Curriculum for Excellence
Outdoor learning plays a key role in the new Curriculum for Excellence. It offers opportunities for all children and young people to enjoy first-hand experience outdoors, whether within the school grounds, in urban green spaces, or in Aberdeen's rich natural environments.
We aim to inspire learning through adventurous outdoor experiences. The outcomes from a learner's perspective are hugely powerful and embed themselves deeply throughout the breadth and depth of the C of E….here are just a few examples:
- Life long learning - Think back to when you were at school, do you remember activities weeks or outdoor Residential packagess?
- Health - Physical exercise that's fun, stimulating and motivating.
- Resilience - Challenging environments and weather conditions requires commitment and mental strength to carry out tasks successfully that is then rewarded by the establishment, peers and most importantly themselves.
- Creativity - Stimulating and testing challenges can help develop problem-solving skills and lateral thinking to
- Transferable learning - e.g. Learning to use a map compass to navigate develops a practical geographical and mathematical understanding.
- Risk Management - We create carefully managed situations for individuals to feel, taste and understand real and present physical risks and help develop a balanced decision making process.
A deeper understanding... By immersing individuals (sometimes physically!) into a new natural environment, all the body's physical senses, emotions and key social skills are used to rationalise the situation and learn.
Example: What a group may be thinking?
- I am in the sea!
- I never thought I could do this!
- I never though my teacher would do this!
- Its tastes salty!
- What makes the waves?
- Feel the sea weed.
- I need to keep myself safe.
- It smells funny!
- Listen to the birds and waves.
- Make sure my team mates know what to do.
- We need to listen to the instructor.
- How do we get the whole team to the next rock?
- This rock feels grippy under my boots.
- I've never been anywhere like this before!
- What's under this rock?
- This is really hard work.
- I need to carry this equipment.
- This is brilliant fun!
- I need to look after my friends and my teacher.
- I'm so excited.
- I will never forget this!
- Remember when we went coasteering?
Structure of sessions and programmes:
'Well constructed outdoor learning helps develop the skills of enquiry, critical thinking and reflection' Learning and Teaching Scotland 2010'
To realise there full potential we structure our activities in a way that allows learners to:
Briefing: Build realistic expectations of what the experience will be like and understand what is expected from them in terms of their responsibilities.
Activity: Enjoy! A dynamic learning environment with constant uplifting support and encouragement from positive and friendly staff.
Reflection: Often the most vital part of the process! A chance to internalise experiences, understand significance of their actions and reward themselves. Most importantly a chance to imagine where else they can embed these new found skills and confidence into all aspect of life.