I am writing this as I have just deposited the last of the ‘apparatus’ in my car for taking to the coach on Monday. It is always a relief when I feel that job is done.

Residential experiences are very special, exciting and maybe a little scary for our Year 5 and 6 children and I am sure the children and maybe some parents assume we are off on a holiday.

 I have always been a strong advocate of residential experiences and in my long teaching career I have always either organised or participated in these. The reasons are many and varied. It helps to build the children’s independence- it is great fun to see them trying to manage their clothes and equipment during the week and trying to get all those items back into the suitcase that Mum or Dad had packed so carefully! It also helps them to make friends outside their school cohort which I feel is so important in preparation for their move to secondary school. Being able to communicate well with a wide and varied group of people is an important life skill. Also, although our children are very lucky and have a wide variety of experiences there will be many children for whom the activities will be completely new and they will have to be challenging themselves to participate.

I finish by saying a huge thank you to the staff who are accompanying me, Miss Weston from Denton School, Mr Watt and Mrs Murphy from Yardley School. Without them volunteering and giving up their time this would not be possible. Please look kindly upon them on our return I know how tired they will feel!

Jill Gardner