Dear parents, carers, children and other interested parties,
'When I think about the outdoors, I don't just see woodlands, rivers and mountains; I see the world's biggest classroom.
That is why I believe that every children has the right to an adventure.' (Bear Grylls)
An adventure to remember, a taste of independence, a stronger sense of belonging, a rush of adrenaline, a development of transferable skills and attributes, a breath of fresh air, a sense of achievement, a commitment to active conservation, a taste of the wild and making memories that last a lifetime. That’s what the Clavering Residential Programme is all about!
Children at Clavering Primary School have the opportunity to attend THREE residentials during their time at Clavering:
a two-day / one-night residential in Year 4 (for which preparation begins in Year 3);
a three-day / two-night residential in Year 5;
a five-day / four-night residential in Year 6 (as part of our John Muir Award Programme).
British children are spending more and more time in front of screens and as much as twenty hours a week online. There is a growing body of evidence that indicates that children's physical, emotional and social development is hampered by the increasing restrictions on their ability to explore the world around them and to process their discoveries on their own. Children who do not learn to take risks become adults who do not take risks, to the detriment of society as a whole. As our society becomes increasingly risk-adverse and litigious, we are in danger of suffocating our children in rules, regulations and cotton wool. At Clavering Primary School, we believe that life is full of challenges and we owe it to our children to equip them with the skills to recognise risks, assess them sensibly and react positively. After all, being brave isn’t the absence of fear; being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.
'Unless you're outside your comfort zone, you can't grow.' (Bear Grylls)
The Clavering Residential Programme provides the opportunity and experience of living with others which transforms relationships and develops a strong sense of community and belonging between the staff and pupils involved. This sense of community supports a wide range of positive social and learning outcomes long after they return to school.
'To me, adventure has always been the connections and bonds you create with people when you’re there.' (Bear Grylls)
Although they are "only" an optional part of our extra-curricular offer, we believe that brilliant residential experiences are a fundamental part of a well-rounded education (playing an important part in our pupils' personal, spiritual, moral, social, physical and academic development) and that the 'Clavering Residential Programme' creates life-changing experiences that have an impact back in school and influences the futures of well over a hundred of our pupils every academic year.
The memories Clavering children take away from our residentials stay with them forever!
Deputy Headteacher and Clavering Residentials Programme Leader
THREE PROGRESSIVELY CHALLENGING RESIDENTIALS
Our children have the opportunity to attend THREE residentials during their time at Clavering, totaling TEN days away from home:
A two-day / one-night residential in Year 4 (for which preparation begins in Year 3), based at Pybus Campsite
During the 2012-2013 academic year, we launched our Middle School Residential Programme in conjunction with the 'West View Project'. The children spend two days in Year 3 learning a range of camping skills on the school site and in a wild environment, followed by a preparation day at school in Year 4 where the children plan their meals and ensure they have all the necessary camping skills to survive! It's then off to a local supermarket and then Pybus Campsite for two days of fun and adventure!
Our Year 4 Residental is designed to provide an affordable and safe (yet very challenging) introduction to adventure and teamwork activities in a wild environment; the children develop a huge range of skills and attributes whilst working towards the ten key learning outcomes of the 'Clavering Residential Programme'.
A three-day / two-night residential in Year 5, based at Dukeshouse Wood Activity Centre
During the 2011-2012 academic year, we launched our Year 5 Residential which gives participating pupils the opportunity to spend three fantastic days away from home, participating in lots of different activities and working towards our ten key learning outcomes for the 'Clavering Residential Programme'.
A five-day / four-night residential in Year 6 (as part of our John Muir Award Programme), based at Dearne Valley Activity Centre
During the 2011-2012 academic year, we launched our John Muir Award Programme which quickly became one of our most popular extra-curricular opportunities. As part of the programme, Year 6 children have the opportunity to participate in a 5-day residential. The extended time away from home gives children the opportunity to further develop all of the attributes that have been enhanced during our Year 4 and Year 5 residentials whilst challenging them in a variety of outdoor and adventurous activities in a range of environments!
KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES
In planning our three progressively challenging residentials, we have identified ten key learning outcomes for the Clavering Residential Programme:
Outcome: to be able to work constructively as a team member.
Being able to work with other children and staff members is a key ability, not only in school, but in life; in addition, having the skills to empathise with others affects school cohesion, friendships, and well-being. All of the activities completed throughout the Clavering Residential Programme involve an element of teamwork, and of course the close proximity that we live together during our three residentials means that it is impossible to avoid working with others. Many of our activities are deliberately aimed at developing teamwork, giving our children the opportunity to involve themselves in collaborating towards a common goal, whether that be building a raft, solving a complex task, or cooking a meal in the wild.
Outcome: to be able to communicate effectively with others during outdoor and adventurous activities.
Speaking and listening are core components of effective communication, but so are non-verbal forms, and of course written language and artistic expression are also key opportunities for children to express themselves, share ideas, concepts and learn from each other. Being able to communicate effectively, especially in situations that are often new, strange or exciting accelerate the skills used in the way we share ideas and information. Listening skills are a focus in many of our activities, whether learning from our activity leaders or brainstorming solutions to the challenges we set our children during all three residentials.
Outcome: to be able to devise a plan, execute it and review its effectiveness in solving a problem.
Many of our activities involve pupils having to think strategically and consider their options before then executing their plan. Likewise, many activities include a review session where participants consider the strengths and weaknesses of their planning and action phases and collectively what could be done differently or what learning can be applied to their next problem solving opportunity. Through this 'experiential learning' model, layers of learning are applied through continued cycles of plan, do and review.
Outcome: to be able to demonstrate resilience through exposure to failures or setbacks.
Building resilience from a young age helps to equip young people for setbacks in their studies, work and all aspects of life. Sometimes called ‘stickability’ the ability to learn from failures and view them as positive opportunities for learning are key to our approach throughout all three residentials. We believe that children equipped with a higher level of resilience find that they enter new situations with more confidence. Through their residential experiences and our activities, we impart new skills and support our children to face new challenges which require determination and perseverance. Through progressive activities during Key Stage Two, participants build resilience and are better prepared for the next challenge and the next and the next and the next!
Outcome: to be able to perform as an enthusiastic and motivated group member.
We believe that learning is most effective when it is fun. Using our range of carefully chosen and designed activities throughout the 'Clavering Residential Programme', we hope to motivate and inspire learners to be the best they can be, and learn in a supportive and non-formal setting. Beyond that, staying motivated is a skill to be learned and can be most apparent in our more challenging activities, where our children may need to dig a little deeper to stay enthusiastic and put effort in, to benefit later. Jumping into cold water, climbing high, concentrating hard on a challenging task or even washing up in the rain are all examples of activities where this outcome can be observed. Understanding how your behaviour affects the others around you is a key piece of learning that can be taken away from these activities.
Leading and supporting
Outcome: to be able to use clear communication skills and language as a group leader or supporter to others.
The ability to thrive in a leadership role and the capability to excel in a supportive role are equally important life skills. In many of our activities, as in life, participants are required to take on both leading and supporting roles at different times. Individuals must consider the role they play within the team and how they best communicate with others, especially in sharing ideas or plans and developing positive relationships. By reflecting openly on strengths and opportunities to develop in their roles and consider how they could better lead a team or support their peers to achieve is a core component of this learning outcome.
Self-confidence and trust
Outcome: to be able to demonstrate self-confidence in themselves and show trust and support for others.
All three of our residentials are invaluable in building children’s self-confidence and self-belief and supporting cohesion and a collective approach within groups. Within the new environments of our three residential locations, learners can find strengths they didn’t know they had and identify opportunities for reflection, boosting their confidence and engagement in their home community and school life.
Challenge and risk
Outcome: to be able to react positively to challenges and manage appropriate risk-taking.
Supported and controlled risk-taking helps our children to prepare for challenges in life. All of our residential providers adhere to a clear philosophy of ‘challenge by choice’ and encourage participants to expand their personal boundaries in a safe and supportive environment. Quite often the residential experiences themselves poses children with the biggest sense of social risk or failing to complete a group problem solving task might be considered a risk too. By the end of each residential, the vast majority of our children say that their confidence to try something they wouldn’t have tried before has increased and they are able to understand the benefits of taking healthy risks whilst making sure they can consider the consequences of their actions.
Learning a new skill
Outcome: to be able to demonstrate a new skill or competence.
From ‘a’ for archery to ‘z’ for zip-wiring, our progressively challenging residentials provide many opportunities to try something new and learn a new skill. Our skills based activities range across all three residentials; in fact, it is difficult not to learn something new every day, whether that’s tying safe knots to keep a raft afloat, using friction to light a fire, scoring a bullseye in archery or making a bed for the first time! Learning a new and practical skill can be an inspiring and motivating experience for our children and by exploring how we learn as individuals helps our children to be effective and motivated learners for the future.
Outcome: to be able to show an understanding of how their behaviour affects the environment (local or global).
A connection to the environment not only influences people personally, but environmental awareness and knowledge about our natural world also has global significance. Understanding the human ‘footprint’ on the environment is a core concern for global society and is a feature throughout the 'Clavering Residential Programme', resulting in our children having the opportunity to work towards and gain the prestigious John Muir Award. Reinforcing aspects of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education, we ask our children to consider what their ‘footprint’ is in all aspects of their life and help them make good decisions for the future as active conservationists.
CHANGES THAT CAN HAPPEN DURING BRILLIANT RESIDENTIALS
'Our planet is an incredible place and life is best lived as a great adventure, so let's get out there and explore!'
The below model (adapted from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation) illustrates the changes that can happen to learning through brilliant residential experiences:
Overnight stays and an intensity of experience: extended time away from home; a new environment and routines; fewer distractions; opportunities to work intensively and be immersed in learning; a collaborative community environment; unstructured time.
A new context for relationships: opportunities to break down existing barriers, hierarchies and power relationships; pupils and teachers work more collaboratively in unfamiliar surroundings on unfamiliar tasks; the teacher is not automatically the expert; residentials are a leveller for pupils and staff; opportunities to develop and practise key social skills.
Different and varied opportunities to experience success: a wide range of practical and physical challenges; opportunities for everyone to be successful at something; opportunities to overcome fears; immediate opportunities to revisit and build on learning experiences.
New ways of learning: a safe space to explore new ways of teaching and learning; a focus on real-life activities and experiences; increased levels of pupil responsibility.
...which in the short and medium term lead to...
Enhanced relationships: pupils and staff trust each other; pupils feel more able to ask staff for help; pupils feel more comfortable with each other; pupils are more able to empathise; the sense of community is sustained.
Improved engagement and confidence in learning: increased motivation and engagement; improved behaviour and attendance; increased participation in lessons; more enjoyment of learning; enhanced confidence, resilience and wellbeing; increased ability to overcome challenges and try new activities.
New and developing skills and understanding: new learning continues to develop, including skills in: independent learning, study and research, self management, communication, team working and problem solving; deeper and better understanding of specific subjects/topics; developing vocabulary; improving creativity; meaningful opportunities to develop and practise leadership skills; increased ability to apply learning and skills in new contexts.
...which in the longer term lead to:
improved achievement, progress and attainment;
improved knowledge, skills and understanding;
improved behaviour and attendance;
mores successful transition experiences;
greater cohesion and a sense of belonging;
enhanced trajectories to further study and employment.
'Life is an adventure that is best lived boldly.' (Bear Grylls)