‘Learning Experiences Outside The Classroom:’An analysis of planning and preparation amongst Hawke’s Bay schools Prepared for The National Aquarium of New Zealand by Cinta Research November 2005
Research objectives “To raise school attendance at the National Aquarium via an understanding of how Hawke’s Bay schools’ plan and prepare for ‘Learning experiences outside the classroom’”
Research objectives More detailed objectives are to: • Gather information about how schools plan LEOTC: • When in the school year are outings planned and booked? • How fixed or flexible is the LEOTC plan? • Which staff members contribute towards the organisation of LEOTC? • Evaluate the effectiveness of current communications and correspondence with schools: • Ascertain who sights correspondence from the National Aquarium • How correspondence & information are distributed within schools • Identify preferences for posted or emailed correspondence
Research objectives • Determine why or why not the current National Aquarium LEOTC programmes meet or do not meet schools’ requirements • Substantiate why school attendance numbers are declining at the Aquarium via an analysis of the reasons why schools do not attend each year / have yet to make a visit: • Price sensitivity and budget issues? • Competing curriculum demands? • Suitability of programmes? • Anything else which emerges? • Identify strategies to make the Aquarium a routine LEOTC destination
Sample & methodology • 60 x 10 minute telephone surveys with Hawke’s Bay schools • 10 x Central Hawke’s Bay, 20 x Napier City and 30 x Hastings’ District • Mix of primary, full primary, intermediate and secondary schools • Include schools with decile ratings 1-3, 4-7 and 8-10 to ensure broad representation • Interview the person with greatest responsibility for LEOTC planning: mainly principals, senior teachers or LEOTC co-ordinators • Respondents sourced from a database of Hawke’s Bay schools supplied by The National Aquarium. Interviewers aimed to obtain a mix of those who had visited and had not visited the Aquarium. (Overall, approximately 50% of population of Hawke’s Bay schools sampled). • Fieldwork October 2005
Presentation Structure • Section 1 – Who took part in the survey? • Section 2 – Planning for LEOTC • Section 3 – Correspondence from the National Aquarium • Section 4 – Does the National Aquarium meet the needs of schools’ LEOTC requirements? • Section 5 – Visiting patterns including barriers to visiting the National Aquarium • Section 6 – Conclusions and recommendations
Who took part in the survey? Statistics in this report may not equal 100% due to rounding to the nearest percent
Do you plan LEOTC with the teachers on an individual basis or do you plan LEOTC as a group?Base = All (60) The majority of schools plan with teachers on a group basis
Once decided, is your school’s LEOTC plan fixed or is it flexible?Base = All (60) Great to see that 9 in 10 schools have a flexible LEOTC plan!
Therefore, if the National Aquarium offered a mid-year visit deal, would your school be able to factor this into their LEOTC plan?Base = All (60) Three-quarters (73%) can factor a mid-year visit deal into their plan and another quarter (23%) say ‘may be,’ further reinforcing flexibility in schools’ LEOTC plans.
When do you book for your LEOTC outings?Base = All (60) • We see a range of responses here: • Approximately 1 in 5 (18%) schools are ‘early birds’ – planning the year prior or at the beginning of the year. • The majority (63%) plan several months or a term in advance. • About 1 in 6 (17%) are booking shortly before the visit, just weeks in advance.
Correspondence from the National Aquarium
Who sights the correspondence and letters from the National Aquarium? (unprompted, multiple response question) Base = All (60)
Please indicate if the correspondence and letters from the National Aquarium are shared these ways with your staff? Are there any other ways correspondence is shared?Base = All (60) % answering ‘yes’ Effective methods to ensure information is shared and distributed to several staff members
Does all of your school teaching staff have their own individual email addresses?Base = All (60)
What would be your preference and the most cost effective way for your school to receive correspondence from the National Aquarium – paper correspondence posted to one person or emailed directly to all the relevant staff? Base = All (60) At this stage, posted correspondence is still the most effective method for schools to receive information, given that only 45% of staff are known to have their own email address and that posted correspondence is often displayed on staff notice boards and distributed at forums where staff meet face to face for discussion e.g. staff and syndicate meetings.
Does the National Aquarium meet the needs of your school’s LEOTC requirements?
Please indicate with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if you are satisfied with what the National Aquarium provides your school in the following areas?Base = All (60) Opportunity for more! Are more staff answering ‘don’t know’ rather than ‘not satisfied’?
Based on the feedback you have received from your teachers who have visited The National Aquarium, do you believe the Aquarium meets the needs of your school’s LEOTC requirements?Base = All (60) A positive result – with over 8 in 10 believing the Aquarium meets LEOTC requirements.
Please tell me about how the Aquarium meets the needs of your school’s LEOTC requirements?
Please tell me about how the Aquarium meets the needs of your school’s LEOTC requirements?
Visiting patterns including barriers to visiting The National Aquarium
When did you last visit the National Aquarium? Would it be….? Base = All (60) • Half (50%) of the schools sampled have visited this year or last year. • 35% have visited two years ago or prior to that. • One in eight (12%) have never visited the Aquarium.
What are the barriers or the reasons why your school does not visit every year / or has not visited at all? (unprompted, multiple response question) Base = All (60)
What could The National Aquarium do to make it a routine destination for your school to visit every year? (unprompted, multiple response question) Base = All (60)
Overall conclusion Declining school attendance at the National Aquarium reflects financial and curriculum restraints and does not reflect dissatisfactory experiences at the Aquarium, inflexible planning or lack of awareness of programmes.
Positive research findings • LEOTC planning is flexible, not fixed. It is not unusual for outings to be booked relatively late, just a few weeks or a term in advance. • Mid year deals offered by the Aquarium can be accommodated. • Correspondence from the Aquarium gets into the right hands! It tends to be sighted by school principals, some teachers, the LEOTC Co-ordinator and school secretaries. Correspondence is shared widely amongst teachers, most commonly in staff meetings, on staff noticeboards and via communication distributed to individual teachers. • High satisfaction levels with Aquarium visits – they do meet requirements • Relevant curriculum content (although some teachers require a more focussed programme) • Relates to classroom learning • Impressed with tour guides & staff • Excellent displays & exhibits • Positive feedback from students & staff
An annual destination? • The National Aquarium is a destination of choice but it is ambitious to assume it is an annual choice for every Hawke’s Bay school. Once every two years is a more realistic goal. • Financial constraints • Schools required to fund raise to cover costs of LEOTC visits • Competing demands with several LEOTC trips to fund • Transport costs are expensive – may be a large proportion of overall cost • Curriculum restraints • Need to juggle LEOTC trips across seven curriculum areas, working on a rotational basis and letting each area ‘have its turn’ • Therefore, each curriculum area may not have an annual trip • Some staff wish to vary destinations within each curriculum area – ‘to try something different’ • Staff indicate that they’d like to see more focussed programmes at the Aquarium
Raising school attendance: strategies to make the National Aquarium a routine LEOTC destination Some ideas and suggestions……………. • Reward the loyalty of schools who do wish to attend annually with discounts on continuous annual bookings or an allocation of free student or parent places. • Aim to ensure every Hawke’s Bay primary / full primary school visits every 2nd year. • Extend programme to Intermediate schools and other youth groups e.g. Girl Guides. • Introduce spontaneous deals to entice those with flexible plans / late arrangers. • Forge closer links with schools by taking the ‘National Aquarium’ brand outside the Aquarium. • Offer more cost effective alternatives, e.g. off-site tours of marine life at beaches, rivers or reserves • Bring tour guides & resources into classrooms. • Publish school projects in Aquarium and school literature, correspondence & websites • Sponsor school sports teams or school events
Raising school attendance: strategies to make the National Aquarium a routine LEOTC destination Some ideas and suggestions……………. • Liaise with LEOTC co-ordinators over programme content to ensure focussed and relevant programmes are maintained • Contribute towards transport costs, e.g. National Aquarium funded mini-bus, or investigate if Aquarium can arrange transport at a more competitive rate than schools. • Vary programme to keep LEOTC innovative, exciting & fresh without losing relevance to curriculum. Inform schools about what is new at the Aquarium. • Promotional tie-ins with other local LEOTC providers (to lower the overall cost of a school selecting several LEOTC trips) • Curriculum based competitions with prizes for schools, e.g. books, science equipment, sports equipment.
Quality Check • Cinta Research takes every care on every project to ensure accuracy. • Prior to this presentation going out we have carried out the checklist on the right. • Thank you. Sample size of survey noted All charts properly labelled All charts properly checked Spell-check completed
For more information, please contact: Fiona Hudson Louise Owen Managing Director Research Analyst Cinta Research Cinta Research Tel: 06 875 8195 Tel: 06 878 8427 Mobile: 021 498 456 Mobile: 021 298 7594 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com
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