Friday, 16 May 2014

How to survive a residential school trip!

How to survive a residential school trip!

So we finished the tests on Tuesday and thankfully the reasoning paper was a breath of fresh air with some of the learners actually enjoying it. Wednesday arrived and it was time to get some real fresh air in our lungs as I took 11 learners to Glan Llyn in Bala.

I had been before and was confident that with the lack of behaviour problems in class, taking this group of learners would be a genuinely positive experience for all involved. 

One of the learners decided to test this within 5 mins of arriving scrawling a threatening message towards one of our pupils across his bed frame. I actually shook i was so disappointed with the learner and made him sit by himself during lunch and wait outside the staffroom during the staff briefing that followed. I told him I would decide his fate during the briefing and asked him to look at the beautiful Welsh scenery he was surrounded by and consider if he wanted to be here. Thankfully this seemed to be a fit punishment as he tearfully asked if he could stay after the briefing and his behaviour was fine for the rest of the trip.

Glan-Llyn is a great place to take learners and give them some opportunities to develop through adventurous activity and being away from home while also improving their ability to speak Cymraeg. The only other unpleasant incidences during the trip were a couple of learners who felt homesick. Thankfully I was able to talk a year 6 boy round and one of our teaching assistants talked a year 6 girl into staying and they were both the better for it.

I would definitely take learners away overnight again and would say the key strategies to making residential trips successful are,

  • Giving learners enough activities that they are tired and ready for bed at the end of the day
  • Having a male and female member of staff at the least
  • Giving the learners some freedom to develop on their own in a safe environment
  • Having fun!

Any thoughts I would as always be interested to hear them.


The Past Week

Star: - Seeing a year 6 learner teach Mr Phormula a new trick. 

Wish: - Think more carefully about a clear strategy for collecting money and make sure I do not handle it.

The Week Ahead

Next week we have the book quiz to look forward to, an observation of my Welsh food miles lesson, the queens baton relay and a visit by S4C! Lots to look forward to!

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