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Going on a school residential trip....help!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by feebeela, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. Wise Forum Folk, Any tips for a school residential trip virgin?? What to take? What to expect? What should I absolutely make sure I do/not do. I am excited but want to make sure I do the right things by the children in my care. It's year 5/6.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
  2. trinity0097

    trinity0097 New commenter

    What sort of trip?
    I always make sure I pack phone charger, netbook with mobile internet, chocolate, pain killers etc etc along with suitable clothes. That's all for me of course!
  3. Jen g

    Jen g New commenter

    Make sure you have all relevant paperwork checked and ready to go.
    I always have a private word with all the parents and ask them if there are any bed wetters and how the children can discretely let you know - I ask the children to place a hand on my shoulder and say good morning - then whilst the children are all having breakfast I change the bed.
    Make sure that you attempt some of the activities - the kids will really respect you - but avoid the ones which are really scary that might make you swear - by accident!!
    We do not allow the children to take mobiles/ game consoles etc and round up all sweets as they are unpacking so everyone can share them on the last night. Don't leave them in the room cos the kids will eat them at bedtime and won't go to bed because they are hyper or they will be sick!
    If you can go for a visit before the residential then you know what to expect.
    Finally - they are fab times so enjoy it[​IMG]
  4. Are you camping or indoors? I put up a 'tidy room points' list and do room checks each morning. Calling '5 minutes until room inspections' sends the children into whirling dirvishes (sp???) tidying and sweeping. Don't give high scores too early on and give them ways to improve, showing good examples of tidy rooms. By the end of the week we have had teddy displays and songs! Creeps!

    Personal points are decided each evening for helpfulness, good behaviour and teamwork.

    If you need to fill some time on the last day, we do a prizegiving for boy/girl personal points, tidiest boy/girl room and certificates for facing fears etc (we were on an outdoor adventurous activities residential). I have also done silly certificates such as 'foghorn of the week' and 'slowcoach of the week' - the child who was ALWAYS last for everything! 'foodie of the week' the one who asked for seconds each mealtimes. We made it clear that we loved seeing the children enjoying their food (didn't say this is for the greediest child!!)

    I always take my own pillows. A dressing gown is good for covering up if you have to deal with children in the middle of the night and have to share showering facilities.

    I always take waterproofs including overtrousers. They don't look glam, but are really worth it. Also, if you take them, sod's law it won't rain, if you don't - will rain all week!

    I agree with len g - emergency contact numbers for children and school. No mobiles - sounds mean, but makes for fewer homesick children.

    We give daily updates to the school office and parents can call whenever they wish for updates. The secretary puts out a notice board with updates for the parents too. She is amazing!

    Residentials are fantastic fun - hard work, but great. I love seeing the children in a different environment and watching those children who aren't designed to sit behind a desk grubbing around.

    Have fun!!
  5. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Get a good amount of sleep before you go. And don't plan anything for the weekend of your return.
  6. I am leading my first residential very soon! We are camping. Going to Norfolk.
    I've done second in command roles before (not with school but with youth organisations)

    I am really nervous about it!
    We are only there for 3 nights

    Senior school staff are visiting at some point!
  7. Can't offer you much advice I'm afraid, as I'm off on my first residential on Monday as well! We're off to Tan Troed in Wales. Currently getting all my packing sorted.

    Can't wait!

    Camping, watersports, climbing, archery...? Brilliant!

    I had to run the activity week back at school last year, which was a HUGE amount of work, so I'm going to take the late nights and early mornings on the chin, and enjoy everything as much as possible! Great opportunity to see the kids in a completely different light.
  8. Pack a camera and a video camera if possible as it's lovely to share when you get back to school!
  9. Loony tunes

    Loony tunes New commenter

    I went on my first school residential last term, although I've taken our youth group away numerous times before. It was a really good time although I must have got a maximum of 5 hours sleep the whole time we were away! As others have said get plenty of sleep before you go. My top tip would be to make sure parents label every piece of their children's clothing. My lot didn't have a clue what belonged to them and what didn't and despite us allocating each child a shelf to keep their stuff, it was all mixed up in the middle of the room every time we turned our backs! Some of my parents were very stroppy when their child came back with the wrong clothes and didn't react too well when I very politely explained that it was their fault for not labelling things!
    Enjoy, residentials can be really special times with your kids.
  10. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Having led my first trip last year, I would suggest you take a book with you, so when you are sitting outside the dormitories waiting for the little darlings to fall asleep, you have something to occupy your time. On the first night it easily took the girls 40 minutes to stop giggling and I got bored very quickly!
    Oh, and have a stash of games that can be played in most situations (like Duck, Duck, Goose or wink murder etc.) so if the kids have to wait between activities or before dinner, you have a way of occupying them altogether. I didn't know this when I went, so I was fortunate to have a more experienced member of staff with me who took over when pre-dinner time started to become too chaotic... [​IMG]
  11. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    My son recently went camping with Scouts and I labelled everthing, even sewing labels into his underwear (where it wasn't possible to write on the labels!). When he got back he had worn the same clothes for 48 hrs including to sleep in. I guess Scouts are more likely to do that than school trips but I did wonder why I had bothered sewing all those labels on!!
  12. Take lots of wet wipes and alcohol hand gel, and carry them with you everywhere.
    Make sure you are wearing suitable pyjamas so that if you have to suddenly get up in the middle of the night you are prepared... as someone else said, it's also useful for in the mornings.
    Also, make sure you have a laugh with the kids (try not to be to much like a teacher all the time!) but that they know what the line is... and what the consequences are for stepping over it! We have kids out running around on rock faces so it was essential they knew the importance of being safe and following the rules. It's a great experience though so just remember no matter how tired you're feeling that for some of the kids it's a really excting thing for them to be doing, or their first time away from home... so try not to let your tiredness and grumpiness show!
  13. Having come back form one residential last week and preparing to go on another the week after half term, and this is my second year I have to agree with all the recommendations made so far. I take my ipod for those evenings sat up, some instant hot choc sachets, packet of biscuits, few sweets for energy boost during the day. I'd also advise layers for activities as it can still be quite chilly in the evenings. I take a first aid kitin my backpack for quick grazes/cuts etc. I also take a bottle of calpol and nurofen for kids, ensuring I have medical forms giving permission to administer, especially as at the facility we were at last week the dorm blocks were locked at 10.30 - saved getting the on call duty officer for mild headaches.
    A water bottle and flask are a must, I'm sure the centre will let you fill them up every day.
    I had a couple that were really upset last year and although we didn't let them ring home, they did send texts (via me!) to parents and the odd message of support back really helped.
    Our school goes with other schools in our cluster and everyone really appreciates the teacher who mucks in with all the kids and helps out wherever they can, it lightens the load for all.
    Above all have loads of fun, try everything and really enjoy spending time with the kids in a whole new context!

  14. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Make sure that almost every minute is filled with activities for the children. Too much free tim means boredom, naughtiness and falling out.
    Take plenty of adults, we had 28 children and 6 adults. We needed every one of them. There is a tremendous amount of work. Make sure your paperwork is top notch, list evrry medication with instructions and permission to administer from parents.
    The children take sweets but we give the ch some for their packed lunch each day and they don't have any at night time.
    Most of all, enjoy the children and make sure they know that you expect them asleep by 10pm!! (In your dreams!!)
  15. Earplugs are a must if you have staff members who snore. Also on every residential I take a lucky hat. My colleague always wears the same tie, and she never wears one at work.
    Be prepared to be tired and take a bottle of Ribena. (It looks like red wine should the urge take you!)
  16. My daughter went with her year to a trip nearby, of course a bit apprehensive but it wa great fun, teh teachers looked after them very well and had many fund activities planned, so do encourage her, because you'll find you'll enjoy yourself
  17. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    I just came back from a residential. It was great. There was staff at the centre to look after the children after 9 pm and there was a bar! Heaven.
  18. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Wow!! Where was this? We should all go!
  19. cleggy1611

    cleggy1611 New commenter

    Robinwood. Quite expensive though.
  20. I am off on residential this week (my first since I qualified) and looking forward to it and dreading it in equal measure. We are taking the minimum of teachers with us, 2 for 37 children - although there are lots of staff there so were told 2 was OK. This is because staffing in school is so tight - I think I would have been happier had someone else been coming with us, just in case as there are some challenging children going with us.

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