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There is growing concern that opportunities for outdoor learning by children in the UK have decreased substantially in recent years. At Sunninghill we have always bucked this trend and with decreasing restrictions our children are heading back into the great outdoors.

Substantial evidence exists to indicate that fieldwork offers children opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in ways that add value to their everyday experiences in the classroom. Fieldwork can have a positive impact on long-term memory due to the memorable nature of the fieldwork setting and can lead to individual growth and improvements in social skills. In recent weeks Form 3 have visited Maumbury Rings, Form 6 have surveyed a church yard and Form 8 have planned to go to Lulworth Cove.

Outdoor Adventure programmes can impact positively on young people’s attitudes, beliefs and self-perceptions affecting independence, confidence, self-esteem, self-efficacy, personal effectiveness and coping strategies. They also help develop interpersonal and social skills such as communication skills and teamwork. Outdoor activities also promote positive behaviour and improved physical self-image and fitness.

In the last two weeks the Junior Prep Forest Schools lessons have left the school grounds to explore the local area, and not only is the sailing club for the seniors back on the water so are Form 3 and 4 for enrichment.

A group has also been enjoying the new facilities at Rockburn climbing centre. Fingers are crossed that the next change in government restrictions allows Form 4 to go to Brenscombe next week for a three day residential trip with more expeditions to follow this summer as we return to normal.

Mr Ian Stazicker – Outdoor Education

Ian Stazicker

Author Ian Stazicker

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