They will also have the chance to do some farming as the centre has its own organic garden that grows much of the food served to the centre’s guests. This will be a really fun time for the students but importantly, having these outdoor experiences will powerfully impact upon each child’s intellectual, physical, social and moral development.
Outdoor activities can be a great way for children to develop their self-confidence and self-esteem. Through successfully facing up to the challenges which outdoor activities provide, and overcoming fears and apprehensions along the way, the students often make major strides in confidence. There are also lots of opportunities for them to development communication, problem solving and decision making skills, all of which are valuable skills for their futures. They adopt a positive mindset, encouraging each other to "opt in" and have a "can do" attitude, supporting and encouraging each other to relish new challenges and to persevere even when things are hard. Spending the week living and working with their peers also provides rich opportunities for personal and social development as children have to work co-operatively and effectively in teams to complete tasks and are encouraged to show care, tolerance and the willingness to give and accept support from each other. These values and attitudes developed in a context of shared endeavour are vitally important and help to form a sound basis for responsible citizenship.
We also believe that this week of living, playing and gardening in the outdoors is a great opportunity for the students to experience the environment in a way which develops understanding, appreciation, and respect. We hope that their week away in Lin’An will help foster some sensitivity to the environment, and help the students to be more aware of themselves in a global context, and more aware of the need for sustainable use of the world’s natural resources. We can learn the theory in a classroom but learning about the environment while in this outdoor setting is much more powerful.
So we know that the Year 6s will have a wonderful experience next week and that, while there may be some challenging and tricky moments, they will gain a great deal from their adventure camp experience. On their return I am confident that we will see much enthusiasm to share tales of their adventures and great pride in what they have achieved.
Good Luck Year 6!
- Niki Meehan, Head of Primary