The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Outdoor Education

It is great to have the students back for Winter Term, but at the same time it will also be exciting to see them leave! By this I mean we are all looking forward to seeing our Senior School boys re-engage in the Outdoor Education programme, with two groups walking the Bibbulmun Track last week and our first group of Year 9 boys enjoying their Moray experience this week. We place great value on our programme and it is wonderful to be able to have all our Year 10 boys travelling on the annual expeditions in the last week of this term. Furthermore, the Year 12 Outdoor Education (General) group are currently located on the Murray River, while the Year 11 Outdoor Education (General) group and the Year 10 Cadets will be away during the next fortnight.

This has been possible due to the incredible commitment of our Outdoor Education staff and the support from our teaching and administration staff, who have either volunteered to accompany the group or have worked with the department to ensure everything is in place to ensure a positive experience for the boys. 

The benefits of these programmes are undeniable. The boys learn to work through challenging situations, develop as a team and build resilience. Often ,  they find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, without the comforts they are used to. Students have the opportunity to enhance their growth by pushing their limits of endurance and working through personal challenges or potentially uncomfortable situations. 

We all fail at different times and it is the manner in which we respond in these situations that is important. Often the experiences and learnings from these Outdoor Education programmes are felt immediately, but they will also resonate for years. Reflection is a vital part of this process and it is a skill the boys are using in other areas of life.

Outdoor Education also provides opportunities to develop positive relationships with the environment, others and ourselves through interaction with the natural world. This is essential for the wellbeing and sustainability of individuals, society and our environment and engages the students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings beyond the classroom. 

There are few things more rewarding than spending time in the outdoors, taking a break from our normal routines. This has been enhanced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is a great opportunity for the boys to experience something new. The lifelong learning opportunities that exist in the outdoor environment are fundamental to our development.  We are thankful our boys can participate in opportunities not available to many in the world at the moment.

We look forward to the busy term ahead in terms of expeditions, tours and camps, and trust the boys will enjoy the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.