Benefits of School Tours
School tours are one of the most important elements in education and demonstrate that learning is possible outside of the school. It’s a very effective means of education to which children look forward to during their school time. Many teachers think that school tours help students engage faster, inspires them, opens up many opportunities and creates fond memories. Tours can help put the learning subject into context for students in order for them to better understand and learn. For teachers, the tours can help them get to know their students better, discover their abilities, enhances students’ intellectual abilities, as well as re-engage and communicate better. It will also be a great addition in developing teaching methods.
The advantage of tours is extraordinary and provides beneficial results to students with a wide range of abilities and issues. For students who may not otherwise have the simple opportunity to travel to the city or countryside, it is a great, unforgettable experience that can lead to improvements in achievement and motivation in many academic areas. Where disengaged students in particular are concerned, this experience of social interaction can lead to some personal improvements.
A few years ago, our team at The Gaiety School of Acting and Smock Alley Theatre devised a school tour programme. We found that tours affect students’ values as it exposes them to a diversity of ideas, people, places and time periods. One of the steps in the tour is a visit to Smock Alley Theatre. We noticed that by listening to funny stories, students enjoyed themselves so much, they often did not even realise they were learning new things.
On the way back to The Gaiety School of Acting, they were more focused and bursting with thoughts and ideas, and were more eager to participate in the next activity. The visual experience laid strong foundations and encouraged them to rediscover their own creativity.
In the school, they had the opportunity to visit studios and see trainee actors in action, all while learning about the school’s history and the famous faces that have passed through its halls. For some, the experience probably highlights possible career opportunities and can be a way of highly motivating them. Some of the participants of past tours are now in a number of our Young Gaiety programmes. We think meeting with older students and learning about their craft can help raise a student’s standards as well as refining their personal, social and emotional development.
A great end to the day is always a drama / acting skills workshop led by experienced drama facilitators. The students experience the integration of all creative elements and learning in a non-judgemental environment contributes significantly in learning practical or vocational skills that cannot be practised in a classroom environment. We think that this type of activity not only allows for improvement in the students personal and social development, but can also re-engage those who are hard to motivate. Furthermore, another great benefit is the theatre experience as this is especially valuable in enhancing the emotional side of students.
After seeing so many happy faces, we strongly believes that school tours can be a great addition to the curriculum and definitely change attitudes and raise aspirations, through participation in various activities. Young people become more resilient and optimistic, and their emotional health and self-esteem improve. And at the end of the day, isn’t that all we want for our young generation.
Dr Anna Kadzik-Bartowszewska
Educate & Outreach Coordinator