Outdoor education can be defined exploratory learning in the outdoors. The term however, is widely used to refer to a range of organised activities, which take place in a variety of ways, in mainly the outdoor environments.
It’s difficult to quantify the importance of Outdoor Education, however, what isn’t difficult to show is how this subjects links to the key principles that the school embrace.
A Sense of Belonging (development of relationships – co-operate with and respect the needs of others); Progress for All (personal development and social competence – develop self-esteem, enhance practical problem solving and team work skills); Additional and Different (learning and social situations and off site activities and engaging with the wider communities; extracurricular experiences such as day and residential trips – Outdoor Education, Duke of Edinburgh, Team Building/Enrichment and Extended Night)
Young people enjoy the experience that they gain from taking part within this subject. It doesn’t matter if the young people do not enjoy all the activities, but what does matter is that the young people explore new concepts and take part as the rewards that staff see when the young people engage/take responsibility for their own learning and encourages and inspires others.
Outdoor Education is primarily linked to the Vocational Education course. The primary reason for this is to help prepare the young people to experience activities outside the classroom. Due to the activities running offsite, Outdoor Education usually runs over three quarters of the school day in order to get the most out of the day. With this in mind, additional Outdoor Education sessions are organised to incorporate other year groups that do not have Vocational Education built into their curriculum. Some of these can be referred to as Interventions (whole school), Youth Awards (year 10s), and team building.
Young people participate in a range of activities including rock climbing (indoor and outdoor), kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, low level walking, high ropes course, gyhll scrambling and coasteering. These activities are delivered by a local outdoor activity centre but also by trained staff within the school.