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  • Jeff Baierlein

Viristar offers webinar on outdoor trip and travel safety with Tanglin Trust School & FOBISIA

March 17 webinar provides resources for schools seeking risk management guidance on resuming trips and adventurous expeditions

How do we manage the risk of travel and outdoor programs in a constantly evolving pandemic?

When can school trips begin again?

Viristar is pleased to provide guidance for schools and other organizations who are seeking to answer these questions.

Viristar and Tanglin Trust School of Singapore will be presenting a webinar on these subjects on March 17, 2022, from 3 to 4 pm ICT (Bangkok time, UTC+7). The webinar is hosted by the Bangkok-based Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA).

Presentation Topics

Jeff Baierlein, Viristar’s Director, will address topics including:

  • Safety science introduction, and models for understanding risks and their interactions

  • The Risk Domains model of incident causation

  • Application of risk management modelling to school programmes in Asia and beyond

Jeff’s presentation will be followed by information from Martin Foakes, the long-time Head of Outdoor Education for Tanglin Trust School, a leading international school in Singapore.

Tanglin has approximately 3,000 students, and pre-pandemic, organized 100 overseas trips each year to destinations all around the world. When COVID-19 appeared, these programmes came to an abrupt halt.

Martin, an accomplished adventurer and cave explorer with over 30 years’ experience in outdoor adventure and environmental education, will discuss the process Tanglin’s Outdoor Education Department has used to navigate the COVID landscape, including:

  • Accommodating ever-changing rules and restrictions from the Singaporean Ministry of Health

  • Moving through phases: Phase 2 Heightened Awareness, Circuit Breaker, Vaccine Differentiated Systems, Stabiliser phase, and Adjustment

  • Changing trips structures to maximize outcomes and minimize risk

  • Considerations for resuming overseas travel

  • Managing for rustiness of long-disused risk management skills and systems

Martin will also talk about the importance of continuing outdoor experiences for kids, and the need for good communications to boost confidence about how adaptations can effectively reduce risks.

School leaders and teachers involved in trip programs, domestic and international travel, CAS & experiential programs, and International Award/DofE activities, may find the webinar informative and useful.

Bamboo rafting, a popular outdoor adventure in Asia

Viristar, Tanglin and FOBISIA

Viristar and Tanglin Trust have been part of the Outdoor Forum for South East Asian Schools, supporting quality outdoor education for international and other schools and colleges in Asia and Oceania. Viristar planned to host a “Risk Management for Outdoor Programs” training in May 2020 at Tanglin, as part of an OFFSEAS event.

The pandemic led to the postponement of that in-person training, but three Tanglin Outdoor Education Department senior staff completed Viristar’s 40-hour online version of the training in 2021.

Tanglin’s Outdoor Education Department has integrated concepts from Viristar’s outdoor safety curriculum into their operations. And so it was natural that the two organizations would partner to share guidance with schools in the FOBISIA network to help them think through how to resume trips and travel programmes with their students.

Viristar and Tanglin Trust School, the oldest British international school in Southeast Asia, have for years been members of FOBISIA, which helps its over 86 member schools ensure high-quality British- international-style education.

FOBISIA school locations in Asia

FOBISIA’s member schools are located in Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Viristar has worked with schools and outdoor programs in most of those countries, including a number of schools in the FOBISIA network, such as Discovery Bay International School, Harrow International School, Nord Anglia International School, and Canadian International School.

Viristar, which recently renewed its FOBISIA membership for 2022, is glad to support FOBISIA member schools—and outdoor programs in scores of countries around the world—with resources to help ensure excellence in quality and safety outcomes for experiential, outdoor, forest school, and travel programs wherever they are held.

Elephant riding, done ethically, is a classic outdoor adventure in Asia.


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