Springwell Leeds South Residential

26 Sep 2019   |   Ann-Marie Walker   |   Springwell Leeds

‘Yes that is right – a residential’ I explained to colleagues. To be met with ‘for SEMH pupils?! Are you sure about this’ and ‘you must be mad’.  For a split second I doubted myself… then pulled myself together. I have seen year on year success on residential trips, all in SEMH settings.

Our pupils often have had no experience of a family holiday so this was our remit to recreate a family holiday and what better place than Flamingo Land. Roller coasters, a zoo, restaurants, arcades and cabaret.

The next job was to get staff to trust me that this would be a fun, safe, rewarding and positive bonding experience. Luckily, my staff team got on board and on Monday 24th June 4 adults and 7 children set off for their caravan holiday.

Despite lots of initial anxieties, the pupils soon settled in. Two of the boys (both 12 years old) had never spent a night away from their parents before and did amazingly well.  Night one saw half the boys tucked up in bed after a hot chocolate by 9.45pm (For those who have ever done a residential you will know this is good work!)

And so we start planning for next year! I am not crazy, it really does work! I hope I can inspire other schools to take the plunge.

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