Our team of outdoor tutors are very experienced at working with pupils, and adults, who have a learning disability. This depth of knowledge and experience allows them to adapt our activities depending on the needs of the group.
We choose our activity venues carefully, allowing us to challenge individual pupils appropriate to their different abilities, whilst making sure that they are safe and having fun.
The learning outcomes of a visit to the Storey Arms include:
- improved self-reliance – managing personal care, dressing for different activities, looking after belongings
- learning to be away from home in a different residential setting
- enjoying new experiences – on activities, in the outdoor environment, new food!
- having fun with teaching staff and fellow pupils
Many of Cardiff Council’s special schools and special resource bases choose the Storey Arms for their residential visit. We are close enough for pupils to have a pre-residential visit to the centre, which can be useful for pupils who may be anxious about new places and experiences.
We have a small, self-contained dormitory unit in the New Building. This is ideal for small groups when we have another group in residence. The positive interaction between pupils from different schools (with and without a learning disability) can be a valuable experience for everyone!
Outline Sample Programme
We plan and tailor each programme to suit the visiting leader’s aims and the needs and abilities of each group. Timings throughout the day tend to be more relaxed and flexible, although we try to keep to the 5.30 pm evening meal.
Arrive at the Storey Arms at 10.30 am
We welcome pupils to the centre with a briefing session which includes:
- settling into bedrooms
- a tour of the centre
- issue of their clothing and equipment from the stores
Pupils eat the packed lunch that they have brought with them for the first day, most often in the dining room at the centre but sometimes we get away earlier and have lunch out.
We spend the first afternoon doing an activity in their activity groups
We return to the centre in time for pupils to hang their equipment in the drying room, shower and change. They have a short period of free time before their evening meal at 5.30 pm
Visiting leaders can choose whether to have an evening activity or just help their pupils enjoy an evening away from home, playing games or watching a DVD!
Once they are satisfied that everything is fine, the duty instructor goes home leaving the visiting staff to manage what remains of the evening. If appropriate, the pupils can help visiting leaders to make their sandwiches for the following day and then relax before bedtime.
This is where the programme can be flexible on both timings and how things are done. Our staff will discuss with visiting leaders on arrival, how to best structure the day.
Breakfast – Visiting staff supervise breakfast with cereals and toast on offer. We encourage pupils to be involved in tidying and washing up after breakfast.
Morning Briefing – Our instructors brief the separate activity groups, explaining what activity is being done that day, what clothing and any additional equipment they might need and to assess the wellbeing of the group.
10.15 am (approx.)
Departure for the day’s activity
3.30 – 4.30 pm (approx.)
Return to the centre, sort out equipment and shower
Evening meal – our Domestic Team prepare and serve the evening meal but pupils help with tidying away and washing up. We also encourage pupils to take part in other duties around the centre.
Evening activity and free time
If you are departing in the morning, pupils spend the final morning packing and tidying dormitories, returning any equipment they have used and making sure they have all their belongings. We aim to have you away by mid-morning.
If you are leaving at the end of the day, we like pupils to have packed, emptied and tidied their dormitories prior to our departure for the final activity.
We aim to return from the final activity with sufficient time for pupils to shower, sort out the drying room and gather the last of their belongings together, prior to your scheduled departure from the centre.