Should I Send My Child on the Year 6 Residential Trip?

We look at the aspects that uncertain parents should consider.

As the time for year 6 residentials approaches, parents may find themselves battling with a common dilemma: should I send my child on this trip?

It’s natural for parents to experience a mix of emotions ranging from excitement to worry. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of residential trips for both parents and children, and acknowledge the concerns that might come up.

Benefits of residential trips for children

Educational and experiential opportunities

Residential trips offer children unique educational and experiential opportunities. They provide a chance to learn outside the traditional classroom setting, engage in hands-on activities, and deepen their understanding of various subjects. These trips often include visits to historical sites, outdoor adventures, team-building activities, and cultural experiences. All of these contribute to a well-rounded education.

Personal and social development

Participating in a residential trip can encourage personal growth and social development in children. It helps them to build resilience, independence and problem-solving skills. Being away from home and around other kids helps them to navigate unfamiliar situations and make decisions on their own. It’s also a great time to build friendships and practice teamwork which can enhance communication skills.

Building independence

Sending your child on a residential trip can be an opportunity to build trust and confidence. By allowing them to explore the world beyond the confines of their home, they will be empowered to develop a sense of independence which can help as they move through different stages and ages. The trust you put in your child to handle new experiences and challenges can help them see your belief in their capabilities which can even strengthen your relationship with them.

Overcoming worries

It’s natural for parents to worry about their child’s safety and well-being when they’re outside of their care, but it’s important to understand and recognise that these trips are well-organised and supervised by trained professionals. Schools and trip organisers always prioritise the safety and well-being of children and implement robust risk assessments, protocols and emergency procedures. If you’re concerned, communicate with the school and you will be reassured.

Lasting memories

Residential trips are great for creating lasting memories for children. They offer a chance for children to engage in memorable experiences, form strong bonds with their friends and create a bank of cherished memories that they’ll remember for years to come. These experiences can boost their self-esteem and confidence.

Year 6s on a Kingswood raft-building activity

Benefits of residential trips for parents

Peace of mind

While it's natural to have concerns, residential trips are typically well-organised and supervised by trained professionals. Knowing that your child is in capable hands can provide parents with peace of mind during the trip.

Personal time

Although it might be hard being away from your child for possibly the first time, the time your child spends on a residential trip gives parents an opportunity to have some personal time for themselves. It can allow you to focus on your own needs, spend quality time with other family members, or simply relax and recharge.

Enriched perspective

By allowing your child to participate in a residential trip, you expose them to new environments, cultures and experiences. As a result, parents can gain a broader perspective and understanding of the world through their child's stories and reflections which you can enjoy together.

How to make it easier

No matter how much you’re reminded of the benefits of residential trips, it still may not make it any easier. Here are some ways you can ease into the process and make it easier for both you and your child:

• Discuss communication channels and how you can both stay in touch throughout the trip. Although your child may not have access to communication constantly, agreeing on a text in the morning and evening is a good start.

• With any residential trip, there may be opportunities for parents to get involved. This could include volunteering to help on the trip, assisting with planning, or participating in pre-trip workshops.

• Familiarise yourself with your child’s itinerary and discuss the residential trip activities and locations they will be visiting. This will help them feel more prepared and will help put your mind at ease about what they will be getting up to.

• Stay calm to maintain positivity around the trip. If you’re worried, your child can pick up on these emotions which may make the process harder on them too.

Deciding whether or not to send your child on a year 6 residential trip is a personal choice that requires careful consideration. While having doubts and worries is natural, it’s important to recognise the benefits for both children and parents. Residential trips provide opportunities to grow, learn and create lifelong memories.