Planning a Curriculum-Relevant Primary Residential

Kim Somerville, Campaign Coordinator for Learning Away* and Interim Head of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has written a brilliant article on how to integrate Science into a residential trip. She states that “Funding and staff time is being squeezed in our schools, making it more important than ever that you get the best return on your time and financial investment when it comes to providing residential opportunities”.

She gives the example of Pokesdown Primary, a large school in Bournemouth and a Learning Away Champion School who provide all pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 with excellent residential experiences that enhance the outcomes of each class’ particular curriculum topic.

Year 4 at pupils are given the chance to stay overnight at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth as a link to the school’s ‘Attenborough’s animals’ topic which has Science as a lead subject. Pupils sleep in front of a large tank killed with marine wildlife, including sharks, giving them the unique opportunity to see what happens underwater right from their sleeping bags! The following day, pupils visit Paignton Zoo to experience the lives of other types of wildlife. Staff at both the aquarium and the zoo deliver educational workshops to the pupils with the school’s objectives in mind. The school follows up this trip with a task back in the classroom where pupils write an emotive speech which encourages others to look after the changing habitat of their chosen animal.

This is just one of several examples that Kim gives in her article. We would highly recommend those looking for primary residential ideas to have a read of her article for further inspiration, which discusses other residentials the pupils of Pokesdown Primary go on and the benefits both staff and parents have noticed post-trip. Read the rest of her article here.


*Learning Away was founded on the belief that high-quality residential experience can provide extremely powerful learning opportunities for children and young people and adults as well. They are managed by a consortium of organisations led by CLOtC and run the Brilliant Residentials Campaign. The campaign encourages everyone working with young people to pledge to work together to provide more and higher quality brilliant residentials. Learning Away have fantastic resources designed to help others make their residentials brilliant.

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Planning a Curriculum-Relevant Primary Residential

How to integrate the curriculum into a residential trip.