Challenges & Worries to overcome when organising a school residential
Organising a school trip has always been a challenge. Add in an overnight stay and the challenge increases tenfold. We talked to School Residential specialist Oaker Wood Leisure in Herefordshire to get their advice on things to consider.
Their advice is based on the most common questions they receive from school teachers and parents when we talk to our visiting schools.
Will it be both safe and fun for my pupils?
Yes, and for teachers and carers too!
We all know the statistics: children spend too much time on screens, too many journeys are made by car not by foot, children never play outside.
At Oaker Wood your class can escape into a magical woodland. Our accommodation is based in woodland Glamping Villages exclusive to each school, so no queuing for breakfast or waiting for your allocated slot at the camp fire. Your children will have freedom to roam, play hide and seek and toast marshmallows while you and your teaching team are safe in the knowledge that they are within the confines of the camp area.
Each Village sleeps up to 60 children, but we never mix 2 schools within one village, so if you are a class of 20 or a year group of 60 you will have the village to yourselves.
Is Oaker Wood well established and experienced?
Oaker Wood has been offering school residentials for over 15 years, many of the schools who visit us repeat year on year and so we know what teachers, parents and children are looking for in a school residential. Whatever challenges you face, be it a child with severe type 2 diabetes, sleep walkers or a profoundly deaf child, it is likely the team at Oaker Wood have already experienced the same challenge. As a small family company the member of staff you talk to on the phone, will probably meet you on arrival on site, so you can be assured of continuity throughout the planning process through to the residential.
Will parents have any reason to worry or be concerned?
A school trip is probably the first time a parent waves goodbye to their child, sending them off on their first independent adventure. It is natural for parents to be anxious. Oaker Wood help to overcome this anxiety by visiting schools to give presentations to teachers, parents and children. This may be used as part of the marketing of the trip, to encourage signs up, or as an information evening shortly before the visit takes place. Either way it is a chance for both you and parents to meet the Oaker Wood team, learn more about the exciting activities and accommodation on offer and ask questions.
What about the food?
Vegetarian, gluten free, diabetes, halal, you may have a list of dietary requirements as long as the list of children in your class. This isn’t a problem at Oaker Wood, as a small family company, owner Alison is in charge of all menu planning. Six weeks before your visit, Oaker Wood will send you a choice of menu options. Highlights may include your very own pizza making session, at the Oaker Wood Pizzeria when children create their own pizza cooked in a cob fired oven.
We encourage you to talk to your class, many schools vote for their favourite meals. Oaker Wood then prepare all meals on site, so any specific dietary requirements are prepared individually for that child. The last thing we want is hungry children. Each Glamping Village has its own kitchen area so teachers can also prepare their own food if they wish.
Are we nearly there yet?
Oaker Wood is based in the West Midlands, an easy drive from central Birmingham, but a million miles away once you enter our magical forest.
All our adventurous activities are based on site, so once you arrive you can forget about coach transfers, from now on your children will simply get to explore the woodland environment
If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Oaker Wood can help you with planning your next school residential trip then why not get in touch here.
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