Our Primary Concern – Pupils, Parents & Teachers
The Government’s commitment in recent years to entitle and encourage every child between the ages of 7 and 11 to learn a new language has resulted in a fundamental change in our approach to language teaching in the UK. The Key Stage 2 Framework for languages means that an increasing number of primary schools are travelling to Europe and to France in particular for the first time.
Since starting to organise school trips to Europe in 2004, Euroculture has been a trail-blazer in arranging overseas Primary School residential programmes. We have worked with numerous Primary Schools organising their very first trips and many of these schools continue to visit the continent with us on an annual basis.
It is understandable that teachers may have concerns about taking young children out of the country for a number of nights for the first time. Likewise, parents will want to know that their children are in safe and secure environments when they are possibly on their first overnight stays away from their families. We take every step possible as part of the tour planning process to ensure that the pupils, parents and teachers are in safe hands.
Many of the residential accommodation centres we use have been purpose-built to welcome groups of children, but virtually all will have been at least adapted with this as a priority function. Without fail, all are required to demonstrate the necessary current certification in relation to health, safety and security mandatory in European law for visits by minors. We also check the facilities, environment and surroundings to ensure that they are suitable for the age group we are sending.
We work closely with the coach companies we use to ensure the suitability of their drivers, who are of course all DBS checked – it is worth checking our Testimonials page to read some of the exceptional comments fed back to us about coach drivers. We will help you with Risk Assessments and provide teachers with a comprehensive pack of information to help the trip run smoothly and there is the reassurance of a 24-hour emergency contact number to call in the rare event of a problem whilst the school is away. You can read more detail about how we help with forward planning here.
First Steps? Why not sample a Day Trip?
If you are considering organising your first overseas residential, but wish to have a dry run or just don’t have the opportunity quite yet, you might wish to consider dipping your toes in with a day trip across the Channel. There is much to see and learn within a short distance of the French ports which can enthuse and inspire pupils and teachers alike.
Boulogne-sur-Mer alone is worth the short journey to experience a taste of French life; here the pupils can make the most of the expansive beach, sea-life attraction Nausicaá, the fish market and they will love exploring the imposing ramparts surrounding the old high town overlooking the bustling port. A quick trip to a French Hypermarket to pick up some ‘bonbons’ or other French goodies is a regular request.
A visit to a local Market and maybe a boulangerie, a cheese, biscuit or chocolate factory often appeals to our younger travellers. In December it is possible to reach some of those towns in Northern France such as Amiens or Lille, which offer the excitement and atmosphere of a Christmas Market.
If you like what you see, then we have produced a few itineraries especially with Primary Schools in mind such as the very popular Beyond Boulogne 2 x night Taster Programme. All the suggested programmes have been put together with the age of the pupils in mind so we try to keep journeys to a minimum and a good mixture of indoor and outdoor activities. The attractions have been selected carefully to avoid anything potentially upsetting concentrating on age-appropriate subject matter. We have tried to maximise the pedagogical opportunities that are available building in ‘hands-on’ and interactive visits as far as possible.