School Ski Trip During Termtime: ‘Mission Impossible’?
School Ski Trip: Benefits of Term Time Travel
School ski trips have always been great fun and offer the pupil and teacher alike a great time to bond and escape the school classroom. It is no surprise that pupils respect more those teachers that take time out to enrich their pupils, even if this is not conveyed at the time! In fact enrichment is evident at all levels in schools, for all ages of pupils, and rarely does outdoor education have less than a profoundly positive effect. This can be seen not only on the ski slopes but also within areas at school such as the Duke of Edinburgh programme and School Scuba Dive Trips; schools that recognise these experiences as being highly enriching have of late employed these trips and programmes during ‘Enrichment Days’ or ‘Activity Weeks’.
1. Prices. Generally tour operators reduce costs for schools that are happy to travel during term time. For the tour operator the advantages are clear: booking up non-peak accommodation and employing reps for additional weeks outside the classic February week.
2. Ski Schools and Hotels. Hoteliers and ski schools are ecstatic to spread demand of their school ski trips over a couple of weeks rather than the one. This means that things are generally less hectic; those ski resort suppliers that provide a service have less staffing issues and the resultant is almost certainly more quality of supervision and instruction for ski trip pupils with their ski lessons. Generally permanent staff employed by the ski schools and ski hotels will be on to serve the term time school ski trips and this can quite often result in a higher level of service. After all the business owner will always be more passionate than the hired help who may be quite often only a few years older than the pupils themselves!
3. Travel – Coach. If you choose coach travel for your school ski trip there is considerable less chance of delay and obstruction. Less traffic on the road will mean quicker trips and a more accurate journey time, particularly at choke points around ports and resort entrances. The same is true of ferry crossings – less crowds and a much greater chance of getting that decent seat with a view!
4. Travel – Air. Less queues at check in will move your school group quicker through the lines and get you on the slopes feeling more refreshed!
5. Après-ski. Term time travel for your school ski trip makes sure that you have first refusal on your local entertainment – bowling alleys will be available for your whole group and swimming pools won’t be too full.
6. Ski lifts. Less queues at ski lifts will ultimately mean more skiing and quality time for both pupils and staff. Over the week this can ultimately result in hours of extra piste time for all concerned during your school ski trip.
In summary, term time travel can be beneficial for pupils, teachers and schools alike. Although school work is missed, as long as full notice is provided (and this usually involves getting it on the school calendar at least 8 months prior to departure) and public examinations are not involved, catch up work can be ‘promised’ by the pupil prior to departure. In fact some schools go so far as to organise ‘contracts’ prior to departure with the real threat of non-attendance at subsequent school ski trips if not fulfilled.