With all our residential school trips completed for this academic year I’ve taken some time to reflect on the experiences and benefits that they offer our pupils.
There is undoubtedly no substitute for real experience in the wider world. School residential trips provide a great opportunity for pupils to gain such experience and face a range of challenges that can contribute significantly to their personal development. From Year 3 and a first night away in York, the physical and mental challenges of Newlands, to the cultural tours of London and France, all offer so much and all offer something different.
Pupils may feel that they know their classmates and teachers well from day-to-day contact in school, but the experience of being with them on a residential trip can add a completely new dimension. It raises the whole area of interpersonal skills, including leadership, team work, trust and respect.
There are also other benefits particularly those involving self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience. I have heard from staff that pupils who do not normally shine in the classroom have excelled on a residential trip. Of course, there is also the contribution to the acquisition of knowledge and development of skills.
Research suggests that school residential trips have the profound ability to inspire pupils into having greater aspirations, hence broadening their horizons for the future. This is a highly creative aspect of education which can sometimes easily be overlooked in favour of more academic learning outcomes. We will continue to give careful thought to our residential trips offer and the itinerary of activities in order to challenge, inspire and develop our Prep pupils taking their learning well beyond the confines of a classroom and preparing them for the wider world.