Action Learning Camps (ALC) are an annual event at Northbridge International School Cambodia. Secondary students have the opportunity to step outside of the classroom and develop a wide range of skills, trying new activities and forging deeper bonds with their peers and teachers.
Action Learning Camps are an important part of our curriculum, providing students with the chance to develop many aspects of the IB learner profile, particularly the attributes of being open minded, risk takers, balanced and reflective.
Our camps usually take place all over Cambodia. This year however, we decided the best way to continue with Actions Learning Camps was to bring the camps to Northbridge! Students took part in a range of activities on campus, and with day trips around Phnom Penh.
Throughout the three-day period, our middle school students engaged in challenging activities outside the confines of the classroom. These were a blend of off campus and on campus activities. On the first day, the 6th and 7th graders visited the Phnom Tamao Nature Reserve where they visited two animal rescue centres; one for wildlife such as elephants, tigers, and birds and the other for sun and moon bears.
Our students participated in producing enrichment toys for the animals involving ropes, bamboo tubes and wooden boxes. These are necessary to keep the animals stimulated and occupied. There was an opportunity for our students to learn about the problems and challenges facing animals from poachers and hunters.
On the second and third days Grades 6 and 7 students participated in on campus workshops presented by Cambodia Living Arts and Khmer Ceramics. Students learned about traditional Khmer dancing, music and puppeteering. The ceramic workshops allowed them the opportunity to practically learn about techniques such as modelling, coiling and pottery. The students' made their own bowls which will be returned to them as finished pieces of pottery in a month’s time.
Grade 8 began their ALC week by taking part in a sports challenge where they pitted their skills against each other. This was an exciting physical time which the students thoroughly enjoyed. Day 2 saw the students head off to The Factory where they were entertained by the Phare Circus in a private show. The amazing artists performed complicated gymnastic routines using ropes, hoops and their physical strength and agility.
After an early lunch, our students spent a thoroughly enjoyable and very physical two hours at the FLY Gym trampoline performing activities such as wall climbing, dodgeball and endurance jumps. That evening Grade 8 students had a school sleepover night. This was very exciting and the students showed their spirit of sharing by providing food for everyone. This was a huge success and the variety of food provided was amazing. They followed this with a singalong before retiring to bed for a well earned rest.
The final day for Grade 8 was back on campus where they took part in NISC talk, Bollywood Dance (a fusion of hip hop, bhangra and classical Indian dance) and Mural Painting workshops where each class produced a library based theme painting which was then displayed in our library. These proved to be very popular and enjoyable while the Bollywood Dance workshop had the students dancing and moving along with much enthusiasm and enjoyment.
Overall this has been an amazing time for all our students to be active as well as think about service opportunities. All in all a truly memorable time!
Grade 9 Students started the week with team buildings at Fly Trampoline, developed their circus skills in workshops provided by Phare Ponleu Selpak, before watching a private show by Phare Circus. They continued the week with the NGO Marketplace Challenge, where our partner NGOs set up a market at school for students to source products, they then had to consider ways of adding value to their products before auctioning them off in the afternoon.
This provided an excellent opportunity to raise funds for local organisations, and allow students to develop their entrepreneurial skills. To keep things balanced, Grade 9 completed camp with a creative outlet, creating large canvases to be displayed around the campus and redesigning our Northbridge elephants.
Grade 10 students started their ALC by learning some traditional Cambodian Dancing, Kun Khmer boxing and getting flexible both mentally and physically with some yoga and meditation. Monday evening saw the amphitheater turned into a ‘karaoke pit’ with some fantastic performances.
Some unseasonably heavy rain may have flooded both the field and many tents, but it didn’t dampen the spirits. On Tuesday Grade 10 expressed themselves with a visual arts day before taking part in an Urban Survival Workshop on the last day of the camp.
Grade 11 started the week by developing their cooking skills - with a limited budget and just one pan available, what culinary delights could they come up with? Judging by the smiles and reports from judges, this is a group of young people who will be more than capable of looking after themselves when they move out of the family home!
Tuesday was a day of urban survival, before a final day of traditional dance, Kun Khmer boxing and yoga to finish their ALC Experience, which was shared with Grade 12.
Grade 12 started off the week with sessions focused on developing the skills and mindset to survive real life urban challenges. Tuesday was a day of fun, and a chance to be risk takers as they tackled the flow rider and wild slides and rides at Garden City Water Park; a well deserved chance to unwind for a while after the pressure of the mock exams.