- Work with your partner primary and secondary schools. Many schools use residentials to support transition; consider whether summer term residentials could help introduce young people to their next year’s learning, including ‘guest appearances’ from next year’s teachers.
- Plan for progression. What skills or knowledge could young people acquire at the residential that will support learning beyond this term, this year or even this school? They should be able to build on these skills at each subsequent residential – and be able to see and evaluate their own progress.
- Make use of experts / volunteers. Get to know the wider school community – parents and carers in particular can offer so much more than just fundraising efforts or cheap transport. Enrich young people’s learning experiences by bringing in expert to share their knowledge and enthusiasm and help put the learning into ‘real world’ contexts.
- Choose a theme. Theming a residential isn’t essential but it can help create a cohesive ‘story’ from which to attach learning concepts or tasks.
- Map the programme. Work together to create a visual representation of the residential’s activities and tasks, showing how they connect to support learning. A curriculum map for residentials can help young people (and staff) see the ‘bigger picture’ and appreciate that the residential truly is part of their ongoing learning.
- Be flexible. This is particularly important if your venue is also a public place. However carefully your integrated curriculum has been planned, it may be necessary to adapt to changed circumstances (inlcuding the weather!) or timings.
- Plan and allow for ‘down time’. Be sure to plan time for young people to enjoy socialising with one another or taking time out to rest and reflect.
The Learning Away partnership schools developed an editable template to assist in planning the ‘bigger picture’ for brilliant residentials. Click here to download a copy in Word format.