Outdoor Education adds an important dimension to students’ learning and personal development and continues to be an integral part of the Middle School experience. Participation in this program has the ability to broaden a student’s perspective, transform attitudes and behaviours, and provide relevance to their relationships with others and their understanding of the natural world. Outdoor Education also provides the girls with opportunities to work collaboratively with their peers as well as developing their own independence. In an environment of encouragement and positive recognition these experiences facilitate personal growth.
Students learn to take responsibility for themselves, experiencing real challenges under, at times, quite demanding environmental conditions, and quickly become more aware of their personal strengths, learning the value of co-operative endeavour. Through challenge, at both a personal and team level, the girls experience enhanced self-esteem and confidence, improved communication skills and a greater sense of community with both their peers and teachers. Outdoor Education enhances the girls’ perception of what they are capable of, whilst developing their understanding of how their actions affect themselves, others and the environment.
In the Middle School, students from Years 7 to 9 take part in a camp each year, where they are introduced to a carefully structured and sequenced combination of activities.
‘I learnt that trust is a key quality for every activity’.
‘I loved the whole week. I cannot choose a favourite moment because I loved the whole experience’.
‘My favourite moment at camp was when we hiked through the swamp and everyone was enjoying themselves and laughing’.
‘I learnt communication was important because it helps the team to work together’.
‘I have become closer to the girls who were in my group and I learnt that you can’t give up if you want to achieve something’.
‘I loved sleeping in tents. I will always remember the nights my group sat down and just simply watched the stars. it was so nice to be able to take time to notice what was around us’.
‘I gained greater appreciation for the conditions that we live in and a greater understanding of how a positive attitude can really turn a situation around’.
‘I learnt that I am able to do so many things if I take a risk, overcome my fears and just give it a go’.
‘I will always remember the feeling of abseiling down the cliff and also working together and encouraging each other in the bushwalk’.
‘I am able to do things I didn’t think I was able to, that it’s okay to not be good at everything and to push myself’.
‘I learnt that you should always let other express their opinion because their idea may be better than yours’.