Pedagogical skills

Teachers involved in Learning Away typically use highly learner-centred teaching practices. Many actively involve young people in planning and making decisions related to their residentials.

This practice has helped teachers to ensure learning opportunities are experienced by students as relevant and personally meaningful – research from the first phase of the project highlighted that the more students were involved as active participants in their own learning, the better they did.

Brilliant residentials provide an opportunity for teachers to experiment with pedagogical approaches that emphasise the active role of students and develop these as part of their day-to-day practice in school.  Approaches used to date include:

  • student consultation and student voice
  • enquiry and problem-solving
  • practical, active and experiential learning
  • group work and cooperative learning
  • building explicitly on students’ prior learning
  • making connections between the curriculum and real world
  • working in collaboration with older students.

The widespread use of these approaches is proving significant in ensuring young people’s enjoyment of, motivation about and engagement with their learning.

We also have growing evidence that teachers are continuing to use learning approaches trialled and developed during residentials back in school. Key examples include:

  • taking a thematic approach to the delivery of curriculum
  • systematic use of project-based learning
  • providing increased opportunities for smaller group work activities
  • incorporating video making into the curriculum.

During evaluation focus group discussions, teachers have identified how the residential has impacted on their classroom practice. Many schools have begun to explicitly plan their residentials as an integral, joined-up part of the curriculum. Read more about curriculum integration in our free resource pack.


In this film, two secondary school teachers and a teacher and teaching assistant from a primary school talk about the impact their involvement in Learning Away residential has had on their teaching skills and classroom practice.

See more examples of how Learning Away has impacted on classroom practice in the case studies below, or visit our Getting Started pages for tips on using brilliant residentials to support staff development.


Be inspired by our case studies from Learning Away schools.

Have a look at our theory about how change happens on brilliant residentials.

Read our recommendations for schools, providers, policy makers and researchers. 

Read our independent evaluation report.