If a teacher starts with the premise that “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” the minefield of choosing the ideal day out for a class can begin! Some of the key considerations to help with a teacher’s research are highlighted below:
Whilst I started by saying you can’t please everybody, there is an onus on you to try and pick a venue that will be enjoyable to the majority in tow. A venue that entails team type events means the potential to mix pupils around so that peer pressure may enhance the usual less enthusiastic pupil to raise their game for at least some of the day!
It’s Ireland and who can predict this key element a month or two in advance. So indoor is a safer option though it excludes many outdoor adventure pursuits which in rain or sunshine some will enjoy anyway. However, an equal amount may not be as happy with the choice if pouring rain!
All classes can be split on this: should you go for reasonably high octane or something more passive. Ideally, a mix of both should keep everyone satisfied.
As there is probably room within subjects like History/Geography/English etc. to visit places to explore cultural sites relevant to a course, the annual Class Day Out should possibly try to focus on “fun” and “challenge”. This is in no way to detract from cultural venues, which are popular.
Do you need to hire a coach, or can you walk/Luas/Dart to the venue? Unfortunately, the latter two, Dart and Luas, are only available to schools in Dublin. However, if a venue is available by public transport costs to parents can be reduced significantly.
There is an unwritten or silent rule that events should be no more than €22-28 including transport per head for a single day event. You will know and understand this consideration from experience within the school.
Does the venue entail the teachers to have to oversee the group or can you relax with a cuppa and look in to check progress? Is the venue suitable for you and your colleagues to participate and have a bit of fun as well?
In the times we are in, at present, it is important that the venue adhere to strict Covid guidelines. The COVID-19 Safety Charter is a government-endorsed initiative to reinforce confidence in venues that have to apply following adherence to the Operational Guidelines and training offered by Failte Ireland.
Can the venue accommodate all of your Form year or will you have to split them between venues or stagger participation? Can they provide lunch or allow an area for the students to consume their own pack lunches? Have they a shop to purchase water or snacks?
The above is by no means exhaustive, though it does highlight some of the key categories that may help to make up your mind and hopefully leads to a great challenging fun day out that is a good-fit for your class.
When you have digested the above, I would ask you to have a quick look at the GOQUEST website: www.goquest.ie . You will find that GOQUEST ticks nearly all of the boxes above and will provide you and your class with an enjoyable and unique experience that will “challenge them in a fun way”.
Best of luck with your endeavours!