Some children are extremely sensitive to unfamiliar people, unexpected noises and new experiences. There are simple things that your setting can do to help visits run smoothly for these people and ensure that their experience with you is delightful rather than stressful.
Offer materials to help school groups and parents to plan in advance. Having a sensory or autism-aware pack available on your website for staff or carers to download prior to their visit is very easy to set up and can make the world of difference for some people.
The pack doesn’t need to be complex. Include photos of key staff and their names. Pictures of important places the children will be visiting are vital. Show them some of the things they will see and where they will eat their lunch. Don’t forget to include a photo of your toilets as this area can be particularly challenging for some children. If they can see in advance what they toilets look like it can often help them to be more relaxed and prepared. If you have a hand dryer, consider turning it off, if you can, for particularly sensitive children. Offer them towels instead.
Make sure your information packs include directions to quieter areas. Where can children go to calm down if things get too much for them? Can you provide simple ear defenders for them to wear? If you have any autism friendly education materials, this is a great opportunity to explain what you have and how to access it.
We can review your provision from the eyes of different clients and help make your setting more inclusive and accessible for all. Contact us at Exciting Education if you would like help reviewing your educational and SEND provision.
Damien Hinds, Education Secretary, recently stated that he believes there are 5 foundations for building character that encompass an extensive list of activities. They are:
Sport – which includes competitive sport and other activities, such as running, martial arts, swimming and purposeful recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, orienteering, gym programmes, yoga or learning to ride a bike.
Creativity – this involves all creative activities from coding, arts and crafts, writing, graphic design, film making and music composition.
Performing – activities could include dance, theatre and drama, musical performance, choir, debating or public speaking.
Volunteering & Membership – brings together teams, practical action in the service of others or groups, such as volunteering, getting involved in the #iwill campaign, litter-picking, fundraising, any structured youth programmes or uniformed groups like Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Cadets and Duke of Edinburgh.
World of work – practical experience of the world of work, work experience or entrepreneurship. For primary age children, this may involve opportunities to meet role models from different jobs.
We have created character building programs this year that have resulted in a significant increase in school visitors to our clients.
We can work with you to design a school offer that encompasses these values and attracts more school visits to your site. Contact us if you would like to know more about how we could help you with this.
Salcombe Paddleboarding are poised for growth after receiving a series of school bookings since announcing their enhanced educational offer. Exciting Education have worked with owners, Kate and Marcus, to develop a bespoke offer to schools based around their unique setting and skill set.
As well as the thrill of paddleboarding along the stunning Salcombe estuary, schools now have a range of exciting, extra-curricular study options to choose from.
One of the most popular activities being booked is the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds unit we have developed. Children can choose from a range of physical activities including Kung Fu, Yoga, Circuit Training or Healthy Cooking to help develop their bodies. The Healthy Minds options include activities designed around raising self-esteem, exploring 10-a-day for improved mental health and developing multiple intelligences.
Owner, Kate Nolan, is delighted with the response she has had from local schools.
‘We are so glad we decided to work with Exciting Education!
They have been professional, friendly, knowledgeable and adaptable from the outset and have worked hard to really understand us and our business. They have given us the confidence and tools to take our paddleboarding business in a new direction, being able to offer schools a really exciting, current, valuable Paddleboarding and wellbeing programme.
They listened carefully to our wants and vision and used their skill and expert knowledge to create a program which will increase our visitor numbers, enable our business to grow and be valuable to schools and children, but most importantly, fun!
Thank you so much, Exciting Education, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you!
Contact us if you would like to increase school visitor numbers to your attraction.
Hilarious I know! This joke made me laugh recently while I was enjoying some family time in the wonderful warm weather over the Easter weekend. What wasn’t quite so hilarious was the pain and possible after effects of sunburn I experienced the following day.
The 6 th – 12 th May is Sun Awareness Week. What can you do as responsible owners of attractions and heritage sites to help keep the children, families and school groups that visit you safe?
Everyone needs the occasional friendly reminder about sun safety. Consider displaying top tips for sun safety. Talk about these top tips with the school groups who visit. The staff will be pleased that you are giving their safety such a high priority. Remind the children to
Apply it frequently throughout the day
Cover up their skin
Wear a hat
Sunglasses look cool and help keep your eyes safe
Spend time chilling in the shade
Remember to drink lots of water
Feeling ill, dizzy or too hot? Tell and adult and sit in the shade.
As owners, you can also offer to refill water bottles free of charge. If you are really amazing and want to be remembered for the right reasons, you could even offer free sunscreen for anyone who might have forgotten theirs!
Make sure that school EVC’s (Educational Visit Coordinators) know that you offer these services. It’s an important message to build into your school marketing strategy and to make clear on your risk assessments. Attention to these little details can make you stand out from your competitors and it reassures school staff that you have taken care of everything. If you would like to learn how to attract more school groups to your setting, contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help you increase your visitor numbers.
And finally, you could always run a competition for the best sun themed joke too. Children and staff will love this. Here are some ‘groaners’ to get you started….
Which day is usually the warmest? Sunday, of course! Why doesn’t the sun need to go to university? Because it already has 15 million degrees (Celsius)
I had a fabulous day in Launceston at the Tamar Valley Tourism Conference recently, working alongside a host of individuals and organisations who are proud of their beautiful, un-spoilt valley. If you are not familiar with the Tamar Valley, it is somewhere very special that you really need to explore. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is home to rare animal and plant life as well as an array of local artists and crafts people.
There are numerous walks for all abilities taking in the spectacular scenery. The river Tamar runs through the valley, dividing Devon and Cornwall. Tavistock and Dartmoor are a short drive to the east, while Bodmin Moor is found to the west and Plymouth to the south. There are many local attractions; The National Trust’s Cotehele house, gardens and quay are popular with families and couples. The valley is home to the famous Pentille Castle renown for being the filming location of several successful TV shows. Those of you with younger children might want to explore the Tamar Valley Donkey Park.
More adventurous travellers might enjoy kayaking down the Tamar or embarking on a fishing trip from the beautiful village of Calstock. Take a hike through the steep, wooded valley and you will reach one of my all time favourite educational visit locations, Morewhelham Quay. Here you can immerse yourself in learning about Victorian life. Take a trip down the mine on a rickety old train, watch the blacksmith work or dare to be taught by a teacher in a Victorian classroom.
The valley is also a wonderful place to explore if you are coming this way next year to celebrate the Mayflower 400 celebrations. Consider traveling there by rail on the Gunnislake branch line – one of the most picturesque train lines in the country.
Come and explore the Tamar Valley. It’s a wonderful, peaceful place that somehow manages to remain that way even at the peak of the summer season.
Contact me at Exciting Education if you want to know how to attract more school groups to your Tamar Valley attraction.