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The Value of Residentials

Posted: 16th May 2019 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

It has long been acknowledged by schools that outdoor learning has equal value to indoor learning. In fact, it’s considered an essential requirement for a child’s development. Outdoor learning is known to have a very positive impact on a child’s well-being and growth.

Life is full of challenges and we owe it to our children to equip them with the skills to recognise risks, assess them sensibly and react positively. Residential weeks provide a real opportunity for children to experience the outdoors, immerse themselves in lots of new activities and build a genuine sense of independence.

Pupils may feel that they know their classmates and teachers well from day-to-day contact in school, but the experience of living with them in a residential community can add a completely new dimension. It raises the whole area of interpersonal skills, including leadership, teamwork, trust and respect.

As well as the physical health benefits, residentials have been proven to have a positive effect on children’s self-esteem, resilience and confidence levels, thereby improving their emotional health and well being. The importance of allowing children to explore their environment, take responsibility, and generally sustaining themselves with minimal obvious adult intervention is significant. Even the downtime of a residential where children can relax, play and take stock is hugely important in allowing children to make their own decisions and discover who they are. We frequently hear from teachers that pupils who do not normally shine in the classroom have excelled on a residential trip. This can all help to improve performance and relationships back at school.

This last week has reminded us that these opportunities and experiences are key to that holistic learning experience. Our Year 6 pupils have spent the week away in Swanage, Dorset, taking in the beautiful coastline, enjoying many exhilarating activities and carrying out some important geography and artwork.

This week has given the pupils in Dorset the opportunity to demonstrate a high level of commitment and to persevere with things they may find different or difficult, whether that be being away from home for the first time, carrying out sample surveys with the public in Swanage town centre or paddle boarding by the coast.   

While it is possible to learn some basic concepts in class, there is no substitute for real experience in the wider world and our Skippers residential trips from Year 5 - 8 certainly provide a great opportunity for our pupils to gain such experience and face a range of challenges that can contribute significantly to their personal development.

Mr David Leggett

Deputy Head

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