Learning outside: the benefits of school residential trips

It has long been acknowledged by schools that outdoor learning has equal value to indoor learning. In fact, it’s considered an essential requirement for a child’s development. Outdoor learning is known to have a very positive impact on a child’s well-being and growth.

Residential weeks provide a real opportunity for children to experience the outdoors, immerse themselves in lots of new activities and build a genuine sense of independence.

There are lots of benefits in taking part in a school residential week that differ depending on what type of residential week a child gets involved with. Many of these involve spending time outdoors, trying new sports and, most likely, being away from parents for the first time. Have a read below at some of the benefits of school residential weeks.

Health benefits

A school residential trip gives children a chance to interact with the outdoors and have several adventures. It also gives them a chance to try sports that they may not have had an opportunity to do so otherwise. These trips are beneficial as children will hopefully find a sport that they enjoy, or fall in love with adventure and/or the outdoors.

Learning new skills

School children can get involved with a huge variety of activities from abseiling, archery and hill walking to sailing, orienteering and team challenges. Children are actively encouraged to work out of their comfort zone, overcoming any insecurities to take on new challenges and adventures.

Reinforces what is learnt in the classroom

When children go on school trips they are often seeing what they have learned in the classroom being applied to the real world. School trips can lay the foundation for encouraging successful learning and improve a child’s motivation and achievement.

Building confidence and self-esteem

This is usually one of the first times that children are away from their parents for any length of time. Children need to overcome this challenge and it’s a good way for them to become closer to their peers and teachers. They get to take responsibility for themselves with limited help from an adult. This gives a child a chance to be independent, develop new friendships and, ultimately, make their own decisions.

School trips are often remembered fondly for the rest of your life. It’s an exciting time outside of the classroom where you are still learning whilst having a lot of fun!

Former Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, agrees that residential trips are an important part of a child’s education:


‘Learning outside the classroom is not some optional extra… 

Residential and educational school trips and getting out of the classroom should be part and parcel of school life’.

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