Last updated: 07/03/2016

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 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.