Why are school residential trips important?
A school residential offers students the opportunity to get outside of the classroom and the school environment. This allows them to develop their interpersonal skills and build stronger relationships with their fellow students and their teachers, through their shared experiences.
This can translate to a better learning environment back in the classroom, with students more supportive of each other and more engaged with their teacher.
Many school residential trips will include an element of developing communication and teamwork skills. There is often an opportunity for students to develop their problem-solving skills too.
School residentials also allow students to develop their independence. For some of the students, this may well be their first time away from home without their family.
Although you and the other accompanying staff will be there to keep them safe and lead them on the trip, they will still need to take greater responsibility for themselves and their belongings than perhaps they have been able to before.
Depending on the activities involved, your school trip residential may also offer your students the opportunity to develop their resilience. You might well be taking part in activities that they have never tried before. They may not succeed the first time, but they will learn to pick themselves up and try again and will be rewarded by seeing their skills develop by doing so.
All in all, it’s clear that school residential trips have plenty of benefits to offer students, as has been demonstrated by research conducted by Learning Away.
Where should we go on our school residential trip?
A school residential trip to the Lake District is a really exciting prospect for any group. Not only is the scenery here absolutely breathtaking, but there are endless opportunities for your students to try something new.
Your students can have a go at water sports, such as canoeing, kayaking and sailing. They can try adventure sports such as ghyll scrambling and tackling a high ropes course. They can even have a go at archery!
A school residential to the Lake District also offers some great teambuilding activities, such as raft building.
Another spectacular setting for a school residential is Cornwall. This beautiful corner of southwest England, of course, offers the opportunity for students to enjoy being by the sea, which in itself offers a fantastic boost for their wellbeing.
And the mild climate means that a school residential to Cornwall is possible at any time of the year. In fact, there are many great benefits to arranging a school residential trip to Cornwall in the winter.
Whatever time you choose to visit Cornwall on your school residential, you’ll have plenty of options for enriching activities to enjoy. For example, you could check out the many incredible art galleries and museums around St. Ives. You could marvel at the spectacular St. Michael’s Mount and the dramatic Lizard Point. Or you can head to the Eden Project, where your students will learn more about the importance of biodiversity and sustainability.
If you’re really interested in arranging a school residential trip that will push your students out of their comfort zones, then Holme Pierrepont is hard to beat!
Located just outside of Nottingham, Holme Pierrepont is home to the National Water Sports Centre. The facilities here are fantastic and you’ll actually be able to stay on-site, right in the heart of the action.
On your school residential to Holme Pierrepont, your students will have the opportunity to try a whole range of water sports, including kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
They’ll improve their resilience by taking on the Water Wipeout and Sky Trail courses.
And they can even take part in a team-building exercise to build a raft!
A school residential trip is a great option for groups who are looking for an action-packed few days away.
You can visit Warwick Castle, one of the UK’s finest surviving medieval fortresses, built in 1068 by England’s new Norman king, William the Conqueror. Within the castle grounds, medieval history is vividly brought to life. You can see a falconer demonstrate his skills and the magnificent birds he works with. You can have a go at archery and see one of the world’s largest working trebuchets in action. And you can even venture down to the castle’s dungeons – if you dare!
For something totally different, you can then head over to Swadlinecote Snowsports Centre to have a go at skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or snow-tubing!
And you can even head over to Conkers in the National Forest for some great team-building activities, including an assault course challenge, shelter building, a barefoot walk challenge, high-ropes and even pedal go-karting.
Keen to arrange a school residential trip packed full of adrenaline-filled water sports? Then why not head to Lee Valley, just outside of London? This is the venue that hosted the canoe slalom events at the London 2012 Olympics and the facilities are world-class.
On a school residential to Lee Valley, your students will have the opportunity to try kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and rafting.
They can also have a go at the Water Wipeout course and develop their teambuilding skills by building a working raft!
And there are even more activities available at the nearby Herts Young Mariners Base. Here, your students can have a go at climbing, caving, archery and fencing!
Trips to the Peak District offer students the opportunity to explore one of the most scenic regions of the UK.
They can explore the magnificent gardens at the iconic Chatsworth House, catch a cable car for spectacular views across the Peak District from the Heights of Abraham and explore the charming Matlock Bath, a popular Peak tourist town since the 17th century.
And, of course, when you visit the Peak District, you mustn’t miss the opportunity to explore the lovely town of Bakewell. Make sure you take the time to try the famous local pudding!
Spectacular, diverse Yorkshire is another great destination for a school residential.
Your students can explore the county’s history at York Castle Museum and the York Dungeon, where 2,000 years of York’s darkest history is brought to life.
You can explore the beautiful Yorkshire coastline, with visits to the charming seaside towns of Scarborough, Whitby or Filey.
And you can see the marine life that lives off the county’s coast at The Deep in Hull, which is one of the UK’s largest aquariums.
A real highlight of your school residential to Yorkshire will be a visit to York’s Chocolate Story. Here, your students will learn about how York’s Quaker families pioneered the chocolate trade in the UK and helped to make York one of the main centres of chocolate production in the UK. Your students will learn how to taste chocolate and can even make their own sweet treats!
What about Activities Week?
One of the highlights of the school year, Activities Week (also called Enrichment Week) is a popular time for school residential trips and a wonderful opportunity to broaden pupils’ horizons and enrich the curriculum.
By the end of the week, many pupils will have been able to try something new, perhaps even visit a new country, and improve relationships will fellow pupils and teachers.
Many schools do choose to offer school residentials during a dedicated Activities Week. If you’re thinking of doing so, here are some more ideas for your trip.
Theme parks are always a fantastic option for Activities Week. Not only are they lots of fun for both staff and students, they also offer a wide range of educational opportunities, from seeing physics in action to testing out language skills.
Disneyland® Paris is still our most popular theme park school trip. Of course, combining the visit with some time spent in Paris, the chic French capital, can make this a well-rounded school trip that students will love. And with short journey times too, this really is a great option for an Activities Week school residential.
We also offer trips to other theme parks around Europe. In France, there’s Parc Astérix, which is themed around the popular French comics and is just 20 miles north of Paris. Or, if you’d prefer to visit the Loire and its famous châteaux, there’s also Futuroscope – a theme park that revolves around multimedia and audio-visual techniques.
In Germany, the ever-popular Rhineland offers the opportunity to visit Phantasialand. This great theme park offers a real variety of rides suitable for everyone, from the adrenaline junkies to those who prefer slower-paced rides.
Language and culture
There really is no better way to broaden students’ horizons than by immersing them in a foreign language and culture. This is why Activities Week is the perfect time for a Language and Culture trip.
If your students are a little younger and you want to give them a bit of an introduction to the country and its culture, then you may want to go for a slightly quieter destination. The Opal Coast in France, for example, is just a short hop across the Channel and offers endless exciting activities to choose from, away from the hubbub of the big cities.
If your students are a little older and you want them to get a real grasp of the local culture, it is hard to beat a capital city to get a good overall view of what the country has to offer. Paris, Berlin and Madrid are always hugely popular among our groups for this reason.
And, of course, if you’re struggling to decide on a destination, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll happily discuss the pros and cons of each destination and will be pleased to advise you on the suitability for your group based on your particular requirements.
School sports tours are another popular option for Activities Week, so you may be interested to learn that we offer these too.
Our colleagues in the Halsbury Sport team will happily tailor make a tour to suit your group and chosen sport.
Sports tours make such a great option for Activities Week because they teach students so much more than sport-specific skills. They offer some fantastic opportunities for personal development too, including building greater resilience, independence, responsibility and confidence.