Brilliant Residentials are school trips with an overnight stay, which are led by teachers, co-designed with students and fully integrated into the curriculum. They are a ‘multi-tool’ for achieving vital educational outcomes, have a huge impact on students of all ages and can help to deliver whole school change. Residential providers have an important role to play in helping schools achieve these outcomes.

Although most of the information on this website is focused on helping schools to plan, deliver and embed progressive programmes of brilliant residentials, local authority, voluntary sector, commercial and other providers of residential experiences will find much to support their work too.

Learning Away is:

  • providing new powerful and compelling evidence to help ‘make the case’ for residentials – particularly in terms of raising attainment and school improvement
  • suggesting opportunities for providers to develop and extend their practice
  • providing ideas, case studies, resources, tools and CPD modules that can help providers support users to develop their practice as well as the quality of the user-provider relationship.

Through Learning Away, its activities and the wide variety of information provided on our website, we hope to encourage providers to consider (and start to provide answers to) a series of developmental questions:

  • Are there ways that you can better support and encourage schools to ensure that their residential programmes are more fully integrated with their wider curriculum and ethos?
  • Are there ways that you can better support schools to plan for progression and a greater range of experiences?
  • Are there more ways that you might help schools plan lower-cost models, enabling them to offer more residentials to all of their students, e.g. through use of local sites, camping, shorter residentials, winter discounts, less centre staff delivery input?
  • Can you develop new programmes that offer schools a greater range and variety of learning experiences/models – e.g. improving KS2-3 transition, GCSE attainment – linked to wider range of subjects?
  • Can you make it easier for schools to take a more active role in planning their own programmes, e.g. by providing more opportunities for co-design and co-construction of their residentials?
  • Can you make it easier for schools to develop active student involvement and leadership opportunities?
  • As a result, could more of the residentials/activities you provide be planned, managed, delivered and evaluated by school staff and the students themselves?

Be inspired by and learn about other centres’ journeys – browse our growing bank of case studies.

We love to hear from practitioners, school leaders, centre managers and anyone else passionate about providing high-quality residential learning experiences for children and young people. Contact us with your stories and case studies.

“Over the whole period of the programme there has been a growing trend for the EAZ and schools in the cluster to take increased responsibility for managing and leading the experiences away from the Outdoor Learning Service. This is a very natural progression as staff in the EAZ and schools grew in confidence and felt more able to manage these complex visits on their own, an essential progression towards sustaining the programme.”

Outdoor Learning and Adventure Services Manager, Nottingham City Council


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