More and more schools UK-wide are offering their pupils the opportunity to take part in a summer residential school trip. Pupils look forward to it all year, knowing their hard work and dedication will be rewarded with a few days spent having fun and enjoying outdoor activities with their classmates before breaking up for the summer holidays. However, schools looking for new and innovative ways of increasing learner engagement and expecting the best return on their investment, are increasingly opting for the benefits of a residential trip in the Autumn or Winter.
The Learning Away Foundation recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of the many benefits to schools and pupils of choosing a Winter residential. These are just a few of the reasons why schools shouldn’t discount the quieter Autumn / Winter months when planning their pupils’ next residential:
- Greater return on your school’s investment. By offering a residential trip at the start of the school year, schools can benefit from the learnings back in the classroom. With time to reinforce classroom learning over the course of the school year, the trip could be integrated with a particular theme or topic, allowing for new and innovative ways of teaching the curriculum.
- Greater choice and affordability. With the summer term being the most popular for activity providers, opting for winter dates means schools could have a greater choice of dates available without having to plan over a year in advance, and trips are often more affordable. In the busier months, many providers will set a minimum stay requirement, whereas in the winter they may be more flexible, offering day or one-night trips, suitable for younger pupils. The wider choice, flexibility and affordability means you can offer outdoor learning opportunities that are fully inclusive and tailored for your school and pupils.
- Resilience building and well-being. With the UK weather so unpredictable, you may well find that you get better weather in September / October or a sunny spring day than you would on a rainy week in July! But the benefit of a winter residential is that pupils, parents, teachers and activity providers will be expecting adverse weather and prepare accordingly. It’s just as important, if not more so, to make sure children are experiencing and enjoying the outdoors in the colder months, helping them to build resilience, and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle all year round.
- Building a year-round love of the outdoors. Everyone knows there’s no greater joy than being outside on a summer’s day feeling the sun on your skin, and breathing in the sweet scent of flowers in bloom. But what about appreciating the equally joyous feel of a crisp autumn day, leaves crunching underfoot, the feeling of heading out on a brisk walk, breathing in fresh winter air after long periods spent inside. It’s so important that children learn to be outside in all weathers, and a residential trip provides the perfect opportunity,
- New learning opportunities – The shorter days of Autumn / Winter offer children the opportunity to enjoy activities they couldn’t in the summer. Shorter days means night comes earlier – an opportunity for a night walk and some stargazing. The reduced footfall in the colder months could make it easier for animal tracking. And of course the falling leaves, acorns, conkers etc. in the autumn are perfect for a wide variety of games and outdoor crafts activities.
So when it’s next time to plan your school trip, do take the time to consider the benefits of a school residential trip outside of the usual summer term. It could just be a decision you reap the rewards for all year round.
Wildchild Adventure offer year-round outdoor adventure activities for Primary and Secondary schools looking for anything from a one-day to a one-week trip. Contact us for more information or for a bespoke quote for your school.
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