Teachers have shared the positive impact that a ‘technology-free’ residential had on their pupils at Land & Wave in Dorset. 

Child jumping into the sea at Land & Wave in Dorset

Students are encouraged to leave technology behind at Land & Wave and throw themselves into the activities on offer.

Rosie Tanner, who works at Land & Wave, a Dorset-based outdoor adventure company, said she has seen first-hand how excited children are to be outside and away from their gadgets. 

She said: “There’s so much stigma surrounding kids being addicted to their phones, but I don’t think the advancement of technology is completely to blame. The real question is whether we are giving young people enough options to get outside and experience all the benefits we felt as kids. I don’t think it’s simply that children aren’t interested in spending time outside any more but perhaps there is less opportunity and space for them to do so.”

Children playing in the sea at Land & Wave in Dorset

Pupils work as a team and solve problems together without using devices.

Ceri Harries a geography teacher at Akeley Wood School in Buckinghamshire has taken two Year 6 school trips to Land & Wave over the last two years.

She said: “We don’t allow phones on this trip which the children are sometimes anxious about, but after a while, they don’t even notice they don’t have them!

“This rule really helps to give the children a tech break and fully immerse themselves in the outdoors. Being without a phone also seems to encourage the development of new skills like problem solving as they don’t have that immediate helpline to sort it out for them at the push of a button, they need to learn to work the problem themselves or as a team.” 

Pupils eating dinner together at Land & Wave in Dorset

Meal times are much more sociable without phones at the table.

Mrs Harries said they have been taking school groups to Land & Wave for 11 years now and added: “We notice such a difference in the children by the end of the week, they’re more independent and confident, they’re more sociable, they challenge themselves more and they seem kinder and more tolerant of one another.

“These trips remind us as teachers that the children really benefit from spending a week outdoors adventuring without technology and in the future, I’d love to get the older students at our school involved as well.”

“We don’t allow phones on this trip which the children are sometimes anxious about, but after a while, they don’t even notice they don’t have them!”

Ceri Harries, Akeley Wood School, Buckinghamshire

Child in the sea at Land & Wave in Dorest

Land & Waves offers a mix of activities which safely put pupils out of their comfort zone to build resilience.

Amy Kurton, assistant headteacher at Grovelands Primary School in Surrey, recently returned for her seventh year with Land & Wave.

She said: “Before we set off, the kids are often a little anxious about what’s in store for them and being without their phones but after a few hours of getting outside and joining in, they honestly don’t give their phones a second thought and you get to see them come out of their shell and the different personalities coming through. Their confidence really grows and they’re more open to throwing themselves into activities and overcoming their fears.” 

Land & Wave’s Rosie Tanner added: “‘We want every child to experience the woods, the beach, the cliffs and the countryside and all the incredible effects these places can have for their wellbeing and it’s so important that we continue to provide a safe space to teach children it’s okay to take a step back from technology every once in a while and that the outdoors can provide one of the best classrooms where we can all thrive and succeed.”

For more information about school visits to Land & Wave in Dorset, go to landandwave.co.uk.