A new campaign has been launched by Learning Away today to encourage schools to provide more residential experiences for children and young people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The #BrilliantResidentials campaign will promote and champion school trips with an overnight stay and disseminate the compelling findings of the Learning Away programme, which has produced overwhelming evidence about the numerous positive impacts a residential experience can have on pupils, staff and the wider school community.
Through its action research, spanning five years, the Learning Away programme developed 10 guiding principles which can transform residentials into highly effective, brilliant residentials. These principles include: residentials being led by teachers; co-designed with students; fully integrated into the curriculum; and affordable for all. If delivered in this way, residentials can have a huge impact on schools, teachers and on children and young people of all ages, improving their: resilience; achievement; relationships; and engagement with learning.
Learning Away was founded and initially developed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and is now led by a consortium of organisations united in their commitment to ensure more young people have access to high-quality brilliant residential learning experiences. Scout Adventures are one of the Consortium members and have been using adventure as a way to develop young people for over 100 years. Endorsing the campaign is Chief Scout, Bear Grylls, who on behalf of the Scouts commented:
“We love the Brilliant Residentials model because it improves students’ resilience, self-confidence and wellbeing. If schools want to make their next residential a brilliant residential, they must make sure it’s designed and led by teachers and pupils; and that it includes time for students to reflect and grow; that it is tailored to meet the specific needs of students, and that it is inclusive to all.”
The campaign calls upon schools, teachers, parents, pupils, residential providers, Initial Teacher Education providers, youth groups and all those concerned with the development of young people to pledge to work together to provide more and higher quality #BrilliantResidentials.
Those involved in the campaign will be supported by the Learning Away website which now hosts over 100 good practice case studies, alongside material to help ‘make the case’ for residential experiences to school leaders, governors, parents and education policy makers. This includes a series of practical free resources developed with partner schools from the Learning Away programme for teachers and visit leaders, including planning information, activity ideas, downloadable templates, presentations and films. Talks and workshops will also be running across the UK. The campaign aims to gather momentum through social media with schools and providers sharing their #BrilliantResidential experiences and photos across various platforms.
Remarking on the vision of Learning Away and the campaign, Elaine Skates, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC), the lead organisation in the Learning Away Consortium said:
“Our vision is simple, we want more children and young people of all ages and from all backgrounds to benefit from the life changing experience a school trip with an overnight stay can bring. The independent evaluation of the Learning Away programme provides us with hard evidence to persuade more schools to provide these experiences for all pupils. We hope the campaign will encourage schools to make use of the range of free resources on the Learning Away website to develop more brilliant residentials and therefore brilliant lives for young people.”