Community

outdoor education in the junior school

We are delighted to be offering Outdoor Education for Form 7 and 8 at St Edmund’s from September 2020. The ethos behind the subject will be to get pupils outside and learning though a variety of new experiences. The goals of learning outdoors focus much more on children growing their confidence, social and environmental awareness, improving health and wellbeing, making friends and of course having fun.

There’s a growing body of evidence which shows that spending time outdoors and being in a natural environment has powerful positive impacts on the development of children as well as their appetite for learning and increased self-motivation. They will also pick up a wide variety of new skills that they will be able to use throughout their lives and also hopefully inspire a lifelong interest in outdoor activity.

The new Outdoor Education programme at St Edmund’s aims to offer a high-quality outdoor scheme of work with a varied and progressive curriculum which leads on from Forest School in the Lower Junior School, and links into the outdoor education provided by CCF and DofE in the Senior School.

In Form 7 the focus is on experiencing and conserving the natural environment. Examples of some of the sessions will be; growing food, planting trees and bee-friendly plants, bush craft sessions e.g. fire and shelter making, animal camera traps, pottery, other crafts and wild food.

In Form 8 the focus will be more adventurous with the sessions teaching outdoor skills and sports. For example canoeing on the Stour, climbing, archery, mountain biking and orienteering. There will also be progression of the bush craft skills with the use of some tools and teaching outdoor cooking. The subject also aims to teach, practice and encourage sustainability and environmental awareness, we aim to fully support the school’s target of a net zero carbon footprint.

The measures of success for the subject will come from a series of outdoor awards across the two years. The John Muir Award aims to engage people to help conserve natural places. There are three awards and the aim is that by the end of Form 8 everyone will have the opportunity to complete the first two awards, and the third will be on offer in the Senior School. We will also be awarding nationally recognised skill awards in outdoor sports depending on which sports students decide to pursue.

We hope everyone will be excited as us to be starting this new subject in the school from September.