They are counting the days and eagerly anticipating the exciting adventures they are going to enjoy. There will be opportunities to take part in activities such as rock climbing, organic farming and dragon boat racing as well as the novelty of sharing a room with others. It’s going to be great fun!
However, residential experiences provide more than just fun, but also a rich variety of learning for the children. They are taken out of their ‘comfort zone’ and have opportunities to develop their independence away from the routines of families and the assistance of ayis! They have to follow instructions and be ready, on time, with all the necessary equipment organised. They have to work in teams, not only with friends, but with children they may not know as well, and cooperate and support each other. New friendships are formed at residentials, as misconceptions of others, formed at a distance, are proved wrong. It is always a highlight to see different groups of children coming together outside at free time to organise themselves into games and activities – and not an electronic gadget in sight!
But most importantly the children challenge themselves. Whether it is abseiling for the first time, finding their way through a bamboo forest or trying out the scarier high activities, the children are encouraged, but never forced, to ‘go for it’. These activities can be a great leveller, where the most successful child in the classroom can be seen working to overcome their fears, and then be proud of their achievements. This is how resilience is built and confidence grows!
But best of all is watching children encouraging their peers, being supportive and sensitive of the feelings of others and learning that how you behave is as important as how well you do. We see them grow as risk takers, as team players and as friends.
Have a great week Year 6!
Eleanor Jess, Head of Primary