Outdoor education forms a core part of our curriculum, with regular forest schools in our lovely grounds, and beach school on our nearby coastline. Our wonderful facilities place us perfectly to use the natural world as an inspirational learning environment. Our curriculum makes great use of the outdoors as a way of making skills and knowledge learned in the classroom come alive. It is also a perfect canvas for project work that allows pupils to take full ownership of a challenge and unite different academic disciplines for greater insight and effective problem solving.
Our Outdoor Challenge Programme is uniquely tailored to allow children in years 1-8 to learn out of their comfort zone on expeditions that build determination, perseverance and self reliance. Just like the Duke of Edinburgh Award for senior school age pupils, this achievement award allows children the opportunity to be challenged and succeed in many different areas. The aim of the award is to develop in children the following attributes:
- Self reliance and resilience;
- Teamwork and leadership skills;
- Determination and perseverance;
- Risk aware (rather than risk averse);
- A love and respect for the outdoors.
It comprises training days throughout the year followed by an expedition during the summer term.
Forest School and Bushcraft: This incorporates the already well established forest school lessons such as working with tools, fire-lighting and shelter building, building on these objectives to include more advanced skills such as trapping, foraging and butchery.
Expedition Training: This is designed to give children the necessary skills to successfully complete the expedition phase eg navigation, climbing techniques, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, expedition cooking and the use of tents.
Bikeability: Children will be given the opportunity to complete the level 1, 2 and 3 Bikeability over a number of years.
Teamwork and Leadership: Pupils will complete low ropes, adventure courses, team challenges and practical leadership tasks (PLTs) during most sessions.
Safety Skills: this will include first aid, life saving and water rescue skills.
All year groups conduct one expedition at the end of the academic year. The expedition will consist of a residential in which the children will be expected to camp overnight. The younger year groups will be based in one location, but the older children will be expected to plan and conduct a journey.
National Governing Body Qualifications
An added highlight of the programme is that children will be able to gain the following national governing body (NGB) qualifications:
- NNAS Outdoor Discovery Awards 1, 2 and 3 Star
- BC Paddle Awards Start, Discover and Explore
- NICAS Level 1 Foundation Climber
- Bikeability Level 1 and 2