Sometimes the most valuable life lessons are learned outside the traditional classroom setting. At La Cote International School, Aubonne (LCIS) we are committed to providing our students with a well-rounded curriculum that develops the whole child. Outdoor experiential learning is not only a way to bring excitement into the classroom, but also offers a myriad of benefits that ultimately help shape your child into a responsible global citizen.
For many students, learning outside the classroom is a life-changing experience – broadening their minds, inspiring an openness to new challenges and instilling a deep sense of achievement. The wide-reaching benefits also include stronger academic results and improved social and emotional development. For example, we often see quiet students who would normally find social situations difficult, realise that they are a valuable member of the team and can contribute and interact with other students when learning outdoors.
These unforgettable experiences have a lasting impact, nurturing the lifelong knowledge, skills and mindset for your child to thrive in an ever-changing world. Students are also encouraged to lead their own learning which deepens their engagement and connection to the world around them.
Outdoor education activities nurture traits such as confidence, resilience and resourcefulness together with core skills including creativity, leadership and collaboration – qualities valued by universities and employers across the globe. Learning outdoors also marks the start of new friendships, creating bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.
Taking students outdoors also opens the door to new adventures and discoveries. Having a better grasp of the real-world and applying this to what is learnt in the classroom, helps to expand students’ minds. We often see in our outdoor education programmes that children become more interested and engaged in the world around them.
Our proximity to a variety of spectacular landscapes in Switzerland means that there is no shortage of exciting learning opportunities outside the classroom at LCIS. Great consideration goes into the planning of these outdoor education experiences to best suit the personal, academic, and social development of our students, all within a real-life context.
Over the past three weeks, for our 2021 Summer Term Camps we have seen students in Years 1-9 embark on a range of adventures from foraging in the forests of the Jura Mountains, orienteering and survival skills in the stunning greenery of Torgon and sustainability projects high up in the clouds on Glacier 3000:
With a stunning panorama of no fewer than 24 snow-capped 4000-metre mountains, students in years 6-9 were shown just how climate change affects us, the people around us and the world in which we live. Through sustainability projects adapted for each age group, students developed their understanding of the physical environment in the country in which they live, in a fun and enriching setting. Students also braved the world’s first suspension footbridge spanning two summits, went husky dog sledding, hiked on the glacier plateau and enjoyed the thrills of the Alpine Coaster.
Years 6 and 7 saw our students taken outside of their comfort zones as they battled to be crowned LCIS Ultimate Survivors. Through realistic immersive scenarios students were taught key survival skills such as fire-making, shelter-building, water filtration, first aid and navigation. Teamwork and strong communication skills were key to success, and we saw children overcome physical, mental and team challenges.
Integration and working together were a key component for Year 8 and 9’s Moving Mountains orienteering excursion to Torgon. Each team navigated their way around a giant orienteering course in the woods with team and bush craft challenge stations along the way. The aim was to illustrate how by working together effectively, students become more than just the sum of their parts.
For our secondary students we have a progressive outdoor education programme called the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. This year we have introduced a similar initiative for our primary students called the Camp Suisse Ed-Venture Award. The mission of this award is to provide our students with a well-rounded developmental journey from Bronze to Gold in a range of outdoor education skills.
Up in the beautiful Jura Mountains, we saw our students immersed in an exciting programme of activities which linked directly with each year group’s curriculum from flora and fauna, shelter-building, fire-making and rocket-building amongst others. At the end of each camp, children received a personalised certificate, allowing students to take pride in their achievements and reflect on the lessons learned.
At La Côte International School Aubonne, real-world, hands on experiences are tailored to different learning styles and levels to amplify every student’s growth and foster a love of learning. We offer unique experiences and activities that reach beyond everyday learning and we go further to broaden your child’s mind with positive opportunities and unforgettable experiences.