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Ready, Set, Go: How to Prepare Your Child for Their First Residential School Trip

Get ready to see your little one spread their wings and take their first steps towards independence. It is their first residential school trip, a huge milestone that can leave any parent and child uneasy. In this post, we will explore some essential tips to ensure you and your child are ready for this big event. From packing essentials to emotional preparation, we have everything you need to ensure your child’s first residential trip succeeds. 


When do they go on their first residential?

This varies from school to school. Some schools wait until the children are in year six to offer these adventures, while others start as early as Key Stage One!

For the younger ones, the schools typically start with one or two nights away in a place that is a little more contained and not too far from home, such as an outdoor activity centre. They will have fun in a more controlled environment, so you don’t have to worry about them wandering too far.

As for the older children, they are (generally) ready for bigger and better things. They’ll get to go away for a few days at a time, for example, on ​​Barcelona school trips, to explore exciting new places like major cities or ski resorts. It is a good chance for them to spread their wings, experience new things, and make memories they’ll treasure forever!

Who helps on a residential?

Teachers and support staff from your child’s school will accompany the children on their school trip. Suppose your child is staying at a residential centre. In that case, the kids will most likely have a team of experienced staff who know all about managing school groups and creating unforgettable experiences working with them. These staff members are trained to work with school groups and know how to create a safe and engaging environment for your child. 

Unlike regular school trips, where parents can get involved, residential trips are all about helping your child to become more independent. So, while you won’t be invited along, you can rest assured that your child will be in good hands.

Are they compulsory?

While school trips are not compulsory, they offer your child the chance to experience something new and exciting that they may not get to do otherwise. These trips provide an excellent opportunity for your child to develop new skills, such as team-building and confidence-building, which will serve them well.

Keep in mind as well that if your child doesn’t attend, they may miss out on the chance to learn and grow with their peers. Plus, if they stay behind, they may have to spend the week in another class, which is not always ideal for their learning and social development.


First and foremost, check the kit list provided by the school, especially if your child is going to an outdoor activity centre. When packing, take the time to name every single item of clothing your child takes. This will make it easier for staff to reunite any lost items. But, let’s face it, things do go missing, so avoid packing anything too valuable or expensive, like your child’s favourite coat or designer trainers. 

With these points in mind, take a deep breath and trust that your child is ready for their big adventure.

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