The autumn term means back to school for parents and their children. For us, it means a welcome back to some of our favourite visitors, the school groups.
It’s encouraging to note that in spite of all the pressures of the curriculum, testing, and meeting targets, schools still acknowledge the importance of outdoor educational learning.
Our visitors have meaningful adventures while learning in a totally different way, especially important in the case of urban schools where children have limited access to natural outdoor environments in their day to day learning. For instance, where else would they get the chance to use a bat detector? Staying here at Elterwater Hostel promotes the importance of allowing children to connect with the outdoor world, and the powerful and inspirational lessons to be learned by getting children outside.
Here the pupils have a rare chance to escape from their electronic environments. Sure, we have wifi, but there’s no TV; instead we have some imaginative – or downright whacky – board games, quiet corners to read, and enough wildlife on the doorstep for real entertainment value.
There’s evidence that it really does help. An academic study states that a residential learning experience provides opportunities and benefits/impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context or setting.
It’s not just the outdoor activities, the hiking or abseiling, kayaking or orienteering. Inside the hostel the youngsters learn to be independent, to be responsible for their own space and belongings, to share space, to appreciate that other people have different ways of doing things. And they quickly realise that a warm, dry room and a hot meal is the essence of “luxury” after a day out on the fells.
We welcome enquiries from schools, and if any teachers want to come and stay here to check out the area and the facilities, please do get in touch.