Bulwell’s progressive residential model: primary children and secondary student leaders

Key features

  • Progressive model
  • Student leadership
  • Local, low-cost, 'DIY' residentials

The Bulwell partnership in Nottingham have concentrated on developing low cost, local one- and two-night camping residentials for primary children in order to make their residential experiences accessible for all. The model is progressive, beginning in Year 2 and moving through to Year 6. A sports leader programme run by Bulwell Academy runs alongside the primary model. In this case study, the Bulwell Learning Away Coordinator outlines this progressive residential model.

At primary school children start their journey of Learning Away progression at Foundation Stage in small school-led ‘camping out’ activities in primary schools – these may take the form of a Teddy Bears’ picnic, or setting up tents on the school grounds for an afternoon or twilight session with outdoor activities.

In Year 2 all children have the opportunity to go to Wollaton Park (a 15-minute drive from Bulwell) to an overnight camp set up specifically for Nottingham City primary schools by the Local Authority’s Adventure team.

During Year 3 or 4 all children are offered an overnight camping experience at the local secondary school, Bulwell Academy. Schools pair up to get children used to working with others they don’t know prior to the camp.

The final primary stage experience is a two-night residential at Newstead Abbey, again only a 15-minute drive from Bulwell. Schools pair up, giving children the opportunity to work over a longer period with peers from other schools.

Throughout the primary school programme, Bulwell Academy students progress through their own ‘Leadership Pathway’:

  • Phase 1: students in Years 7 and 8 are introduced to leadership during PE lessons.
  • Phase 2: Year 9 students have an opportunity to opt in to our Sports Leadership route. Students in Year 9 also support our Primary Sports Festivals, which gives them valuable experience in leadership skills.
  • Phase 3: Year 10 – 11 students move on to complete the Level 2 Sports Leader Award. They also begin the residential volunteering programme with the primary camps, which they attend either on a day or (at Wollaton Park) a residential basis.
  • Phase 4 – Year 12-13 students complete the Level 3 Sport Leaders Award. Some, who have completed a large amount of volunteering on residentials and with primary schools, are employed by the Academy to support holiday and after-school programmes.

The diagram below sets out the model of progression for students through the Bulwell ‘Moving on’ and ‘Leadership Pathway’ programmes.

Bulwell Moving on chart v2