The Paul Hamlyn Foundation special initiative Learning Away is researching What makes a ‘Brilliant Residential’?
The study describes ‘Brilliant Residentials’ as school trips with an overnight stay, which are led by teachers, co-designed with students and fully integrated into the curriculum. They are a ‘multi-tool’ for achieving vital educational outcomes, have a huge impact on students of all ages and can help to deliver whole school change.
The following selections from the initial study findings will provide more of an insight into what a residential could offer your children and young adults as well as some recent feedback from groups visiting Lea Green.
To chat to the team at Lea Green about what you are looking to achieve call us on 01629 534561 or complete a residential booking form here.
For more information about the report and Learning Away, visit http://learningaway.org.uk/residentials/
1. Impact on relationships
- New peer relationships created.
- Relationships built between staff and students.
- Opportunities for students to develop social skills.
- Development of more trusting and respectful relationships.
Post residential, 70% of key stage 2 students felt they knew their teachers better and 71% felt they got on better with their peers as a result of their residential experiences.
Interestingly, 72% of secondary students felt that as a result of the residential their teachers had a better understanding of how they liked to learn best. Given that only 56% of students felt that this was the case prior to the residential this can be seen as an important finding.
“We can actually be on a level with the kids and we can sit down on the grass with them. Whereas in a classroom situation it is ‘I am teacher, you are student’. You’re actually physically levelled and I think that has a massive impact on relationships with students” (Secondary Staff Focus Group)
“The visit has really ‘gelled’ the class together and has had a huge impact on the atmosphere in our classroom for the remainder of the year. This in turn allows for a much better learning atmosphere in class as the children feel more comfortable in taking risks with their learning and encouraging each other.” (Lea Green feedback)
2. Developing a ‘Learning Away’ community
- Opportunity and experience of living with others.
- Opportunities for group reinforcement and support.
- Participants can learn more about themselves and others.
- Strong sense of community and support in working towards a common purpose/goal.
“Most of the things you had to work together, like the tents, the cooking, the den building or making the fires. You had to do it with at least one other person. You might be partnered with someone you didn’t get on with at school but with camping it was either get the thing done or not so… you have to deal with it” (Primary Student Focus Group)
“Children learnt team building skills and gained the confidence to have a go at things they wouldn’t usually try, as well as having fun whilst they did.” (Lea Green feedback)
3. Impact on confidence
- Improved relationships.
- Better engagement with learning.
- The development of leadership skills.
“We feel all of our children made progress/reached a target they were aiming for.” (Lea Green feedback)
4. Impact on attainment and engagement with learning
Residentials were felt to be particularly effective for students who had difficulty concentrating and engaging in the classroom context as it gave them a positive experience of themselves. The more relaxed learning environment, the availability of one to one support and small group work were all felt to contribute to improved learner engagement.
- The development of students’ vocabulary and their speaking and listening skills (particularly for primary students).
- Improved creativity as residentials provided inspiration and helped to enrich students’ work in a range of subject areas (both primary and secondary students).
- Developing study and research skills (both primary and secondary students).
5. Developing student leadership skills
- Increased confidence, particularly being given responsibility to lead activities.
- Providing a role model for other students.
- Improved organisational and presentation skills.
- Improved independence and maturity.
“The children have really enjoyed their trip – they have followed instructions well and worked as a team, tried new things and gained confidence.” (Lea Green feedback)