The Greville Primary School
Residential School trip to UKSA
UKSA provides a unique environment to challenge and inspire change in students
Providing a safe space for young people to be challenged in an adventurous manner is of paramount importance to schools to see the change in their students. We hosted the Greville Primary School in Ashtead and provided a programme that mapped their Skills for Life framework, developing the students’ confidence, maturity and mind-sets.
How did you first hear about UKSA?
Our head teacher had to look for a new place for our year 5 residential trip after our usual place for 20 years went into administration.
What is the most important factor when choosing an outdoor education provider?
That the children are safe, learning new skills for life, learning to working together as a team and become more mature.
What makes/would make you return to UKSA?
UKSA were fantastic at adapting to any of our needs, which we had many of. Every member of staff was enthusiastic and really wanted the children to be safe but also pushing their boundaries. The amount of staff available to keep us safe was a huge focus and really reassured the children. The activities available were completely new to the children as we are not near any sea side location, only enthusiasts will have had these opportunities before. The equipment used was well cared for and child friendly. The children had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the opportunities that were given to them.
What was the best part about your visit and UKSA experience?
The enthusiasm for the instructors and their understanding of how to adapt subtly to the child’s individual needs. The activities were well thought out and everyone was adaptable to the needs/levels of the children. All activities were well linked and built upon on another to give the children confidence.
What did you think about the UKSA environment and campus facilities?
The bedrooms were warm, safe and comfortable. The food was child friendly but if adaption was needed the kitchen staff would happily and quickly do so. The warming room managed well with our large amount of clothing and their equipment was suitable for all shapes and sizes. The campus itself was secure and well laid out to ensure the children could safely move around.
What did students think of the food?
The food was child friendly; tasty, filling and well balanced. There was as much as they wanted. They particularly enjoyed the pudding. Children with dietary needs or allergies were quickly and well catered for – the kitchen staff were always happy to adapt.
What did you think of the range of activities and the programme available?
The activities were varied and always built upon on another. Every activity could be adapted to the individual levels of confidence and special needs. If we fancied different activities or timings UKSA were quick to adapt and happy to do.
What activity did students enjoy the most?
The children loved the keel boating the most. For some it allowed them to enjoy the water without feeling cold, for others it gave them an idea of what sailing is like which they loved. The learning and safety of the boats gave them a huge confidence to steer and sail the boat themselves.
Is there any particular student experience that stands out?
At least 10% of our students have special needs. Our autistic students became comfortable to be in wetsuits and in the cold water. Another student who was a selective mute became comfortable to speak his name to an instructor by the end of the week. Our quieter students felt able to have a go at new tasks.
What did your group think of the evening activities and options?
Evening activities varied; orienteering allowed them to use maps as well as challenge their minds with riddles, archery and gutter boat building allowed them to learn new skills and team games gave them opportunities to learn how to work together. The disco was fantastic and the new facility housed our large amount well.
How did we tailor activities when unable to go out on the water?
We had fantastic weather throughout the trip so no activities had to be cancelled. UKSA organisers reassured me that if there was an inability to go onto the water they would adapt accordingly.
What were the outcomes you were looking for and were they delivered on?
We were looking for the children to learn new skills and work more in teams. We wanted them to grow as individuals in maturity and confidence.
How was the experience as a teacher, in comparison to other residential programmes that you have attended?
There were more interesting activities available for the children. The amount of staff to keep the children safe was reassuring allowing the teacher enjoy the trip more. Every adaption needed was quickly solved. They were contactable at any time before the trip. They even volunteered to help us on a day out when we needed extra adults.
Would you recommend UKSA to other schools and groups? If so, why?
Yes, for every reason above. They went above and beyond for our trip. We are very grateful.