Our Residential Programme
At Bisley our aim is to gradually enable the children to foster the resilience and independence so that at the end of Year 6 they can enjoy a whole week away with their friends learning and trying new things. We recognise that this needs to be a gradual process and needs to be built upon year by year. Below you will see how we have developed a programme that we believe not only gives each year group a life-long memory but it slowly builds tenacity and confidence in being away from home.
Towards the end of Reception the children have their own activity day in school which builds to a Teddy Bear’s Picnic at the end of the day. The children find staying in school until 5pm quite different as no one is around. It is a great start for showing them life beyond a normal school day and a familiar environment looking different (due to lack of other pupils!). The children really enjoy this experience and as it is not too long go away very happy.
Once the children reach Year 1 we keep a similar format of an activity day in school but extend it to a film and pizza night. This gives the children familiarity from last year but adds a new element of the evening. For many children staying until 7pm is quite exciting as it is usually around their bedtime!
In Year 2 we have a sleepover in school! Just as in Year 1 they have a full activity day, they have dinner and watch a film but this time they stay over. Again this provides familiarity with a dash of the unknown at the end. Some children have stayed away from their parents before but for many this is their first time away. Staying in school which is close to home gives reassurance to both children and parents that if needed they can get there quickly. With careful nurturing from the staff the children are able to be successful at their first school sleep over. For parents who feel their child is still a bit young to stay parents can collect before bedtime.
Year 3 children also have a sleepover in school however this time new activities are added to give the children a feeling of being a bit more grown up! This sleepover gives them the confidence to know that they can stay away from home and can enjoy new and different activities.
During this year the children spend three days at Henley Fort in Guildford. The centre is a Surrey Outdoor Learning & Development Centre and is run by specially trained staff. Based on the Hogs Back, Henley Fort is close enough to home that if needed parents/staff can get to the children very quickly. This can help add reassurance to the more nervous children (and parents!). During their time the children sleep in yurts and take part in various activities such as rock climbing, nature walks, camp fires and much more. https://www.surreyoutdoorlearning.uk/facilities/henley-fort
Year 5 children also stay away for 3 days at High Ashurst. Again this is a centre run by Surrey Outdoor Learning & Development however, this is slightly further away - just past Dorking. The children sleep in chalets and have to take responsibility for their dormitories. The set-up is similar to Henley Fort which again gives familiarity, however the activities are more adventurous e.g. high ropes, archery and the centre has other parties on site.
At the end of the children’s time in primary school we take them away for a week to Thames Young Marineer in Kingston. This Surrey Outdoor Learning & Development Centre is based between Richmond and Kingston and within its 25 acres it includes a 10 acre lake. This centre offers the children an opportunity to experience water activities, which is something we often find children have not had the opportunity to try. During their five day stay the children sail rafts, canoes, have a go at paddle boarding plus much more. They stay in a tepee village and enjoy campfires in the evening.
Our aim is that every child has the opportunity to develop their resilience and independence so that they can build up from a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in Reception to full week away by the end of Year 6. These experiences often create memories for a lifetime and we feel they are a valuable part of our school life. We know that for some families the financial commitment, especially for the Year 4, 5 and 6 trip can be tricky to manage. We send a letter out at the end of the previous year giving details and dates along with a monthly payment plan. For parents in receipt of particular benefits we can offer financial support with the cost of the trip.
If you would like to know anything further about our residential programme then please do contact us.
Our Residential Lead