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Residential trips

(19 Posts)
lentilbake Mon 08-Oct-12 10:27:39

Well, when I was at school, the only "residential" trip was if you were doing A level biology, and the first overnight trip offered wasn't til I was about 11 and that was to France which half the class went on.

Now I often hear of year 6 children going on residential and have been thinking "What do I do if all children are expected to attend as I may not be able to afford it?" but now found out that in one school every year from year 2 onwards goes on a residential! Apart from the fact that I think its pretty young (my year 3 child doesn't even want to go on Brownie sleepover for one night) how on earth do you afford a residential trip every year especially if you ahve more than one child?! I have four and the thought of paying for four trips each year fills me with dread!

MilkRunningOutAgain Mon 08-Oct-12 10:52:57

My first trip away was that biology field trip for A level. My parents said no to all trips and I funded the field trip myself with my Saturday job money.

But the kids school has trips costing about £200 to £300 each in yrs 4,5 and 6. It's a lot of money. The school lets you pay in £40 instalments per month to try to make it easier. We are letting DS go this year, but as a result will not be going away on holiday so much. He knows this and accepts it. I hope we'll be able to do the same for DD when she's older. Perhaps I should increase my hours at work, as I bet secondary school will not be cheaper!

DeWe Mon 08-Oct-12 11:06:28

When I was at school a residential in year 6 was standard.

What has changed is the price. I paid ten times the price for dd1 to go last year as was paid for me 30 years ago. To put in in perspective-her pocket money to take was roughly twice what iIhad.

The reason, as far as I can tell, is the rise of the "experts". When we went. It was a lovely old manor house with 3 resident adults.

As children we did the laying of tables, washing up afterwards and some of the cleaning at the end of the week, including changing the sheets for the next people.

What we did when we were there was: day 1: Country walk around the area. Days 2-4 depended on what group you were in. One of those days was going round the local castle and shopping area with a set of historic questions. One of the days was an orienteering course that was set up-we were set off in groups of 4 with a map, compass, lunch and instructions and expected to get back. And the other day was an "activity"-mine was going down a lead mine, but others did caving or mountain biking. Day 5: Tidying the house and packing followed by a sing song. We had a great time, and it was considered by many to be the trip everyone waited to be old enough to go.

What dd1 did included: Canoeing, dry slope skiing, abseilling (other similar things I can't remember)... all things that really need more supervision, and definite experts for each, and specialist equipment.

Did she enjoy it more?

I suspect she would have enjoyed what I did more. She's not desperately into there "extreme" sports, and her, and I suspect others, would have enjoyed doing some things that aren't really geared for the sporty ones. I think that her,. and some others I know, came back a bit flat, feeling that there was more to a trip than dashing round from one activity to another.

They didn't do any work round the place, and we even had to provide sheets and duvets/sleeping bags for them to take.

SavoyCabbage Mon 08-Oct-12 11:07:37

Ours go every year from year three.

Fuzzymum1 Mon 08-Oct-12 11:15:20

The year five and six class go each year - one is a shorter more local activity type trip and one is a longer, zoo based rip further afield. The trips are generally around £200/280 ish depending on which trip - and it akes me very glad that my children are spaced out - I had two trips, two years off and then another two years of trips - it will be a few years before DS3 will be going. DS2 is about to go on a trip for history GCSE which has cost us close to £300 plus buying him a passport.

mimbleandlittlemy Mon 08-Oct-12 12:38:44

ds's school does it very sensibly, I think. Big Sleepover for ys 3 & 4 in the school hall on a Friday night in June, cost about a fiver to cover breakfast on the Saturday morning, and squash and biscuits on the Friday evening. Y5 go overnight camping - cost about £40 to cover food/tent rental and the cost of the coach. Y6 residential to PGL for a week, cost quite high (£275) because of it being PGL and the huge cost of coaches now, but can be paid for in monthly installments from the autumn term of Y5 onwards. We have 50% of kids on free school meals in the school but all manage somehow with help from the PTA/the school (the head teacher has a fund that can help out) and the payment schedules.

VonHerrBurton Mon 08-Oct-12 12:47:34

Ours do a 2 night PGL in Y4 (£260) a 3 night similar in Y5 (same) and 4 nights in Y6 (££££ apparently - not there yet!)

I agree it's a lot for most people. Our HT specifically makes a point of letting everyone know if they are struggling to meet it financially then to make an appointment to see her in confidence.

The plus side is my DS and all his friends had 'the time of their lives' on these trips and I know ds would happily forego a holiday if it was necessary in order to attend.

How people with 3 or 4+ dc manage it is a scary thought.

Northumberlandlass Mon 08-Oct-12 13:11:54

DS school only do residential trips in Y4. They are going for a weekend to a PGL type of thing. It is £275.
It is very expensive. We had a meeting about the trip last March and the trip will take place in April 2013.
Most people were taken aback at the price, but there was option to pay monthly installments.

AngryFeet Mon 08-Oct-12 13:18:55

Dd is doing a pgl weekend in march and it will only cost £115. Why the big difference in cost i wonder?

BackforGood Mon 08-Oct-12 16:21:02

Do I take it from your OP that they aren't even at school yet ? If so, I'd wait a while to worry. All schools are very different.
I thought my dcs' Junior school was unusual in that they get 2 opportunities - before this thread never heard of so many chances at Primary school to do a residential.
Re the 'new thing' I went on a residential when I was in 4th Yr Juniors (Yr6 now) back in the mid 70s, and it had been running for many years then, so certainly not a new thing.
At our school, I know the charges are very much reduced (I think 1/2) if you are on free school meals. Everyone knows about the trips many months in advance and are offered the chance to pay in installments, if that helps.
Of course, you can alway say 'no'.

HedgeHogGroup Mon 08-Oct-12 18:00:29

Big difference in costs is down t;
1) Time of year - prices vary hugely according to season and often weekends at the beginning/end of a school holiday are considerably cheaper
2) LA subsidies. Our LA subsidise going to a particular outdoor & adventurous campsite (non-summer time) which used to belong to the LA back in the day
3) The cost of coach is based on distance and can often be more for smaller groups because of the cost of diesel
4) The cost of insurance is prohibitive
5) If schools go during the 'teaching week' some build into the cost the cost of supply to cover classes for staff attending

We're taking our children (Yr 4-6) skiing (£650) and have offered a different residential instead (£65 - see point 2!)

We broke it down and told parents how much it worked out at if they paid weekly/monthly over a year (less than 2 packets of fags a week!) Some parents have afforded both, some parents have afforded neither... we provide other activities in school that week to compensate

Chopstheduck Mon 08-Oct-12 18:08:28

Ds1 has one this year, £245 for four nights. I really begrudge the cost of it, and won't be paying. He goes away each year with the boys brigade and that is around £180 for seven nights, and very full on in terms of activities.

I really wouldn't sacrifice a family holiday for them neither. I think they get far more out of a family holiday, and it benefits all four children rather than just one.

piratecat Mon 08-Oct-12 18:11:24

dd went on a trip in yr4 for 2 nights/3days, about £80

they do another in yr 6, it's 4nights/5days and is £160.

both very local trips, to outward bound type places.

piratecat Mon 08-Oct-12 18:12:34

both have been allowed to be paid in installments, which is luck, and both have had a slightly reduced rate for those with children on free school meals-ie dd!

Themumsnot Mon 08-Oct-12 18:20:26

Ours do residential trips each year from Y3 to Y6. It is a two-form entry school and normally about half of the children go on the residential. You can start paying six months or so in advance. The school gives good notice of what the trips are (the Y5 and Y6 trips have been the same for many years) and parents decide which their children will go on - very few will go on every single residential. I have three children (two now at secondary school) and my deal with them is that they can go on both the Y5 and Y6 trips, but then they don't get another residential till Y10, as the KS3 trips at the secondary school aren't nearly as good as those run by the primary. The school also does a very good job of making the week of the residential fun for the children who aren't going.

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 18:21:02

Around here, residential trip every year from y2 would be deemed rather excessive. Commonly they have them in y6 & again in y9+.
When I was in school we had a residential at age 11-12 & again at age 17-18.
You just say No if you can't afford, no?, I know lots of people who do that.

Chopstheduck Mon 08-Oct-12 19:00:30

I said no with dd, financial reasons.

There is not a 'no' option on the letter so I wrote a note. Then I was called in to see her teacher. Then a meeting with the ht. then they paid for it! Sometimes no isn't really an option!

HedgeHogGroup Mon 08-Oct-12 19:23:13

Some schools use their 'pupil premium' funding to pay for people who can't afford it or to subsidise trips... its worth asking how they've spent it or if they'd consider doing that if money is an issue

Elibean Mon 08-Oct-12 22:28:39

We've only ever had one in Y6, but now Y4 are doing a 2 night trip at Easter....most parents are enthusiastic (the kids certainly are!). We can pay in installments, and at our school the PTA have a 'subsidies pot' that anyone struggling financially can dip in to for trips, to help out.

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