University of Leicester gets top marks for educational visits

Posted by pt91 at Oct 07, 2011 11:55 AM |
Botanic Garden helps children learn outside the classroom
University of Leicester gets top marks for educational visits

Schoolchildren during an educational visit to the Botanic Garden.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 7 October 2011

The University of Leicester Botanic Garden  in Oadby has shown itself to be at the top of the class for educational visits by being awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.

Awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the LOtC Quality Badge combines for the first time learning and safety into one easily recognisable badge for all organisations providing learning outside the classroom experiences.

Director of the Botanic Garden Dr Richard Gornall  said “Being awarded the LOtC Quality Badge is a real coup for all the staff here as it shows that we offer young people the type of high quality learning experiences they really benefit from. We're thrilled to get official recognition for our efforts and we look forward to welcoming even more children and young people from the local area to our Garden.”

The LOtC Quality Badge was launched in 2009 as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, a national initiative to ensure young people are given more opportunities to have these experiences as part of the curriculum. The LOtC Quality Badge is awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the national voice for Learning Outside the Classroom. The Council also provides free online guidance and information for teachers on how to plan and organise high quality activities. The LOtC Quality Badge is designed to make it easier for teachers to identify providers of quality educational visits. Organisations will display the Quality Badge as a signal to schools that their venue has met required standards, so teachers do not need to carry out their own risk or quality assessments.

There are two routes to the LOtC Quality Badge.  Route 1 is for organisations offering activities that are considered relatively low risk and activities that take place wholly in controlled areas used by the public, such as museums, galleries, places of worship and zoos.  Route 2 is for organisations providing activities that require a degree of technical knowledge and experience beyond the lay person. For example, adventurous activities such as rock climbing and river and coastal fieldwork, where young people enter the water to make measurements.

Providers looking to gain the LOtC Quality Badge will need to meet a set of six quality indicators and will be supported through a developmental process by a package of on-line support materials, which will include guidance, good practice exemplars, downloadable templates and training materials.

Beth Gardner, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said:

“Educational visits are among the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life.  The LOtC Quality Badge offers teachers a guarantee that not only is a venue providing the sort of educational value that they can build on in class long after the visit but they also have the appropriate risk management structures in place.

Learning outside the classroom has many proven educational benefits. The LOtC Quality Badge will reduce red tape and provide assurance for schools, thereby ensuring that many more young people have memorable, exciting and valuable learning outside the classroom experiences. I congratulate the University of Leicester Botanic Garden on being awarded the LOtC Quality Badge.”

The LOtC Quality Badge is available to large and small organisations providing quality learning outside the classroom experiences and managing risk effectively. Over 750 organisations have already been awarded the Quality Badge, including museums, adventurous activity and field study centres, places of worship, art galleries, visitor attractions, student travel companies and farms.

For more information about the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, please visit www.lotcqualitybadge.org.uk

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