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Learning Away

Learning Away is a £2.25m Special Initiative that aims to support schools in significantly enhancing young people’s learning, achievement and well-being by using innovative residential experiences as an integral part of the curriculum. The initiative began in 2008 and will run until 2015.

Learning Away was founded on our belief that high quality residential experiences can provide extremely powerful learning opportunities for children and young people – and indeed, for adults as well. A key challenge for schools is to connect residential experiences with pupils’ day-to-day learning to ensure that the benefits are effectively built upon and sustained.

“For some children a week’s residential experience is worth more than a term of school. We know we want it for our own children – we need to make sure other people’s children experience it too.”

Tim Brighouse, advisor to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Learning Away aims to develop exemplary and compelling practice, demonstrate the positive impact that high-quality residential learning can have and engage increasing numbers of primary and secondary schools in the development of their residential practice.

Learning Away’s initial five-year action research phase has involved a committed group of 60 schools. Read their profiles here.

These schools have worked closely with an external evaluator, testing the impact that residential learning can have and trying to identify the key features that can make it most effective. Visit the Learning Away website for the latest evaluation findings and practical resources developed by the Learning Away community of teachers.

Sharing learning

In June 2015 York Consulting published its final independent evaluation of Learning Away residentials, identifying their impacts as well as what it is about the overnight stay that brings about such powerful positive outcomes for young people long after their return to school. Download the summary and full evaluation report here.

Email the Learning Away team, and follow us on Twitter to be kept up to date with the latest findings and publications.