Throughout the week I was shown what to expect from a week long residential trip with Outward Bound (or similar outdoor experience companies/charities) and was shown several different types of activities that can improve student leadership and teamwork outside of the classroom or their ‘normal’ setting to remove school or home pressures to help students reflect about their relationships to others and think about their connection with the environment and world around them. I was gladly introduced to the John Muir Award for the first time which is an award focused on getting students involved in thinking about the conservation of the environment around us (something which I will definitely be using in the future to help engage students within Geography).
Alongside the course we were looking at a recently published book called "Learning through outdoor experience: A guide for schools and youth groups". The course covered the underlying principles of the book preparing us to plan effective outdoor learning experiences considering: "the Why" (a focus on the reasons for taking a trip outside of the classroom - the most important question for funders); "the Who" (deciding upon the demographic makeup of the group with an intended aim or focus); "the What" (planning and budgeting for the right activities to suit the needs), "the Where" (choosing the ideal location for this experience) finish off with the important decision of deciding on an effective Staff Team to take with you. Some more really useful advice and activities you can try can be found in this free publication right here.
Overall this course had a big impact on my view on outdoor experiences with schools and I can now see how they can be such a powerful stimulus for learning as-well as personal development. This was truly a fantastic experience and a privilege to be a part of, I look forward to working with the RANK foundation (who funded the course) and the Outward Bound Trust more in the future!