My first residential experience – impact on a secondary Science teacher

Key features

  • Teaching and learning in context
  • Developing stronger staff-student relationships
  • Working with staff from other faculties

This case study is the result of an interview with a new science teacher at Canterbury High School. She took part in her first residential as a teacher – the schools’s Year 10 GCSE attainment residential to the Carroty Wood Adventure Centre in the summer term 2013 –  before she had started teaching at the school in the new academic year the following September.

During the interview, she reflected on her experience and its impact:

“The residential had many positive outcomes for me. I was leader of a particularly difficult group of students, with various learning and behaviour problems. This challenged me to change some of the science lesson content each day during the residential to better suit the learners. I also had an opportunity to learn and use various behaviour strategies outside of the standard ‘detention’ or ‘call home’ policies, in order to help the students leave with a positive outcome from the residential.

The main impact of the residential for me was getting to know the students, especially the girls within my block, on a different level to at school. When I started in September a lot of my mentees in my mentoring group had been on the residential with me, therefore they were already familiar with me and my style of teaching. So it was an easy transition. I found that a lot of my Year 10 science class had also attended and I was therefore able to relate to things from Carroty Wood in lessons … and still do today. It’s lovely that students I do not teach but were on the residential, who see me around school, will still stop to chat.

I also got to know staff with various different roles and from different faculties and, as a result, build friendships with them, which may not have occurred within school due to our hectic timetables and geographical locations. This has resulted in us being able to work together and share resources, which we wouldn’t have done if we had not been together on the residential.”