Ever wondered what it’s like to take pupils on a residential to Calshot?
We spoke to Sam from Andrews' Endowed Primary School about his experience taking Year 6 pupils to Calshot. With seven years of fun-filled memories and learning experiences, he had plenty to share!
Please note that some of the activities on offer may differ depending on the time of year. Our teams will work with you to create an experience that helps children build skills and have fun no matter the season.
What made you choose Calshot Activities Centre for your residential?
Calshot is great to visit because it has such a great range of facilities. There’s so much on offer, including team building activities like archery, skiing, kayaking and much more.
We normally go in the first week of October or the last week in September. We really like doing it then, particularly with Year 6, because they're building those relationships at the start of the school year . They know each other so well anyway, because they've been with each other for six years, but they always learn a new side of both themselves and their classmates. When we’re all back in the classroom, the students get to build on that team building and the bonds they’ve made, rather than losing the benefit over the summer when they leave school 3-4 weeks later.
We enjoyed ’Darkwater Discovery’ because it links to our Year 5 geography unit on the water cycle and rivers. This field studies activity linked so well with the curriculum; seeing in real life what they’ve done in the classroom means their learning really comes to life. As this trip happens in Year 6 , it really helps to consolidate what they've previously learnt.
Calshot’s nearby gravel and sand cliffs are perfect for when we teach geography. We look at those cliffs which are worn away and discuss erosion and how spits are formed. We also did seine netting for the first time last year. The children are so environmentally aware now. They were able to go through and see the marine life and really get to grips with coastal processes.
There are a couple of other activities that are always really great. There’s an investigative orienteering activity across the spit, which gives the children an understanding of the historic hangars and the castle, and what they were used for in the past. There are also STEM activities like ‘Epic Engineering’ that encourage the children, particularly the girls, to engage with science and maths, which I think is really effective.
What did you think of the instructors at Calshot?
The Calshot instructors have a nurturing outlook, particularly the field studies instructors. They’re really on the ball and passionate about what they do. That passion really comes through with the children, and the kids always think back to that.
The instructors don't just want to do the activity with the children and go, they really want to see the best for that group of kids. You can see that empathy in action, and it makes a difference.
There’s really such great quality provided at Calshot.
Did you notice the children displaying a core value of ‘teamwork’, taught during their time at the centre?
Doing the initiative course and low ropes at the beginning of the week really sets the tone of ‘we're here to work together’.
Some students might find the fact that we're staying away from home really tricky. Others might find getting out on the water on a kayak or being up high with a harness on really difficult. Whatever it is, right from the start, the children really get that sense of ‘we're a team, we can help each other’.
How involved are the parents with the trip?
In the first week or two of the academic year, we always have a Calshot residential trip parents ’ meeting.
All the parents come to the school hall, and we talk through the week and what we want their children to achieve by the end of their time at Calshot.
You do get some parents who are concerned, as it might be their child’s first time away. Sometimes it's just as much about the parents realising that their child can cope with that. You know, it's a bit of a two-way thing. They've grown up a bit - now, they can go off and have fun! I suppose it’s about seeing more independence in their children.