Friday, 14 June 2013

Observations on a residential visit

Children have far less inhibitions when communicating with children who don't speak the same language.  They are far better at non verbal forms of communication and have a better repertoire of non verbal conversation starters than us adults.  We just don't make up enough secret handshakes with one another!

Children who seem very confident in class quite often fall apart during some of the challenges on residential visits.  Lots of children who are really quiet in class climb stoically to the top of the leap of faith and jump off.

Most staff love working on residential visits and are great at maintaining the balance of managing behaviour and allowing for adventure and fun.

A few staff clearly don't like residential visits very much.  These are often heard talking loudly about how much they do like residential visits and how they 'always go.'  They tend to present in one of the following two ways:
- ignoring their children and their behaviours completely
- continually chirping at their children and over managing their behaviours

Children are not very good at putting duvet covers on their duvets!

Children don't seem to know how to give one another a bunk up a wall any more.  This leads me to wonder how they climb trees, and if they ever do.

A very high proportion of staff on residential visits are wearing team tops for sports teams or PE department jackets.  Myself included, even if the team wear is a little historical now. 

No matter where you go on a residential visit and how amazing the activities are the children are always desperate to get into the gift shop.

Teachers generally get on great!  Throw a big mix of us from different provisions and areas into a teacher lounge and it tends to become a big happy staff room; with biscuits, banter and wine.

Teachers will use any opportunity to learn.  The teacher lounge on a residential is no exception.  Our note books came away full of ideas.

Children showing the values of your school to others in their behaviour and attitude is one of the greatest things in the world.