In this article we evaluate the effects that residential field courses had for 428 KS3 (11-14 year-old) students from 10 London schools in 2004. Teachers and students reported that levels of motivation and participation were very high, particularly where activities were adventure-based rather than purely academic. Many students surpassed their own expectations of achievement during the courses, and both students and teachers felt that the general levels of trust in others and the self-confidence shown by the students on the courses were higher than in school. Teachers were very impressed overall by the development of teamwork skills amongst the students and the vast majority of students maintained or built positive relationships with each other, with teachers and with centre staff. However, although students generally recognised that they had used or learnt new subject-specific skills, few teachers had planned how to monitor the effectiveness of the learning opportunities or how to follow them up in the longer term
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