Return of the Residential (and why it matters)
School trips are in full swing in England again after nearly 14 months. At Mount Cook Adventure Centre, we've been busy catching up on lost time!
Residential activity centres in England have been able to run school overnights since the 17th of May, and many residential centres are finding themselves busier than ever, working hard to re-engage young people with the outdoors.
Mount Cook has been making sure our residentials are social distancing friendly and have been operating with hugely reduced capacity to keep all students, staff and teachers safe.
A study by Active Lives found that only 51.1% of children were achieving 60 minutes of activity per day during 2020, a full 2.3% decrease from 2019. On an average residential trip to Mount Cook, students will be engaging with the outdoors and exercising for 8 full hours a day with exciting activities like high ropes, zip wire, and archery tag.
Thank you letters from a primary school who visited us in May 2021. Many of the letters mentioned trying something new and feeling encouraged to do so by our staff team.
But why are residentials so important?
We spoke to Ruth, a teacher from a local school during a visit to Mount Cook.
"My students over the last year, they've been stuck inside, on screens, on gadgets, on phones. If you can get them outside and into that fresh air with a bit of exercise...it automatically puts a smile on your face."
Many health groups are concerned that children, especially the younger ones, will suffer from separation anxiety returning to the patterns of 'normal life'.
A whopping 99% of teachers reported pupils were more confident in their own abilities after a school trip. Outdoor providers have long recognised the value of residentials for improving confidence, and self reliance, achieved through trying new experiences, being away from parents overnight, and experimenting with 'dangerous' activities in a safely controlled environment.
Residentials can also help restore friendships that have deteriorated during lockdown. Many activity programmes support teamwork and cohesion, and can re-teach children how to interact with each other, as well as the simple joy of a sleepover in shared accommodation.
Residentials are a crucial factor in raising activity levels and improving mental health in our youth, and there has never been a more important time for them!
If you would like to enquire about a residential tailored to your students needs, please contact Mount Cook on 01629 823 702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.