School Residential Visits

We run general outdoor education residentials throughout the year for primary and secondary pupils

A residential visit to Storey Arms is an ideal opportunity for children to explore and discover things, both about the natural world and also about themselves and others.


A residential visit to the Storey Arms Centre will have a positive impact on visiting young people, an impact that is often life changing.

Storey Arms Centre and Brecon Beacons

Some of the beneficial learning outcomes for pupils that result from a visit to the Storey Arms are

  • Helping pupils to realise that being physically active, eating and sleeping well are important aspects to their well-being
  • Being aware that others may find certain things more difficult than they do and, therefore, may require their help and support
  • Managing and communicating their own feelings and emotions, improves mental health and enables pupils to be more aware of those of others
  • Respecting the personal space, belongings and opinions of fellow pupils
  • Nurturing a curiosity towards the natural environment, the ways that physical and human processes have and continue to impact on it and developing strategies to improve their own actions to aid sustainability

Following a residential visit, teachers will see

  • Improved levels of knowledge, skills, listening and understanding
  • An impact on achievement
  • Improved relationships between pupils and between pupils and school staff

A residential visit also contributes to the ‘Four Purposes’ of the new Welsh curriculum, as well as the ‘Six Areas of Learning and Experience’. In addition, a number of the ‘Statements of What Matters’ in different areas are also relevant.

These contributions towards the new curriculum are often incidental to a visit and the activities, but we can make them more explicit if visiting staff wish to focus on particular aspects.


We tailor our residential programmes to suit the aims of the visit organiser and the needs and abilities of the group. We choose from a range of activities including gorge walking, caving, canoeing (and other craft!), hill walking, rock climbing, together with shorter, site-based activities. You can see more details about each activity here.

We usually focus on one main activity during the day. This enables pupils to engage fully with the activity, to improve their skill level and build resilience throughout the day. Occasionally, we may split a day between two activities. Some activities work together better than others and we will discuss this with visiting staff prior to the visit or on arrival.

We design all activity sessions to encourage learning:

  • They require pupils to work together, to encourage one another, to persevere and manage their resilience
  • We challenge pupils by teaching them new activities in different environments, allowing them to discover new things about themselves and others
  • We encourage pupils to slightly step out of their comfort zones. We do this in a safe and considered way with the instructor carefully managing the situation and outcomes.
  • Canoe problem-solving
  • Storey Arms View
  • Kayaking
  • Gorge Walking

Some schools undertake more than one visit to Storey Arms during the academic year, with different year groups on each visit. We tailor these programmes so that returning pupils experience either different activities on each visit, or maybe progress to the same activity but at a different, and often more challenging, venue. Alternatively, we can offer different learning outcomes on a second visit.

We work throughout the year and, very occasionally, the weather can be a limiting factor, restricting our choice of activities or venues. The flexibility in our programmes and the experience of our instructional team ensures that we still meet your aims for the visit. In fact, it can sometimes offer up exciting opportunities that are not usually available!

Outline Sample Programme

A typical residential programme at the Storey Arms Centre will look like this.

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

Following the meal there will be an evening activity. These are usually site-based and encourage the pupils to learn and practise other skills such as communication, problem-solving, providing support to each other, leadership and team working.

Depending on the time of year of the visit, the evening activities may take place in darkness. This can often add another dimension to the activity and can challenge the pupils further in different ways.

After the evening activity, once they are satisfied that everything is fine, the duty instructor goes home leaving the visiting staff to manage what remains of the evening. The pupils spend a little time making their sandwiches for the following day and relaxing before bedtime.

8.00 am
Breakfast – Visiting staff supervise breakfast with cereals and toast on offer. We encourage pupils to be involved in tidying and washing up after breakfast.

9.15 am
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

5.30 pm
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.

6.45 pm
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.

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