Learning Away’s research has shown that residentials have a greater impact when they are
- fully integrated with the school curriculum and ethos
- designed and led by teachers and, where appropriate, students
- deliberately and collaboratively planned – with providers when used – to meet students’ specific learning needs, and to embed and reinforce learning back in school
- inclusive and affordable for all students
- planned as part of a progressive programme of experiences
- designed to include a wide range of new and memorable experiences
- designed to allow space for students to develop collaborative relationships with both peers and staff
- evaluated rigorously
- supported by senior leadership and school governors.
However, it is clear from the 2008 Ofsted report about Learning Outside the Classroom, that the level of planning involved in delivering this impact does not always take place. The report listed some concerns, suggesting that many residentials too often provide:
- limited integration of residential learning with the wider curriculum (particularly in primary schools)
- outsourcing of residential learning to external providers rather than being planned, managed and evaluated by school staff and students
- limited variety of activities or models of residential experiences
- little progression in relation to residential learning.
This section of the website (and the linked cases studies) share some of the planning approaches developed by Learning Away schools, focusing on:
- Where to start – including the theory we have developed about how change happens on residentials
- Curriculum integration
- Co-design and co-construction
- DIY or using providers?
You can also find out more about how to plan brilliant residentials in our free planning tools resource.