You’ve probably seen from our school’s social media channels that Outdoor Education is a key weekly part of our school’s curriculum. But why do we place so much stock in pursuing activities in the Great Outdoors?
Let’s start with the more obvious elements: being outdoors and undertaking outdoor pursuits is beneficial to your physical health. The majority of activities that students take part in during outdoor education lessons feature some element of exercise. Combine this with fresh air and natural sunlight, and students will find that their overall health improves through getting back to nature.
But it’s not just physical health that is improved; being outdoors helps mental health too. Studies have shown that being outdoors improves mood and reduces feelings of stress and anger. The activities require teamwork, which means students also find that their social skills improve and they increase their social circles.
They say that variety is the spice of life, and through outdoor education sessions, the aim is to take students out of the classroom environment and experience a range of different adventurous opportunities through a variety of activities. With this in mind, this year, students have taken part in activities including: rock climbing and abseiling, orienteering, bush craft, den building, golf, and a range of other pursuits that they have responded overwhelmingly positively to.
As well as the benefits to physical and mental health, it is also a long-term goal for many of our students to participate in and complete their Duke of Edinburgh Awards upon reaching Key Stage 4. Through this internationally recognised programme, students commit to 4 key elements: a physical activity, a skill, volunteering, and finally the all-important expedition. Our last cohort of Duke of Edinburgh students attained their Silver award, and we currently have a bronze and silver group who are well underway with the programme.
Those who participate in Duke of Edinburgh tend to reflect fondly on the experience, having made positive memories for life. At The Lion Works School, we are proud to be helping our students continue this exciting and life-affirming tradition.