During the last week of term, LVS Oxford focused the students learning on outdoor activities to help them develop their skills in areas such as team building, problem solving, communication and independence.
KS3 and KS4 enjoyed two day trips, one to Hill End outdoor education centre near Oxford and the other to Far Peak climbing and outdoor centre in the Cotswolds.
At Hill End the focus was very much on getting the students to work in small groups to take on physical challenges that required them to communicate with each other and work as a team. They also has the opportunity to build dens and were challenged to make them as waterproof as possible.
Students were able to really push themselves physically during their day at Far Peak climbing and outdoor centre. The centre is dedicated to climbing and bouldering, and has outstanding facilities for young people. With indoor climbing and bouldering facilities, plus a 15m tall outdoor tower surrounded by woodlands, the students were all able to participate and push themselves to overcome fears relating to height, balance and putting trust in their teammates.
Louisa Allison-Bergin, LVS Oxford’s Head of Centre, comments, “Outdoor learning is a vital part of our curriculum as students often join us with negative feelings about being in a classroom. Small class sizes and individual learning programmes help to gradually reduce students’ anxieties but taking the learning outside also has a very positive impact on student progress. Learners connect with their surroundings, push themselves physically and use their imaginations to engage with scenarios that teach them the benefits of working together as a team.”
Byron Davies, who is moving up to KS4 in September, adds, “I really enjoyed all the activities and being able to spend time in the woods. The climbing day was great fun as there were so many different things to try. I didn’t want to leave!”
Many of the tasks the students undertake will help build competencies in citizenship, relating to others, managing situations and working as part of a team - all key to being fulfilled and employable adults.