5 myths of a school residential
A school residential trip is an experience that the majority of pupils in the UK have or will experience during their schooling years and for many it can be a rite of passage.
However, whether you are a teacher organising one for the first time or a parent experiencing sending a child away for the first time, the prospect of school activity breaks can be daunting.
You’ve heard the stories, you may vividly remember your own experiences, you are overworked and overloaded as a teacher or parent and the prospect of organising something else can just be too much. However, here at COGO we have broken down some of the key concerns and can explain how we are able to transform school activity breaks into a seamless experience from the moment you pick up the phone to a member of our team to the moment pupils step off the coach and are back on home-turf!
As a parent you want your children to have as many enriching experiences as possible. However, financially this can be difficult, especially with all the other extra-curricular activities that take place. As a teacher you want to ensure that all pupils in your class can gain equal access to education and experiences and certainly do not want anyone excluded on a cost basis.
With this in mind, we always strive to provide affordable residential adventures, and like you, we believe in everyone having opportunities. Opportunities for pupils to enjoy the thrills of being away from home, having the time of their lives and learning valuable life skills on a school activity break.
Expectations & Engagement
Knowing what to expect from school activity breaks as a parent or teacher can be concerning; either fear of the unknown, distant memories from school residential trips in years gone by or stories of other trips heard through the grapevine. This can mean that it is sometimes difficult to engage everyone as advocates of school activity breaks.
We know we can’t change people’s minds, but we believe we can certainly help present the facts. We have a range of resources that can help convey how school residential trips have moved on leaps and bounds in recent years allowing for much higher expectations, especially a trip with Adventure Central. This includes promotional posters, PowerPoint presentations, image libraries, presentation folders and template letters for parents and teachers. We also articulate the learning outcomes for each and every activity ensuring all parents and teachers understand the benefits and value of the school activity breaks.
The dreaded journey with a coach full of excitable children; which can make even the shortest of journeys feel like a full school day! ‘Are we nearly there yet?’… ‘But Miss! I want to sit with my best friend’… ‘We’re bored!’ spring to mind! Unfortunately, there is little that we can do about this one. However, we have expanded the number of centres we host our school activity breaks at and would love to have even more across the UK. This is all with the aim of reducing the journey time and making all our trips easier, more accessible and less stressful for everyone involved.
Beyond this, we can only recommend that you prepare, prepare, prepare. Encourage the children to pair up before the coach arrives- less drama from the offset! Let the children know how long it will take but also WHY it will take that time…opportunity to have a little geography lesson too! There are also lots of games you can prepare before setting off, the AA have a full list. Regardless, make the most of it, it’s another chance to get to know the pupils better and make happy memories and funny stories!
Packing! Packing can be a nightmare at the best of times and even for the most frequent of travellers. Never mind for primary school children on one of their first independent school activity breaks. There is always someone who forgets a key essential such as a towel or underwear, leaving teachers to run around sourcing new things! There are others who bring limited clothing leaving them to walk around in muddy, damp clothes for the majority of the trip. Finally, there are plenty who arrive home minus several items of clothing or with their peers clothing instead!
Alas, this needs no longer be the case. We provide a comprehensive downloadable Kit List. This helps support pupils and parents when packing, ensuring no essentials are missed! We would recommend this checklist is used not only when packing to depart but also on the way back!
What will the accommodation be like? The accommodation on our school activity breaks is a far cry from the usual plain, cold and basic dorm rooms you may expect. Firstly, we carefully inspect the accommodation prior to selecting a site (you can have the opportunity to visit the site too!). Stylish, warm, modern and many with en-suites, sounds very glamorous! We particularly love the accommodation at our Eden Project site made from recycled containers; utilising the space for maximum effect with some very cool vibes.
We know that our accommodation will provide your pupils and children with a quality nights’ sleep. Although we all know that when children get together there are lots of stories to be told and chit-chat to be had, which can get in the way of sleep! Nonetheless, we aim to ensure they get as much sleep as possible and are up and active for all the exciting activities they will be taking part in the next day.