Whilst educational benefit can certainly be an important factor, a large part of what makes school travel so important is taking students outside their comfort zone and developing important life skills. Residentials should be fun experiences that reward pupils for their hard work and allow them to spend quality time with classmates and teachers in a non– formal environment. With this in mind, school ski trips can be fantastic and valuable experiences for students.
Here are a few of the main benefits.
Independence – Spending time away from home is an important experience as a young person because it develops independence. School ski trips are particularly good for this because it immerses the student in a unique environment which is completely different from their life back home.
Social skills – In a similar vein, spending time away from parents and the classroom encourages new social skills to be developed. The students will be spending a lot of time together in an unfamiliar setting and trying new activities, which will see them interact with each other and new people in a different way.
Friendships – Naturally, school ski trips are fantastic for building new friendships and strengthening existing ones by allowing young people to spend time together and try new activities. Additionally, it enables pupils and their teachers to get to know each other outside of the school environment. This can all help back at school by creating a fun, productive, and positive atmosphere in the classroom.
Confidence – The above can do wonders for a young person’s confidence. Taking a pupil outside of their comfort zone in a fun and supportive environment is a great way to boost self-esteem, which can bring a host of benefits both now and later in life.
Culture & Language – Although a lot of time is spent shredding powder on school ski trips, there is also the opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the local culture of the nearby towns. Seeing new places and experiencing different cultures is a great way to broaden your pupils’ horizons and an important aspect of residential trips. It can also provide the opportunity for language students to practice “in the field” – this is the quickest way to learn and build confidence when it comes to language.
Outdoors – Ski trips are spent mainly outdoors with sublime views and crisp mountain air. This can do a world of good for people of all ages, particularly when so much of modern life is spent glued to a screen while sat indoors.
Physical Challenge – In addition to benefiting from some quality time in the great out-doors, the students will learn or develop their skiing abilities. Skiing is a challenging yet hugely rewarding sport that requires balance, coordination, focus, and strength. It will be very different from PE lessons back at school and a valuable experience for all.
Determination – As a challenging activity, skiing can teach determination and persever-ance no matter your ability levels. These are transferable skills that could teach your class the value of hard work and focus – skills that any teacher appreciates greatly!
As you can see, school ski trips can be incredibly valuable experiences for students of all ages. They can teach and develop a range of important skills, but also reward students for their hard work with a fun trip in an exciting, healthy, and unique setting.
John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning school ski trips to Europe or North America, day trips in the UK or educational tours abroad, you can trust the value of their itineraries, which can be ready– made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.