Adam Riches looks back at a school trip that he still remembers fondly to this day…

Many moons ago when I was at primary school, we were taken to Kingswood on a residential. It is one of those experiences that I look back on fondly and as my memory of primary school grows dimmer, I can still remember the caving, the climbing and the fun.

Although my memory is flagging, Kingswood is still going strong and there are now numerous centres across the UK.

Kingswood has been delivered inspiring adventures to hundreds of thousands of young people for over 35 years.

Although the centres and visits are traditionally overnight experiences, in the current climate, it isn’t possible for schools to take students on residentials… but all is not lost.

Kingswood centres are offering comprehensive day packages, crammed full of activities and learning opportunities for students across the country.

Luckily, it doesn’t look like much has changed since I went all of those years ago.

Outdoor educational visits that build confidence

Kingswood visits focus on the power of outdoor education and incorporate elements of character education, through self and peer discovery.

Not only do Kingswood activities help students build resilience, they allow students to learn things about themselves, something we all know is paramount to childrens’ mental health.

Residential trips offer that element of crucial, character development that can only be achieved out of school. Kingswood day trips allow that development to still take place safely, within Government guidelines whilst residential trips are on hold.

With the world being the way it is, such activity days give students the opportunity to catch up on some of those experiences they have been deprived of during lockdown and through local restrictions.

Fully loaded day trips

Kingswood one-day adventure packages are designed to have the same type of impact that the residentials do: outdoor, adventure, fun and most importantly the opportunity to make memories.

Schools can choose from three programmes, each containing four activities, all with tangible learning outcomes and a pre/post visit toolkit to support evidencing for Ofsted.

The one-day programs all have a set focus, but throughout, the key ethos that Kingswood have always prided themselves on shine through, and it is warming to see.

The team-building programme focuses on resilience and life skills with activities enabling students to build on attributes including communication, teamwork and leadership as well as adapting to change, motivation and problem solving.

During this pandemic, the opportunity to interact with others has been limited and this package is an exceptional way to bridge the gap created.

Rural survival looks at how pupils can use the environment around them to build shelter, light a fire and generally get by. As with all of the one-day programmes, Kingswood champion the skill of problem solving in order to build resilience and foster that team ethos.

The final programme is designed to push students (and teachers!!) outside of their comfort zone. The programme incorporates elements of risk and challenge (in a controlled way) to help students grow their sense belief and self-confidence.

In addition, this programme promotes the ideas of empathy and compassion whilst building aspirations.

Safety first

Kingswood has carefully curated the day visits to adhere to current guidelines but have also made sure that come what may, the provisions in place should remain within guideline if they were/are to change.

The team have been working hard to make sure that whatever happens next year, children can experience a breath of fresh air and a sense of adventure in a safe environment.

Kingswood has worked hard to ensure that its safety protocols are robust and fully COVID-safe. The centres are approved COVID-secure by Kaddi and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. You can find out more here.

Places in the centres are limited to allow for social distancing, meaning that the visiting pupils and teachers can grow in confidence, build resilience and make lasting memories on their visit.

Kingswood is adding an extra level of security by guaranteeing that if your trip becomes impossible due to a local or national lockdown, it’ll help you move your visit to an alternative date, or offer you a full refund.

In the current state of flux, details like this significantly reduce the stress of organising a school trip.

Final words

The Kingswood one-day adventure programmes are designed to give your group an experience to remember, whilst also helping you to evidence character education.

Whether you are looking to build confidence, add to cultural capital or simply help students escape the usual teaching in the classroom, Kingswood centres fit the bill.

You can also rest assured that Kingswood has gone above and beyond to make your visit safe and secure.

Day visits will be available from 1 February to 30 April and are subject to availability. Find out more at kingswood.co.uk.