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How to Plan a Residential School Trip with Confidence

School residentials are an exciting time for students and teachers alike – which is why it’s so important to ensure ample preparation is done to make the experience as smooth and fun as possible. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of considerations to make when you’re thinking about how to plan for your next school residential – whether it’s the first or one of many! Continue reading to find out more about how to prepare for your trip and how to get the most out of the activities. With so many activities to choose from, you’ll have plenty to think about to give your students the residential of a lifetime.


When considering a residential school trip, it’s important to be as organised as possible to ensure a smooth excursion – particularly when you’ve got the responsibility of a number of students. Research is paramount to understanding the environment you’ll be staying in, the activities your students can partake in and any health and safety considerations that need to be taken into account. Leaving this until the last minute can lead to missing out on deals or missing out on the location you want. Organise any paperwork that you’ll need to take with you so that you are prepared and know exactly what the trip will entail.


It’s essential to plan your trip, looking into potential activities and locations you can take your students to. This is particularly important for health and safety, so that the potential risks can be taken into consideration and a risk assessment can be conducted. At this point, you may want to arrange a meeting with the parents, where they can ask questions and fully understand what is planned and what will happen. School residentials are valuable educational and social resources, therefore it’s important that the parents understand this from the outset. Some parents may not be convinced, but it is a good opportunity to help them see the benefits for their child – especially those that may be lacking in confidence. 


Budget is good to consider so you know exactly what you can afford for both activities and accommodation. You may also need to consider food and drink for the length of time you are away. It’s a good idea to draw up a list of all of your costs, so you know roughly how much you’re going to be spending on each person on the trip. This allows you time to raise funds for the trip, whether the parents contribute to the excursion or there’s a budget from the school. 

Look for Inspiration

As school residentials are good for education, it’s important to look into activities and locations that will provide the most enrichment for the students. When meeting with the parents, it’s a good idea to broach the subject with them – where do they think their children will enjoy the most? Researching popular locations, with engaging activities, can provide a memorable experience for the students that will build their confidence, engage them in social activities and create memories that they’ll treasure. Take a look at other residentials that the school has gone on in the past to see if they’d fit in with the plans you have. 

Look to the Experts 

Ringing ahead to the experts can help you understand what’s on offer – what kinds of activities are available, how much it’ll cost, who the staff members are and so on. They will be able to guide you on some of the best activities for your students, tailored to your requirements and what you’d like to do. It’s ideal to talk through your ideas for what you’d like to gain from the excursion to help you make the most of the residential. 

Pack for the Trip

One of the most important considerations is what to pack when you go on a school residential. Depending on the destination and time of year, you will need to be sensible with what you pack – for example, if it’s going to rain, pack waterproofs and spare clothing so that you remain comfortable throughout the day. It’s essential to create a packing list so that parents fully understand what their child needs to pack, especially if they need medication to take with them.

School Residential Activities with PEAK

School residentials can provide the perfect enrichment for students, which allows them to experience activities that they may not have had an opportunity to do before. At PEAK, we offer a range of bespoke school residential activities that will cater to every student’s needs. If you’d like to find out more about our school residentials and what we have to offer, get in touch with us today and we’d be happy to talk through our activities and which would be best for your students. 

Ofsted backs Adventurous Activities

Adventurous activities should form a key part of schools’ PE offering to pupils, Ofsted has said.

In Ofsted’s report into the state of PE in English schools which was published recently, the regulator said that pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can be more effectively supported if schools offer a broader physical education (PE) curriculum.

It called for schools to create “an ambitious curriculum” for PE and further support SEND pupils by ensuring “staff are well trained to provide precise support in different sports so that all pupils can meet clear and ambitious end points”.

Outdoor adventurous activities “are either not taught effectively or not taught at all”, they found. Schools focused instead on traditional sports, with almost all schools visited offering football.

Schools’ focus on team sports means “other sports are often given significantly less curriculum time and content is rarely revisited over time”.

It recommends schools broaden activities to include outdoor adventure sessions.

One school that is already seeing the benefits of offering adventurous activities as part of its PE curriculum is the outstanding-rated New Ways School in Kings Norton, Birmingham.

Headteacher Michelle Woodward said: “Our group of Year 11 and 12 students go to a Peak adventurous activities facility every week and are working towards qualifications including AQAs. They are also working towards a Duke of Edinburgh Award and they have the opportunity to complete their residential there too. This is beneficial for our young people because they will be in a familiar environment and with a familiar team supporting them while they are there.

“They’re taking part in watersports including kayaking, they’ve been mountain biking, axe throwing, learning bushcraft skills, and much, much more!

“As well as the physical activity and being out in the fresh air, these activities are excellent for exposing our young people to new experiences and to working as a team – both of which are vitally important as they move forward in life. Some of our young people are from inner city Birmingham and will never have seen a deer or birds other than pigeons!

“This builds their resilience up in so many ways, as well as confidence.

“The children love it and that shows in attendance, which is excellent.

“The working relationship between Peak and the school is excellent, with lots of two-way communication. It’s also been really beneficial for the staff team too who are developing their skills and overcoming their own challenges by taking part in the adventurous activities too.

“The other benefit is that just taking part in these activities together helps build relationships and bonds, it helps the staff team and the young people connect over a shared experience. They’ve shared some challenges together and bonded more closely as a result.

“I’d highly recommend adding adventurous activities to any school’s PE curriculum!”

Audley Climbing Centre latest to be awarded Gold Standard

Audley Climbing Centre are the latest of the Peak activity centres to be awarded the AHOEC Gold Standard Accreditation.

This accreditation shows that as a provider we assure good operational practice within the context of high-quality learning outcomes.

Mike and his team at Audley have put a lot of work into getting the centre up to standard and ready for inspection and we are all incredibly proud to shout about our new gold Standard certificate.

We will be proudly displaying our certificate in centre for all to see.

48 Hour Charity Bike Ride Success

Supporting Candlelighters – Our Charity of the Year

At PEAK, we believe in the power of community and giving back. Today, we want to share a heartfelt story close to our hearts and an exciting initiative we’re launching.

One of our Operations Manager’s nieces has been on an incredible journey since March when she was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, she is on the mend now and is cancer-free. Throughout this challenging time, our colleague witnessed first-hand the remarkable work of the doctors and nurses who cared for her niece. But there was also another force at play – the unwavering support of the charity Candlelighters.

Candlelighters has been a beacon of hope for our colleague’s family, offering support, comfort, and assistance when it was needed most. Their dedication and care have left an indelible mark on our hearts.

That’s why we made a commitment to support Candlelighters as our charity of the year. Together, we aim to give back and help them continue their incredible work.

On the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of October, we kicked off our fundraising efforts at Trafford Watersports Centre. A host of our staff members signed up to participate in a 48-hour cycling event. The event was completed by staff from all over the UK at our multiple centres. At the main fundraising day on Sunday 22nd, there was also a cake sale, face painting, axe throwing, and a surprise visit from Batman!

In total from the event we raised a huge £990 (including cash donations) towards our £2000 target and your support means the world to us. Together, we can make a significant impact on the lives of families facing challenges like our colleagues.

Be sure to check out our Instagram pages for highlights of the day and check back for updates on our fundraising events and how you can get involved.

Let’s shine a light of hope together with Candlelighters.

If you would like to donate and find more information on our cause you can do so here:

Double Awards for Chasewater Activity Centre

Chasewater Activity Centre, based in Staffordshire, are pleased to announce we have achieved the Gold Standard Accreditation from The Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC).

The assessment covers lots of areas in the centre including safety management, learning and development, facilities, continuous improvement and environmental sustainability.  As a team, we have worked hard to meet these goals and will continue to work towards developing the centre and our Outdoor Education Provision.

We have also just been awarded the Adventure mark, meeting the necessary standard for the safe delivery of adventurous activities.  All these awards are a credit to the centre and the staff team at Chasewater,  we have promoted Education through Adventure and our EPIC values.

Astbury Watersports Centre gets the Red Kite Stamp of Approval!

We were lucky enough to welcome Jenny from Red Kite Days to our Summer Spectacular in July at Astbury Watersports Centre.

Jenny and her family had a great time and have given us the Red Kite Stamp of Approval! Check out Jenny’s blog below:

Astbury Watersports Centre