Off Site Visits Policy

Tower Hill Primary School

Off-Site Visits Policy

Date of Approval: Summer 2016           Signed  : Mark Whitehead

Date of Review:   Summer 2019           (Chair Governing Body)

Principles of Policy

  • At Tower Hill Primary School we believe that learning should be relevant, real, motivational, interesting and fun.
  • We believe that children learn most effectively when they are engaged in active learning and are able to take responsibility for the rate at which they are learning.  Thus we are committed to providing a variety of safe environments, situations and opportunities with which to support children’s learning.
  • We believe that all children have a right to be involved in activities that require independent thought and the expectation of adventure and challenge.  It is our duty to ensure that associated risks have been identified and reduced to the lowest level.
  • We consider that an off-site visit is in operation whenever a child leaves the school site with a member of staff, whether for a local walk or a residential journey and all safety procedures that apply to residential journeys should also be applied to local visits.

Aims and Objectives

  • To provide the children with a variety of learning opportunities and challenges outside the school environment;
  • To plan those learning opportunities so that the visits are focused on achieving the optimum effect on the children’s learning development;
  • To ensure that off-site visits are linked to at least one curriculum area and that the visit is likely to enhance the child’s enjoyment of learning in that curriculum area;
  • To ensure that visits are thoroughly risk-assessed in order to reduce the level of any risk to the lowest level through appropriate planning and deployment of resources.

Planning

  • Permission will be sought from the Governing Body of Tower Hill Primary School for any proposed residential journey;
  • All proposed off-site visits will be reported to and discussed with the Off-Site Visits representative, Mrs. Linda Tansley, Headteacher;
  • All off-site visits will be planned well in advance of the visits themselves and wherever possible teachers will undertake a pre-visit in order to undertake a risk assessment according to Hampshire County Council’s Guidelines in ‘Off-Site Visits and Educational Activities’.
  • See HIGH IMPORTANCE note at end of Policy: Hazardous Pursuits;
  • Visits should be linked to an area of the National Curriculum that the children are studying, with links also being made with other curriculum areas wherever possible;
  • Parents should be informed of the proposed visits once the risk assessments have been carried out so that they may be assured of the safety of their children;
  • All adults accompanying the children on off-site visits will have undertaken the necessary safeguarding clearance and given appropriate information and training according to the nature of the visit;
  • In the case of visits involving challenging or potentially high-risk activities, fully trained experts will be secured at the location to ensure that children, staff and accompanying adults follow the correct procedures for maximum safety;
  • Particular attention will be paid to meet the specific needs of identified pupils;
  • All accompanying adults will be made aware of their responsibilities as laid out in the aforementioned HCC document; and all procedures in this document will be followed in the planning and carrying out of the visit;
  • Children should be made aware of the risk assessments in order to raise their awareness of potential dangers or problems;
  • Evaluations of all visits will be carried out as soon as possible after returning to school and filed in the Off-Site Risk Assessments folder in the Headteacher’s Office for future reference when planning visits.

Resources

  • Voluntary contributions will be requested from parents however NO PUPIL will be excluded from day visits on the grounds of non-payments (see Charging Policy);
  • Residential visits differ from day visits as provision for accommodation and food is excluded from the educational focus of the visit;
  • Hampshire County Council provides schools with a list of approved sites for visiting, along with brochures and leaflets with more detailed explanations of the activities on offer.  These are available in a magazine file in the Staff Study next to the HCC Guidance document;
  • The HCC Guidance document should be referred to before planning any type of off-site visit to consider levels of supervision, risk assessments and procedures;
  • Risk Assessment forms (taken from the HCC Guidance but personalised for Tower Hill) are saved on the school intranet in the file: Off-Site Visits.  Those for completion are titled:  Off-Site Visits.Blank;
  • Completed exemplars are also saved in the same file but are titled: Off-Site Visits.Completed;

HIGH IMPORTANCE

  • A HCC – EVOLVE -  HAZARDOUS PURSUIT FORM MUST BE COMPLETED FOR ALL SCHOOL VISITS WHICH INVOLVE WATER OR A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE OF HAZARD. 
  • THIS WILL REQUIRE ALL CHILDREN TO BE DETAILED (NAMES, GENDER & AGES) AND ALL ACCOMPANYING ADULTS WITH ANY SUPPORTING QUALIFICATIONS.
  • GUIDANCE SHOULD BE SOUGHT FROM THE OFF-SITE REPRESENTATIVE (HT) PRIOR TO SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE OUTDOOR EDUCATION DEPARTMENT.
  • APPLICATIONS FOR HAZARDOUS PURSUITS MUST BE MADE AT LEAST 8 WEEKS PRIOR TO ANY VISIT.
  • EMERGENCY ACTIONS FOR THOSE AT BASE AND THE LEADER OF THE VISIT MUST BE COMPLETED.
  • EDUCATIONAL VISIT CONSENT FORMS FOR ALL PUPILS MUST BE COMPLETED BY PARENTS/CARERS PRIOR TO THE VISIT: ORIGINALS BEING TAKEN ON THE VISIT AND A COPY OF EACH BEING LEFT WITH THE DESIGNATED PERSON AT BASE.
  • THESE FORMS WILL BE SCANNED BY THE Snr. ADMINISTRATIIVE OFFICER AND RETAINED ELECTRONICALLY FOR ONE YEAR FOLLOWING THE VISIT.