Planning Tips for Schools & Teachers
Ideas for promoting your excursion to your school community
- In-class presentation by past pupil participants.
- Display photographs or video footage of previous years’ excursions.
- Encourage students and parents to access our website www.schoolexcursions.net and use the many links and resources.
- Discuss the excursion itinerary at staff and P&C meetings.
- Make a classroom display of any promotional material (eg brochures etc) that we send to you.
- Start fundraising activities to support the excursion (students individual fundraising or group fundraising)
- Write and distribute a letter to parents outlining the excursion benefits (ie outcomes), the type of activities (or an itinerary outline) cost, fundraising opportunities etc.
- Organise a payment plan scheme so that school families can pay weekly or monthly amounts towards their child’s excursion
Don't do too much
Avoid the temptation of cramming too much into your itinerary. Aim to find a balance between keeping students busy so that they have little opportunity to be at a loose end (and then get into mischief) and making sure that the itinerary is not so fast paced that it is exhausting. There’s a limit to how much your students will take in during their excursion. Just because you add more places to the itinerary, doesn’t mean students will bring home any more knowledge or understanding than if you kept things at a more relaxed pace.
Departure and Return Times
We plan overnight excursion itineraries to the following guidelines wherever possible:
8 am (or later) departure from school on first day. This allows everyone to have a reasonable night’s sleep before day 1, and for most Hunter Region & Sydney schools it avoids the congestion on Pennant Hills Road.
6 pm (or earlier) return to school on last day. This allows students to go home with their families for dinner and an early night. If you plan to arrive back at school later than this, then usually you will need to allow for a dinner stop on the way back to school that night as well. This requires more time, and of course, students need to bring money to allow for this extra meal.
Due to driving hours regulations for coach drivers, most tours to Canberra are not able to go out on the first night. Of course this is subject to your school’s distance from Canberra etc and we are happy to discuss your particular itinerary arrangements to meet your requirements.
If you know that your school will be doing the same excursion the following year, it is often a good idea to book the accommodation before you depart from the motel. This gives you maximum choice of available dates for the following year. This is particularly relevant for school specialist motels in Canberra and some of the popular conference centres in Sydney.
If you can't do it all!
Understandably, you will want to make the most of the chance to show your students all there is to see and experience during their excursion. However, you can rarely take the necessary amount of time away from school and your own family to allow such a luxury. To help you decide which places to include in your itinerary, list them all down and then number them in order of priority. This list will greatly help us with your itinerary planning.
If you don't know, ask!
If you’re not sure what is available for your students to see and do in a certain place or to suit a particular unit of work, please ask us. We’re happy to listen to your excursion requirements and offer suggestions, relevant information and options. You can also find out more about what’s on offer by clicking on our excursions button followed by the area that interests you. In each section you will find links to many relevant websites, which in turn contain detailed information about what’s on offer.
Pre Excursion info for Students & Parents
How to pack
It’s a good idea to bring a day pack and a luggage bag. Everything that might be needed before we get to the motel at night needs to be in your day pack, because the bags stay locked in the luggage bins of the coach until then. So make sure that your recess, lunch, camera, money, workbook and pencil are in your day pack
- Those who have over-eaten on lollies and junk food!
- Some children who are just more prone to it than others.
Food and Drink
If you need to bring a drink on the bus we ask that you bring bottled water. If it spills it is not sticky and does not soil seat fabric and clothes. We will stop for morning tea and lunches so there’s no need to eat food on board the coach. An occasional lolly to suck is OK but chewing gum is definitely not OK!
Travel sickness is most commonly experienced by:
So, go easy on the lollies AND if you do start to feel sick tell an adult straight away, so that we can help you before there’s a mess!
Seat belts are required to be worn by law and must be kept fastened at all times.
Most coaches have a toilet on board for emergency use. However, they don’t have the capacity to be used as a regular toilet by everyone, they are for emergency use only. Please make sure that you use public toilets every time we make a stop for morning tea, lunch etc.
You are allowed to take cameras into most places in Canberra. The Planetarium won’t allow them and no flash photography is allowed in the chambers of Parliament House while Parliament is sitting.
We’re not allowed to take backpacks into many of the places we will be visiting and in particular, the War Memorial. This is because of accidental damage they may cause to the paintings and displays. You can leave them on the coach, which will be locked for security.