What Is an INCURSION?
Typically, a school incursion is an event where an external service provider is invited into a school to deliver an educational activity for their students. This type of activity is aimed at providing students with an opportunity to participate in a purposefully designed hands-on program within an environment that enables every participant to excel in areas of interest and skillsets.
Hands-on learning as a form of education has long been touted by parents and educators as both beneficial and complementary to traditional teaching methods and considered as a key factor in raising children who develop a lifelong love of learning, but what exactly does it mean and how do incursions play a role in exploring this concept?
Experiential learning simply means actively participating in an experience instead of simply listening to a lecture about a given subject. Incursions are just one way in which students can engage with the subject matter to solve a problem or create something in a familiar and safe environment. These programs are designed to motivate and activate higher-order thinking.
Incursions service providers have helped to take learning beyond the classroom and make education more meaningful. The absolute beauty about an incursion is the variety of programs and subject matter available. From the comfort of your classroom, educators are able to expose students to everything from interactive multicultural dance classes, career role-play, emotional intelligence workshops, a health fitness challenge and so much more.
The scope and subject matter that an incursion program can cover is vast, and the possibilities are endless. Educational designers are intentional in the content included and expert directors in tailoring these learning outcomes.
Here are just a few Incursion Activity Examples
Design and Technology
Sport, Health and wellbeing
Geography and Travel
It’s becoming increasingly challenging to engage students in a fast-paced world of distractions and many of these programs have been designed in such a great way that participants are required to actively interact and engage with the learning material. Students need to work together as a team and recognise that everybody has something different to offer, every student subconsciously learns to navigate social cues while contributing towards a common goal.
While COVID19 has temporarily restricted international travel for schools, many have taken advantage of this time to explore the learning opportunities right here in Australia. One thing for sure is that the pandemic has highlighted the value that incursions can offer, particularly in today’s environment where we need to maintain a safe and controlled environment. Service providers will come to your school, sparing parents, students and schools the expense of transport and there is minimal disruption to the school day.
Incursion companies will often include all the documentation you need such as insurance, WWC Checks, risk assessment and covid-19 safe plans (do be sure to check these with your selected provider when booking). We know that teachers are time poor so this in itself is a value-added tick for any educator. It’s never been easier for teachers to organize these types of experiences with the numerous high-quality service providers who offer curriculum relevant, safe, and fun options that deliver exceptional educational value.
School Incursions Are Not Exclusively A Primary School Activity
It’s a general misconception that incursions have a play-based foundation or that they are restricted to the junior school years. Many senior school students have reported deriving great value from attending onsite workshops or incursions and that this type of experience added a new dimension to their perceptions of a subject.
The value of a workshop is not strictly related to how it is delivered, but more to the way the learning outcomes is achieved. The learning should be intentional, mindful, creative, engaging, encourage risk-taking and build resilience, all aspects that a well-designed incursion experience certainly covers.
During these workshops, all areas of the curriculum shine through and compliment the classroom theories already being taught, irrespective of year level. They include
Why Book an Incursion?
Incursions reinforce, complement and extend learning opportunities beyond the classroom. They offer students a unique opportunity to learn more about themselves and form a connection with their peers. These programs are often value-driven and provide a platform for authentic learning to take place. One of the benefits of incursions is that the programs are often tailored to suit the school’s needs, whether that be from an affordability point of view, an educational specific focus that needs to be incorporated or designing a bespoke experience where students who are perhaps differently abled either physically, emotionally or intellectually are supported and can actively participate.
Through these structured learning activities and exposure at an age-appropriate level, incursions can provide practical tools and strategies to build confidence and resilience to help students navigate today's modern and often complex challenges.
Apart from the student benefits, teachers often rely on the resources and professional subject-specific knowledge of an incursion facilitator to bring greater depth and understanding to the subject through props and additional resources. This winning combination inspires greater engagement and lots of fun.
Teaching young people that learning is ongoing, not limited to a school classroom and that valuable and powerful learning can take place anywhere at any time, is a beautiful life lesson in itself.
For more ideas about educational, fun and unique school incursions in your area visit www.schoolactivities.com.au
Claudine is a people connector with a passion for bringing together communities and organizations for good through travel. With a degree in global business, she left her home country to travel full time with her family while working remotely, designing educational programs and marketing content for international niche markets. “Seeing the positive change that travel inspires in young people is what I am passionate about sharing, adventure has a unique way of teaching you something new”