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16 children not going on year 6 residential

(204 Posts)
Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:12:57

Out of a year group of 40ish.

School doesn't know "reasons" for them not going, but it's likely IMO that most is down to cost. Some will be because they/their parents didn't want to be away from home.

The yr6 teacher, who will be at school with the 16, is planning activities for the week. She feels sad that these children are missing out on "experiences" and wants to do something everyday for the week. So far has arranged for them to go swimming at the local comp (free) a day at an outdoor activity centre (£32 each, plus transport) bowling (£5?)and a session at the local Wildlife Trust reserve (£4.50 plus transport)

The parents haven't been told anything about this yet, but AIBU to think that if you'd had to say no to residential because of the (£230) cost, you'd be annoyed/upset at the request for money for all these activities while the others were away?

The teacher means well and I support entirely the desire to provide experiences and fun for these children who are missing out, but I don't think she has any idea just how much £50 is to some families.

If you agree, do you have any ideas for ways to provide fun and experiences more cheaply?

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 04-May-13 11:16:20

I do agree with you completely. I dont know if any arrrangements with certain activity centres can be arranged? Donations and the like. Sorry not helpful what a horrid situation for these parents.

FadedSapphire Sat 04-May-13 11:16:35

I think it is very sad that some children can't get away because of 'cost'.
Our primary discreetly helps out financially in cases where children will miss out because of cost alone.
I think you are right re cost of events for those left behind and again maybe school should help out here with families who need help. Has to be done sensitively though.

cornypringle Sat 04-May-13 11:20:06

the £32 activity centre is far too much
I would suggest a local park (within walking distance)for a picnic and a game of rounders instead

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 04-May-13 11:22:21

Wildlife trust - instead there must be a free entry woods or lake somewhere nearby, you coukd set up activity sheets/orienteeering to do there yourselves quite easily.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 11:25:31

I can see this from both sides, on the one hand it's great the teacher doesn't those 16 children stuck doing lessons whilst the others are off on a jolly however if cost is the true reason then doing expensive trips is not on.

There is plenty that can be done for little or no cost, the swimming already mentioned. At our school we do shelter building with plastic sheets and sticks which have to withstand water being thrown on them, great fun and cheap! Also they go to local parks/wildlife places that are free to have a picnic and play games such as football and rounders.

Photography competitions (most families have access to a digital camera and schools do too) with different categories such as abstract, wildlife, funniest smile etc, the pictures can then be voted for winners and small prize.

Parachutes for eggs (very popular with our KS3 pupils and helps if you have a multistory school building). They have to design and build a parachute that will safely land a hard boiled egg from a drop, marks deducted for cracks, marks awarded for style and design (loads of links to DT)

T shirt painting/printing, school gets some cheap T shirts from QS or similar and fabric pens/paints and each child to make a t shirt of their own to commemorate the week.

Just some ideas of what we have done at our school (middle so years 5-8) in the past.

Pancakeflipper Sat 04-May-13 11:25:36

Our school plan things that are far cheaper.

They have done woodland walks.
Gone on the bus to the museum and art galleries (free entry).
The other year the ones remaining planned an afternoon of sports for one of the other year groups and it was amazingly cute to see the reception children running holding hands with a Y6.
One year the group did a gardening task -planning, clearing, creating. And they had fish'n'chips as a treat. Again cost effective.

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 11:25:54

blimey, that one day of £32 is crackers.

The activities might be ones the kids don't wont to do, so what a waste.

Was there any provision for those children on school meals to have the residential at a lower price, this is, luckily (for us)what they do at dd's primary.

piratecat Sat 04-May-13 11:26:27

i meant free school meals of course. PLus everyone was allowed to pay in installments.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 11:27:35

Also school should look into whether some pupil premium money can be freed up especially if the 16 includes some on PP.

Fairenuff Sat 04-May-13 11:28:09

Watching a film with popcorn. Baking. Clay modelling. Sports activities. Bring board games in to share. Science experiments. Walk to local park for picnic, etc.

How do you know what the teacher is planning btw?

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:34:33

If my child was not going because of cost ten I would not be able to pay for these other trips either.
Surely it's a no-brainer?
I would struggle paying for all those trips myself now tbh.
Did the parents not get the option to pay for the residential trip weekly?

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:35:18

The interesting thing (I find) is that the FSM families often find the money. This year particularly, the working poor have become a really big group. Many families with one or both parents working are finding life really tough, with rising costs and changes to tax credits. Maybe it's because they have lifestyles (mortgages/cars) that the FSM families can only dream of, but for whatever reason, it seems to be this group that have really struggled this year. I know this because I'm the bursar and deal with the dinner money and children's club arrears etc.

As the bursar, I know we might be able to help FSM children, but we really don't have the money to fund 16 residential places for working families.

Those that are going on the residential have been paying monthly since September, so not really that big a monthly commitment. Still it has been a real struggle getting the money paid.

OrangeMabel Sat 04-May-13 11:35:48

Cancel the expensive residential. Let all the children stay behind and join in the cheaper activities as a year group. Bloody disgraceful that some get the chance to go away whilst others don't. And don't tell me "life's unfair" - they're 10/11 years old!

UserError Sat 04-May-13 11:37:40

What does FSM stand for? </insert dense smiley here>

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:38:38

Maybe weekly payments would have been better?
It is often easier to find a smaller weekly amount than a larger monthly one.

letseatgrandma Sat 04-May-13 11:40:14

Cancel the expensive residential. Let all the children stay behind and join in the cheaper activities as a year group. Bloody disgraceful that some get the chance to go away whilst others don't. And don't tell me "life's unfair" - they're 10/11 years old!

So what about in 6 month's time when they're at secondary school and skiing trips etc are arranged? Should these not be organised because it might upset some children who can't afford it?

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 11:41:43

They could have paid weekly if they wanted insancerre. they were told £x by the end of each month, but we took the money, in whatever amounts and whenever they wanted to pay it.

Orange - you wouldn't believe the outrage there'd be if we didn't offer the majority the opportunity for a yr6 residential.

insancerre Sat 04-May-13 11:45:17

oh good
daft idea to cancel the trip
DD had a fantastic time on hers and it really was a milestone for her- the first time away on her own

any chance of getting in a theatre group or clown school or something similiar and the school paying?
do you have any drama colleges nearby that would do a free show?

LydiasLunch Sat 04-May-13 11:46:41

My daughter refused to go on the residential in year 6 after watching the film that informed them there'd be no time for reading books, just non stop outdoor adventures and fun. She's like Wednesday Addams. <proud> Not every kid wants to go on these trips. I took her out for a couple of days.

HeySoulSister Sat 04-May-13 12:06:48

so how many have actually gone?

NatashaBee Sat 04-May-13 12:09:42

FSM = free school meals.

Fairyliz Sat 04-May-13 12:09:56

Restorer I do the same job as you and yes I agree its the working poor who are struggling more than those on FSM. I don't think that relatively well paid teachers who often have professional partners understand how difficult it is for some people.
I gave my teachers a good talking to about trips, but then I am old and miserable so they are all afraid of me!

NatashaBee Sat 04-May-13 12:12:18

And if 40% of the kids can't afford to attend, the trip is too expensive IMO. Year 6 residentials usually include lots of build up and related lessons beforehand, it seems unfair to do that if so many of the children can't attend. Was there any financial assistance offered?

superbagpuss Sat 04-May-13 12:13:32

my sister and I are the same age - not twins, long story, - so couldn't go on the trip in year six as two expensive for both of us. spent the week either in our classroom on our own on the computer or in the class below.

life's not fair

I now have a great job and work hard so my children can do what they want

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