Mini Space Camps are one night, school based Science themed residential activities. The idea came about when we were trying to find ways to provide low cost residential experiences for our high numbers of Pupil Premium pupils. The solution was simple - residential visits in school - no travel costs and no accommodation costs but nevertheless an exciting and memorable experience for children of all ages.
In our programme every class in the school from Year 1 to Year 6 has the opportunity to participate in a Mini Space Camp each year, although other schools that we have worked with have introduced a Mini Space Camp for just one class or year group. We have planned a programme with progression in science learning and identified areas of Space Science and Astronomy we want to introduce children to in each academic year of their primary school journey. Although as a framework this initially worked well we have increasingly found amazing Space events occurring around our camps such as the Rosetta Mission, New Horizons Probe passing Pluto, Light Sail Project, Dragon X rockets and of course the awesome British Astronaut, Tim Peake heading out to the ISS. Now we take a much more flexible approach to really make the most of topical learning opportunities and the inspirational stories and resources that are regularly becoming available.
The Mini Space Camp model is straight forward. The children go home at the end of the school day to have their dinner and then their parents bring them back to school with their kit bag in the early evening. As they arrive they are allocated a tent (all named after Space Vehicles) and they have some time to set up their beds and unpack. The children then participate in a range of activities over the evening always including Astronomy observations, a Science Lab session, a Creative Challenge and some physical Astronaut Training. The children often have a Astronomy Ambassador come to visit from the local University and end their evening with a Space Cinema event. The children then enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows before tucking up for the night. It is a very busy evening and they all fall asleep very quickly.
In the morning the children continue their Space learning with more activities from our collection. We have also run additional activities such as Rocketry Workshops or a Planetarium show. When the children are starting to look tired they get to finish their Space Cinema and after lunch their families all come for a pupil led assembly where we show all the photos from the camp and the children tell their families all about their new learning and the best bits of camp.
For all the to get your camp off the ground visit our resources page.
To read a recount of a Mini Space Camp experience click here.