Sun Shines for Outdoor Learning Day
Thursday, 11 June 2015
The weather could not have been better for the Year 3 girls on their Outdoor Learning Day. The blue skies and brilliant sunshine really made the day special for the children as they worked their way through a carousel of activities, all designed to introduce them to outdoor pursuits in familiar surroundings.
Girls were able to try their hand at Orienteering, Team Building, Bushcraft and Archery, and the whole year group threw themselves into the experience with a great deal of enthusiasm.
In the Orienteering activity, girls were given a map of the Bolton School grounds and had to use it to find a series of numbered markers. A competitive edge was added as the girls were timed on this activity, and worked in pairs to find them all before the rest of the group. While some of the markers were easy to find – on the railings around the playground, for example – others were very well hidden and provided more of a challenge!
The girls had a great time working on their Team Building. The group leader asked the girls to complete a series of tasks that required them to work together to solve a problem – from transporting a ball 15 metres using only a few pieces of pipe, to competing in a team ‘caterpillar race’ where girls had to keep hold of their teammates and move by jumping, but only one at a time. The activities really tested the girls’ ability to communicate ideas and work together, but by the end of the session they were able to perform really well as a group.
The Bushcraft activity was held in the wooded area on the edge of the school field. The girls learned more about different types of plant life and were asked to collect particular varieties of leaves. They could also take part in the blindfold ropes trail, in which they had to carefully follow a path marked by ropes tied between trees – without being able to see! The girls shouted advice and encouragement to one another as they went along, and there was plenty of giggling as they made their way around the course. They also learned how to create a shelter using a tent and natural materials, which was a really exciting experience for the girls.
Archery was one of the girls’ favourite activities of the day. They were able to try their hand at this unusual sport, and had a great time improving their skills over the course of the session.
The Year 3 Outdoor Learning Day provides the girls with a great introduction to the world of outdoor pursuits, and serves as a precursor to their overnight trip to Patterdale Hall in the Lake District in Year 4. The outdoor learning experience continues in Years 5 and 6 with more trips to Patterdale, and in Year 6 the girls can work towards their John Muir Award. This is an environmental award scheme aimed at encouraging awareness and responsibility for the natural world, and every Year 6 girl who took part achieved the certificate this year.
One of the Year 3 girls who took part in the day’s activities was Mia Livesey, who said, “It’s like we’re having a holiday today! It’s really hot and we’ve had a really good time. I’m looking forward to going to Patterdale Hall next year now.”
Year 3 pupil Anna Brennand also said, “I’d definitely do a day like this again.”
Mrs Brierley, the Head of the Junior Girls’ School, said, “It is widely recognised that learning does not have to take place just within educational buildings. The outdoors has huge potential for learning. It can be fun, adventurous, exhilarating, challenging and creative. This was just the experience offered to our Year 3 girls on their Outdoor Learning Day. The children engaged in a range of extra-curricular activities, as well as improving their listening skills and ability to work together as part of a team.
“We are fortunate to be able to provide such events in our extensive school grounds, where the younger children are in familiar surroundings with qualified instructors and teaching staff. Our aim is to offer formative experiences that inspire confidence, awareness and appreciation, values and responsibility. For our Year 3 girls this is the beginning of their future outdoor learning experience and education at Patterdale.”
To view a gallery of photos from the day, click here.