At Amity International School Amsterdam, we work hard to set our students up for success so they can fulfill their unique potential.Principal NEVILLE KIRTON 

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The Role of Educational Visits in Our Students’ Lives

The Role of Educational Visits in Our Students’ Lives

In today's fast-paced world, getting our students to stay engaged and learn effectively can be quite a challenge. Our children are bombarded with many distractions every day, making it tough to ensure they truly absorb what they're taught. That's why, in the realm of education, we've come up with various methods to make learning last. One approach we're particularly passionate about is experiential learning.

At Amity Amsterdam, we firmly believe that learning isn't limited to the four walls of a traditional classroom. It happens in the real world, where students can experience things and put what they've learned into practice, after making sure that the area of the visits is risk assessed carefully. That is why we put a lot of emphasis on educational visits, which play a vital role in our curriculum, benefiting students across Early Years, Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes.

Our educational visits are designed to tie in with what's being taught in class, sparking our students' curiosity and making learning enjoyable. This way, we encourage active learning and offer students the chance to explore the world outside the regular classroom setting.

So, in this blog, we want to shed light on the importance of our field trips. We’ll explore the advantages they bring and share some fun stories from our previous educational visits.


Benefits of field trips and our field trip experiences

Real-world application & cultural analysis of their subjects

Educational visits bring learning to life, allowing our students to immerse themselves in different cultures and histories, both in the Netherlands and around the globe. Beyond the books and screens, they get to witness the real-life applications of their studies. Let’s take the example of our MY5 students’ trip to Rotterdam’s Depot Booijmans Van Beuningen and Nieuwe Instituut, as a part of their Visual Arts and Design Technology curriculum. This adventure transformed how they understood architecture, design, and visual arts. The experience was more enriching than any textbook or website could offer. The students delved deep into the world of art and culture, making connections to their Visual Art and Design Technology subjects. This wasn't just a visit; it was a journey of critical thinking and exploration. It also provided them with a firsthand look at the treasures in a museum and the secrets behind restoration work. Plus, they got to explore Dutch culture and architecture, giving them a better understanding of the country they live in.

Another example is when our MY students, who were taking the Dutch language as a subject, had a delightful experience with the Dutch culture when they visited Amsterdam. It was a great opportunity for them to learn more about the Dutch life. According to the risk assessment that was conducted while planning the day trip, the educational trip began with a visit to the H'ART Museum (Hermitage Amsterdam), which is a renowned art museum that displays a vast collection of artworks. The MY students immersed themselves in Dutch art and history by learning about Amsterdam's past, its development, architecture, and significant events throughout the centuries, including a very interesting temporary exhibition about the Netherlands’ colonial history. They also had the privilege of admiring the works of the famous Dutch painters. After the art museum visit, eating classic Dutch food, taking the metro and ferry to Amsterdam Noord, and visiting other local museums created an unforgettable day filled with exploration, learning, fun, and culture.

Exploration, observation and critical thinking

Educational visits are all about exploration and observation, igniting your child's curiosity and critical thinking. These adventures are like treasure hunts for knowledge. Let's take our EY3 class, for instance, when they visited the Appel Pluk Boerderij, an apple farm. They dived into the world of fruit, picking apples and savouring the flavours of nature. This wasn't just fun; it was a science lesson in disguise. They learned about plant growth, life cycles, and how fruits are born. The sensory experience was just as valuable as the knowledge gained. With various textures, scents, and sights to explore, they created memories and learning that will stick with them. When they returned, they couldn't wait to show their Head of Primary School how an apple tree and a pear tree differ. They connected what they learned at the apple farm to their experiences in the Forest School, creating a web of knowledge that's uniquely their own.

Our Middle Years students also had a distinct exploration experience as they embarked on a journey through the human body at Corpus, Leiden. They gained a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology through life-sized representations. This educational visit helped them develop their critical thinking skills by connecting theoretical knowledge with tangible, three-dimensional structures. Our MY1 students explored, observed and deepened their scientific comprehension as they became more curious about biology and physiology afterwards.   

Social and emotional development

Field trips do more than educate; they create unforgettable moments for your child. The children get to know their friends on a whole new level, discovering shared interests and quirks outside the classroom. It's not just about the places they visit; it's about the people they experience them with. Plus, field trips are a wonderful opportunity for your child to understand societal norms and cultural diversity. For example, our Primary Years 3 trip to Archeon, an archaeological open-air museum, was a journey through time. The students explored prehistory to the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages and interacted with experts and historical reenactors. Group activities fostered teamwork and social skills, and cultural discussions allowed them to appreciate diversity. We believe that this international perspective is a remarkable advantage of our school, as it helps children reflect on both similarities and differences, understanding the beauty of diversity.

Another example can be given from our Middle Years students' trip to Het Amsterdamse Bos (the Amsterdam Forest), as a part of their ‘Service as an Action’ project. Our MY students developed this project while studying ecology in environmental systems and societies. They decided to collect rubbish, created a team, and found a teacher who could guide them in how to make it come to life.

The students were given the freedom to choose the area, and the date. After presenting their idea, their MYP teacher conducted the risk assessment of the project and an approval request was asked from the school administration for the project. On this educational visit, our students showed the attributes of an IB learner profile.

They developed skills for inquiry and research, and learned how to learn independently and with others. In addition, they showed how caring they are by respecting the world around them and acting to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

In a world increasingly dominated by screens, educational visits remind our students that learning can be a vibrant, real-life adventure, filled with exploration, learning, and culture. These experiences foster curiosity, help them understand themselves and the world around them, and create memories that will last a lifetime. At Amity Amsterdam, our educational trips are planned according to our curriculum. In this way, we encourage active learning and are dedicated to fostering our students' curiosity and making their learning experience not only enriching but also filled with joy and wonder.