The Importance of Residential Camps.
More and more research is coming to light to support what we in the environmental world have always asserted – being outdoors is good for you and so are residential camps!
This means not only are children able to be more active by being outside, they are also able to learn more freely, engage more readily and be inspired, encouraged, challenged and therefore improve their confidence and self-esteem.
These positive effects are amplified even more when it comes to a residential camp.
“I slept alone in a shelter that I had made, I never thought I would be able to do that. I feel more confident and have overcome my fears.”
Camp Participant, June 2017
Learning Away is an initiative, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, to research the benefits of residential experiences in schools. In 2015 they published a report, following 3 years of action research with over 60 schools and colleges, identifying the overall impacts of residentials for young people.
The evidence collected throughout the 3-year project showed that residentials:
- Foster deeper relationships
- Improve students’ resilience, self-confidence and wellbeing
- Boost cohesion and a sense of belonging
- Improve students’ engagement with learning
- Improve students’ knowledge, skills and understanding
- Support students’ achievement
- Smooth students’ transition experiences
- Provide opportunities for student leadership, co-design and facilitation
“Learning Away has shown that a residential learning experience provides opportunities and benefits/impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context or setting. The impact is greater when residential’s are fully integrated with a school’s curriculum and ethos” York Consulting (2015)
Read the full report here.
Work on the Wild Side
In addition to the Learning Away research, a new report (May 2017), has been released that demonstrates leading schools (highest Progress 8 scores) place high value on residential experiences.
The ‘Work on the Wild Side’ report produced in partnership with Learning Away Consortium members, CLOtC, IOL and AHOEC analyses the UK primary and secondary schools with the highest Progress 8 scores and winners of the Pupil Premium Awards.
The report found that “outdoor learning is valued amongst teachers, pupils, parents and inspectors and that the skills learnt outdoors are transferable to the classroom and across the academic spectrum.” Work on the Wild Side, May 2017
Given the clear benefits of outdoor learning and residential camps, more needs to be done to ensure that children and young people are provided with the opportunity to leave the classroom.
Read report in full here.
Circle of Life Rediscovery Camps
Circle of Life Rediscovery runs unique, nature-based residential camps for young people in a beautiful woodland environment in Sussex.
Camps have a strong environmental basis and could include activities such as fire-making, tool use, cooking and foraging, team-building activities, art, story-telling, music and night walks. We also offer the John Muir Award, a National Conservation Award, at Discovery level.
“I didn’t think that I liked camping but I have underestimated myself. The camp was amazing, I have not only learnt new skills but I have learnt to be grateful about everything around me. I have a new sense of confidence and believe in myself”
Camp Participant, June 2017.
Please contact us on 01273 814226 or send an email for more information if you are interested in organising a camp for your school. Each camp is bespoke and unique to your requirements.
There are free resources on the Learning Away website, include planning tools, models for lower cost trips and curriculum integration.
By Katie Scanlan