checklist for Routine Field Trips

  • Which students are going and how many?
  • Purpose of field trip
  • Describe educational opportunities
  • Destination of the trip
  • Method of transportation
  • Time/date of departure
  • Time/date of expected return
  • Durations, types of activities planned
  • Names of teachers and supervisors
  • Special skills of supervisors
  • Clothing requirements
  • Lunch plans, meal arrangements
  • Required materials, supplies, and containers
  • Anticipated costs, payments due
  • Indication of risks involved
  • Description of contingency plans
  • Date for return of permission letter
  • Time, place for parents' meeting

For Special or Out-of-Country Field Trips

  • All the items in the previous column
  • Who is the school's contact person for updates about the group?
  • Is a passport needed?
  • Are visas needed for each country?
  • Medical preparations that may be needed
  • Extended medical insurance
  • Opportunities for fund-raising
  • Canada-direct phone numbers (calling cards simplify calling from foreign countries)
  • How much money may be needed?
  • Which traveller's cheques are useful?
  • Which credit cards are usable?
  • Cultural differences to expect
  • Duty-free allowances on return


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