Region: East of England

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Accommodation & Residential Trips

Address: Gorsefield Rural Studies Centre, Grove Hill, Stansted, Essex CM24 8SS

Contact: 01279 813320 - 07903 113709



Gorsefield Rural Studies Centre is a residential centre based in the village of Stansted Mountfitchet in Essex. The Edwardian House sits on a 7 acre site surrounded by the picturesque Essex countryside. It has been owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets since 1990 and welcomes schools and community groups from the Borough throughout the year. The centre provides a warm and welcoming environment in which visitors can feel safe and secure.

What group sizes do you cater for?
Gorsefield can comfortably accommodate up to 37 children. Children are split between five bedrooms, each sleeping between six and nine children. All rooms are fitted with washbasins and have adequate storage space in draws. An additional en-suite disability suite is also available on the ground floor which can accommodate two children who use a wheelchair. There are also 5 staff bedrooms split between the three levels of the house. All bedding is provided in the form of sheets and duvets. Shower and toilet facilities are available adjacent to the bedrooms.

Please give information regarding room sizes and room facilities?
How many children can you accommodate per room, do you have bunk/twin beds? Do rooms have en-suite or shared bathrooms, T.V or air conditioning?

The bedrooms are primarily on the first floor and sleep the following amount of children:
Bedroom 1 - 7 beds
Bedroom 2 - 8 beds
Bedroom 3 - 10 beds
Bedroom 4 - 7 beds
Bedroom 5 - 6 beds
Nb: There is an adjoining door between rm 4 and rm 5 so children in these rooms should be of the same gender. There are 3 staff rooms on the first floor and an additional staff room on the ground floor. We also have a wheelchair accessible ground floor bedroom which sleeps 2 children.

What is the cost of the accommodation?
For a full week and a group rate for 30 which works out to be very affordable per pupil is between £5000 and £7000 – please call for more details and the best package that suits you requirements.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?
We follow the code of conduct through local authority and guidance and we do weekly and annual checks

Does your Accommodation have a booking contact?
Gavin Telephone: 01279 813320

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

Please list facilities available.
The house also has a variety of study and social areas that can be used by groups. A classroom with chairs/ tables and a whiteboard is available for activities/ lessons and our computer room houses five new computers and an interactive whiteboard. Social areas include a sitting room and conservatory with television, DVD and an interactive whiteboard and projector- great for movie nights!

Food is provided by our experienced cooks throughout the week/ weekend. Meals are served in our homely dining room. Breakfast is served at 8am and includes cereal, toast and a cooked element. Lunch and dinner are served at 12.30 and 5.30 respectively and include a seasonal main meal and pudding. We pride ourselves on our healthy menu and our kitchen staff have won awards for their cooking. Fruit and water are readily available throughout the day so no one goes hungry or thirsty! Special diets can be catered for providing adequate notice and all meat served is halal.

To ensure the quality of the residential experience, the centre staff will work with visiting schools to design a programme which meets the needs of the children and the curriculum. The centre offers a number of activities, a short description of each is included to help with the planning of your trip.

Archery is taught by Gorsefield staff and is suitable for yr4+. The maximum group size is 12 and a session takes 1hr15m. Pupils learn the basics of archery including safety, equipment and technique. It is a great sport to try as improvement is generally rapid and it is fun for all ages.

The classroom and grounds provide space for a variety of artwork activities. Artwork activities are generally lead by visiting staff and art materials should be brought with you. Sketching, painting, plaster of paris, collages, Andy Goldsworthy environmental art and card making have all proved popular in the past.

Campfire cooking
Campfire cooking is taught by Gorsefield staff and is suitable for yr4+. The maximum group size is 12 and a session takes 1hr15m. Pupils collect wood, build an open fire and make bread. Fire safety and science are incorporated into the teaching and pupils love consuming the end product- warm, fresh bread dipped in jam!

The centre owns a set of tents which can be used during the summer months if groups fancy a night under canvas. Sleeping mats are provided and children bring duvets and pillows from the bedrooms to keep them warm.

Countryside walking
The countryside around the centre provides the opportunity for a lovely walk. Incorporating meadows, fields and forests, it provides a real feel of the Essex countryside.

Cycling is taught by Gorsefield staff and is suitable for yr4+. The maximum group size is 12 and a session takes 1hr15m. Pupils learn safe cycling techniques and practice their skills on our purpose built cycle track before trying our new mountain biking obstacles. The session is also suitable for non riders who can learn and practice on our large grassy area.

Digital moviemaking
Pupils use our new ‘Flip Videomakers’ and computers to create a short movie. The cameras are very simple to use and allow groups to make nature documentaries or souvenir movies to show parents on the return to school.

Gardening is a great activity for all ages and is lead by the Gorsefield staff. Pupils assist with a variety of gardening tasks including planting, harvesting, leaf collecting, ground preparation etc. It can be done throughout the year in our two polytunnels. The products of this activity are regularly found on the lunch table!

Mini beasts
Pupils explore the site in a hunt for mini beasts. The activity links well with classroom work on habitats and life cycles. Keys, books, identification sheets and equipment for catching the insects is provided

Orienteering is led by the Gorsefield staff and can be adapted for children of all ages. Pupils learn basic map reading and then undertake an orienteering course based in the grounds of the centre.

Pond dipping
Pupils use the centre’s pond dipping equipment to hunt for creatures in our on-site pond. Identification sheets and keys are provided for pupils to learn about the creatures they find. This activity links in well with the study of habitats, life cycles and food chains.

Shelter building
Pupils use bamboo sticks, elastic bands and material to design and construct a shelter. This is a great activity for teamwork and thinking about the design and shape of different structures

The centre has space for a variety of sporting activities. We have a basketball court, a football pitch and plenty of room for games such as rounders, cricket and badminton. The centre owns limited sports equipment so groups are encouraged to bring their own equipment.

Team building
Pupils are split into small teams and move around a variety of challenges based within the grounds. The challenges are designed to encourage teamwork and groups must work together in order to solve them. Activities include a blindfold obstacle course, a ‘raging river’ and an enormous spider web!

Village study
Stansted Mountfitchet provides a great location for a contrasting locality study. Resident questionnaires, traffic surveys, land use surveys and sketching can be used to build up a picture of how like in Stansted differs to that in Tower Hamlets. This activity can also tie in with a walk to the windmill in the village. It works best if a similar study is also done in their home environment.

Village trail
We have two different trails that lead children around the historic village of Stansted Mountfitchet. Pupils can undertake a scavenger hunt, answering questions about various buildings etc, or can do our ‘photo trail’ where teams compete to locate where different photos were taken.

Willow weaving
Willow weaving is suitable for year 4+ and is led by the Gorsefield staff. Pupils learn basic traditional willow weaving technique and create a small piece of weaving to take home. This is a great activity for the colder months and enables children to learn a traditional craft.

Do you have disabled facilities?

What are your opening days and hours?
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Is there anything else that you feel is important and want to include in your information?
• Provide activities and space that encourage physical exercise and develop co-ordination
• Provide home cooked, healthy food.
• Provide a positive environment that promotes development of healthy self esteem and emotional wellbeing.

Enjoy and Achieve  - Gorsefield aims to:
• Provide a safe, welcoming environment for all visitors.
• Promote high standards of behaviour and develop children’s awareness of risk and their responsibility in controlling hazards.

Stay Safe  - Gorsefield aims to:
• Provide all children with an opportunity to experience new activities in a different learning environment.
• Provide children with an opportunity to study and experience life in a rural environment.
• Provide opportunities to develop and extend aspects of the National Curriculum that are studied in class.

Make a Positive Contribution - Gorsefield aims to:
• Increase children’s understanding of the environment and the importance of sustainable living
• Enable teachers to gain greater understanding of children’s learning needs and social development, so that classroom learning can be more effective, enabling children to achieve more.

Achieve Economic Well-Being - Gorsefield aims to:
• Give children the opportunity to experience new things and open their eyes to new challenges, environments and ways of living.
• Encourage children to develop the independence, self confidence, sense of responsibility and positive social attitudes that will enable them to contribute positively to society and achieve prosperity.

Age of Children / Pupils: 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

Accommodation Type: Outdoor Residential Centres

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