Low-cost, speedy camping – Year 3/4 take over the Bulwell Academy gym

Key features

  • Low-cost camping using a school site
  • Short residentials - two to three days
  • Schools planning and delivering activities

This filmed case study demonstrates that residentials do not need to be expensive or exotic. Very low-cost camping residentials can successfully take place on a school site; in this case for primary school pupils in the gym of a local secondary school.

The Bulwell Learning Away partnership schools have made lower-cost camping a central feature of their residential model, which is a progressive camping programme for children from six local primary schools.  Children start to camp overnight at the end of Year 2, repeat the experience in Year 3/4 (this time with children from another school and at a different venue), then do a longer two-night residential further away from home in Year 5.

The year 3/4 residential is based on the site of the partnership’s secondary school, Bulwell Academy, where two classes – from different primary schools – combine to take over the school’s gym.  The children and staff transform the gym together – it goes from an empty space to a full indoor campsite in the space of a (fairly chaotic but great fun) fifteen minutes.  We hope that this case study, in the form of a three-minute time-lapse film, will show that camping can be both exciting and challenging for children at the same time as being easy, comfortable (and dry)  – even with 70 children and staff all under one roof.  Enjoy!