Almost every term, children benefit from going on carefully planned educational visits to placeswhich offer them a chance to increase their experience, knowledge and understanding of what they are studying. Places are chosen for their relevance to the themes the children are working on and many are local to the area. Our aim is to inspire children and bring learning to life.All educational visits are carefully planned, following LA guidelines and taking into account health and safety risk assessments. In recent years children have visited places such as Pizza Express, Molescroft Grange Farm, the Fred Elwell Trail, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Beverley Racecourse, Beverley Minster and York Castle Museum. There is also a yearly residential visit to Kingswood, an outdoor pursuits centre.Parents and carers are informed about educational visits and are asked to complete a consent form, allowing their child to take part. If the visit is in Beverley, consent is given when your child starts school but you will always be informed if your child leaves the school premises for a visit. It is extremely important that consent forms for visits outside Beverley are completed and returned to school well before the date of the visit. Without consent, children cannot go on school trips.All educational visits are planned to try to get the best value for money possible. Significant time is given to gaining competitive quotations for visits and finding ways to keep the overall costs down. Visits away from Beverley are balanced with visits locally. However, as in other areas of life, the costs are rising. Health and safety legislation, insurance, venue hire, transport, staffing and administrative costs all lead to higher final prices, there is a limit to how much the school can contribute. We have set the amount that we ask parents to contribute voluntarily towards the cost of educational visits at £20.00. The Friends of St Mary’s regularly subsidise visits using funds they raise.We will continue to organise a wide range of educational visits, because they do make a real impact on the children’s enjoyment of learning and the success of the work they do. However, in doing so we must continue to rely on voluntary parental contributions towards the costs of those visits. Every time a parental contribution is requested, there is a note saying that if there is any concern about this, please contact the school. We know that money is tight for our families and we want to help where we can. Sometimes, grandparents are able to help and an increasing number give money for birthdays, some of which parents choose to put towards educational visits.If you know of any places (preferably near to school, to minimise costs) which you feel would becapture a child’s interest and spark off some great learning, do let us know. We value all yoursuggestions.