Our latest thought leadership piece centred around the theme of Outdoor Learning, is written by Jake Wiid, Cognita’s Group Independent Educational Visits Adviser. He supports our schools with advice, guidance and training to ensure they run safe and enjoyable educational visits. Jake heads up EVOLVE Advice – The Educational Visits Specialists, and in this piece, he shares the importance of educational visits for young people as part of an outstanding holistic education.

Most of us will remember a school trip or educational visit we took part in, maybe due to being cold, wet, scared, excited or all of these, but at the time and maybe even now, we didn’t know what a huge benefit the visit was for us.

At Cognita, we highly value educational visits because they play a crucial role in achieving our goal of empowering students to thrive and make a positive difference in the world.

These visits are meticulously planned and intentionally designed to enhance the educational experience and outcomes of each student, allowing them to develop the skills and attitudes necessary for success.

One of the key reasons we prioritise educational visits is because they ignite curiosity, questioning, and creativity in students. By stepping outside the classroom and immersing themselves in real-world experiences, students have the opportunity to explore and discover new concepts and perspectives. These visits enable them to discern which knowledge is valid and trustworthy, fostering critical thinking skills that are essential for their personal and academic growth.

Many educational visits provide students with the chance to negotiate complex situations, reconcile tensions, work together with both staff and students and take responsibility for their own learning. They learn that the world is not always black and white, and that they must navigate through uncertainties and challenges. This cultivates adaptability, resilience, and problem-solving abilities, which are indispensable in today’s rapidly evolving world.

In addition to acquiring knowledge, students also learn to apply their skills to situations they may not have faced before. Educational visits often involve hands-on activities, allowing students to put their theoretical understanding into practice. By doing so, they develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and gain confidence in their abilities to make a positive impact, not only on their future but on the future of their friends. By interacting with their peers in new and unfamiliar settings, they learn to develop and practice empathy, communicate effectively, and work together towards a common goal. These collaborative experiences foster teamwork and prepare students for future professional and personal relationships.

A key outcome of educational visits is allowing students to better understand themselves and develop self-regulation skills. By being exposed to different environments and situations, students become more self-aware and learn to manage their emotions and behaviours effectively.

Finally, educational visits allow students to celebrate their individuality. Each student is unique, and these visits provide opportunities for them to showcase their strengths and interests. By honouring their individuality, we empower students to embrace their passions and talents, fostering a sense of purpose and motivation.

Educational visits take students outside of the formal classroom and we firmly believe that these transformative experiences will equip our students with agency, adaptability, and positive attitudes. This will empower them to create a meaningful impact on their own lives and the lives of others, not just during their educational journey but also in the ever-evolving workforce of the future. After all, we are preparing our students today for a world that is yet to unfold.

The cover photo features 7th Grade students from Colegio Manquecura Ciudad del Este in Chile, participating in an educational field trip this month to Parque Natural Quebrada de Macul. The aim of the activity was to enjoy and respect the natural environment with the principle of leaving no trace, working in a team together with friends.