Cost can be the main barriers for many schools when it comes to organising a residential school trip. But what if you could have all the benefits of a residential at a much lower cost?
Typically, school trips are taken during the spring and summer months as they tend to be warmer and they bookend exam periods.
Winter residentials, however, can reduce much of the financial outgoing, as well as providing additional benefits to both students and teachers.
YHA (England and Wales), one of the UK’s largest school residential providers has compiled a list of reasons as to why schools should be looking at taking their residential trips from November – February.
- Lower cost. To make them affordable, book a residential during low season. Now offering prices from as low £8.33 (ex VAT) per person per night, YHA has made residentials as accessible as possible.
- Bond building. Putting Year 7 students in an environment in which they can build strong new friendships as part of their transition to secondary school can build student confidence and social skills which will benefit them throughout their school career.
- A positive start to the school year. A residential between September and November is an opportunity to build foundations of resilience, relationships and a healthy attitude to learning at the beginning of the academic year, particularly where Year 7 pupils are concerned.
- Encouraging being active outdoors all year round. Why only play outdoors when it’s warm and sunny? A winter residential gives young people the opportunity to see how the outdoors can be explored all year round. It introduces positive, active behaviours and habits in an age where childhood obesity and mental health are both concerns. Half of all mental illnesses start by the age of 14 – instilling these good behaviours early on in secondary school could alleviate symptoms of illnesses such as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Ideal for SEND students. Off season can often mean more availability and less people in youth hostels. This relative peace and quiet can be ideal for young people with behavioural problems or sensory difficulties, giving a more favourable option for SEND students.
- Fire up imaginations with evening activities. Shorter days mean more opportunity to sit around a campfire, take part in torchlit walks and more exciting activities that simply aren’t possible during the longer summer/autumn days.
- Carry on regardless. Winter weather can be a fun way to teach resilience amongst young people – something crucial from Year 6 onwards where the pace of learning changes. Pack for rain and cold and allow students to earn a real sense of accomplishment in completing outdoor activities in spite of the Great British weather!
- Supporting the curriculum. Winter residentials can offer exposure to completely different components of the curriculum to that which a summer residential could. Discovery of the countryside, observation of different weather systems and ecosystems for example can be linked to a range of subjects, from geography and biology to PSHE, history and PE. Or make a great overarching project showing cohesion between subjects, offering a taste of each ahead of those all-important GCSE choices.
With 84 Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) accredited sites, more than any other provider, YHA is committed to year-round quality outdoor education. To help make residentials more affordable and accessible for schools, YHA offers reduced prices for residential trips taken between November and February (inclusive) at any one of its LOtC-accredited sites.
To book a discounted winter residential with YHA call 0800 0195 465 and quote ‘Winter Residentials’. To learn more about YHA’s residential school trips visit groups.yha.org.uk.