Worthing school introduces alternative outdoor learning initiatives

A Worthing school has been looking at imaginative ways to educate the students and has decided to give some the opportunity to work outdoors.

Children in years nine and 11 at Chatsmore Catholic High School in Goring have been working on alternative outdoor learning initiatives through the autumn term, in support of their formal studies.

There are three groups involved for one lesson per week and for some, learning outside the classroom has been a real experience.

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Philip Dean, outdoor learning leader, said: “I love the way these groups of students have embraced the alternative way that they can learn and progress.

Year-nine students building a shelter as part of their expeditioning lessons

“To some it has been a steep learning curve, not having a roof above their heads for comfort.

“Here at Chatsmore we think about the development of the whole character of the students and we are keen to look at imaginative ways to educate them.”

The year-nine students have been getting to grips with expeditioning, learning and experiencing all aspects of creating, running and reviewing an expedition that has sustainability as its core value.

This is the start of a three-year project, involving real expeditions, both locally and globally.

The students have also been looking at alternative ways to communicate, with sign language as the theme.

These personal development activities, including completing reflection diaries, have given them confidence and have bonded the team.

Student Ellie-Mae said: “I want to change the world by being kind.”

The GROWTH group from year 11 has been discussing goals, reality, opportunities, will, tactics and habits.

Using the outdoors environment, they have experienced leadership and team development, including rescuing a water source from a contaminated acid pool, plus shelter and fire building in the rain.

Student Jess Moore said: “I like to be involved in outdoor team activities because it helps you learn from your experiences.”

The project group, also from year 11, is working on a team event for the school houses, a party business supporting primary schools in the area and a dance event to promote health and wellbeing.