Tips for Your School Visit
A teacher’s top tips for planning a school visit to COAM
Before your visit
- Do a pre-visit: The office staff are very supportive, take a map with you and physically walk the distances – it’s further than you think.
- Use the Museum risk assessment it makes life a lot easier. There is a lot of content, but you can cut and paste the bits most relevant to you.
- Check through your paperwork: We all know that mistakes can be made so check in advance that your timetable matches with what you think you have booked. Mistakes can be put right in advance but it is much harder to adapt on the actual day of your visit.
- Relax: The site is secure and peaceful, it’s lovely to sit outside with your kids on the Village Green and eat lunch together. The Museum encourages the children to play and enjoy the spaces – though too much screeching does feel out of place. I always anticipate that the day will run smoothly and the quality of learning will be great.
On the day of your visit
- Clothing: Remember it’s an open air site – so dress for the weather! Sunhats when it is hot and waterproofs at all times of the year. Children need to have their legs and arms covered because of possible tics in the long grass – even when it’s hot. School uniform really doesn’t work here with the possible exception of a sweatshirt for identifying which children belong to you.
- Footwear: Avoid open toe sandals, even in the Summer, as the ground is uneven (particularly in the woods). Send a letter home stipulating trainers and remind the kids the day before. Wellies are best footwear when it’s wet.
- Storing lunches: Ask the children to bring their lunch in a labelled plastic bag it’s much easier than transporting lots of lunch boxes. Sometimes you can leave your lunches in your lunch venue but there is always space to store them whilst your workshops take place if this isn’t possible.
- Tea and Coffee: In February, March and November you can get a self-service tea and coffee in Skippings Barn – there is an honesty box so bring small change with you. During the rest of the year you buy tea and coffee from the Tea Room which is right at the far end of the site. We usually buy these after a workshop when we are en-route to our lunch space. It’s called Wood End on the map.
- Ask things: They are a really approachable team and love to answer questions. They genuinely want you to have the best possible day.