Rationale for outdoor activities and enrichment
Education is more than just learning English and Maths - it's also about activities that extend children's learning through new experiences and opportunities.
All children benefit from enrichment, but in our experience, children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with profound SEMH needs can benefit more from experiences and activities that they may not get out of school. At Roselyn House School and the RHISE Service we believe that enrichment Enrichment gives students opportunities to try new and varied activities that may not strictly fit into the curriculum, but that develop character, and , and encourage them to pursue wider goals.
It helps to teach that benefit children beyond the classroom, and can develop an appreciation for cultural and community issues, and social responsibility. Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has also found a link between enrichment and higher attainment in reading and maths.
Although there’s no statutory requirement for schools to provide enrichment opportunities, it’s encouraged by the Department for Education (DfE) and . Ofsted’s Inspection Framework emphasises the importance of personal development and extending the curriculum beyond academic achievement.
It assesses schools on whether they:
Self-perceptions are an individual’s own beliefs about whether or not they can accomplish a task. Self-perceptions are often seen as precursors to motivation Positive self-perceptions predict greater motivation which, in turn, encourages students to apply greater effort, leading to improved performance.
Motivation is why individuals think and behave as they do. They develop goals, the ability to be flexible, control situations and achieve well.
Perseverance is about sticking with a new skill or completing a task. It helps to develop long term goals and a sense of self fulfilment.
Self-control is the ability to resist short-term impulses in order to prioritise longer-term goals. Students may alter their own responses, especially to bring them into line with standards such as ideals, values, morals, and social expectations, and to support the attainment of long-term goals. This involves exerting self-control over behaviours, feelings, and thoughts in order to conform to rules, plans, promises, ideals, and other standards.
5. Metacognitive Strategies
Metacognitive strategies are goal-oriented efforts to influence one’s own learning behaviours and processes by focusing awareness on thinking and selecting, monitoring, and planning strategies that are most conducive to learning (Zimmerman, 2001). Students will understand their own strengths and weaknesses and set goals for the future.
6. Social Competencies
Non -cognitive skills involve social interactions and relationships with others including leadership and social skills. Leadership is defined and measured in many different ways but usually it concerns perceptions of having power and influence over other people or exhibiting behaviours related to being a leader such as organisational and management skills. Social skills relate to a wide variety of positive interactions with others including having good communication skills, showing empathy, having good friends, and being cooperative.
7. Resilience and Coping
Resilience is whether individuals continue to persist despite minor setbacks. Resilience is demonstrated when young people succeed despite exposure to significant risks. Coping refers to a wide set of skills/strategies and purposeful responses to stress.
Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas.
With outdoor education, achievement is not assessed and it follows no set curriculum, so how do we prove its worth for our students, and why are more and more schools making it a key part of their students’ education?
The very fact that it is not assessed allows students a chance to learn without the pressures of “failing”. Achievement is personal; the value is in the experience. Many students who struggle in the classroom often thrive in an outdoor environment; the move from visual and auditory to kinaesthetic learning is a refreshing change for all and notably of benefit to many students with SEN.
Physical activity is proven to help increase attention, reduce anxiety and develop coordination skills. However, for many students, the more traditional competitive team sports still put pressure on the students for results. That said, outdoor education can also be a great boost to high achievers in the classroom and to great sportsmen and women, and the experiences are very often some of the most memorable of a student’s schooling.
Outdoor education encourages students to work independently, use their initiative and exercise problem solving skills. When a student achieves the challenge of reaching the top of a climbing wall or mountain, masters paddling a kayak or faces their fears when caving, it helps them to realise what they can achieve when they push themselves. It also demonstrates the benefits of teamwork, as students are able to support each other both physically and emotionally.
Those running the activity can only encourage and support; the effort has to come from the student. Activities require perseverance, determination and sometimes braving bad weather, but the experiences teach students what they are capable of, pushing them out of their comfort zones and into new environments.
Outdoor based curriculum activities/ Forest Schools
Outdoor based curriculum activities and Forest Schools are unique educational experiences and processes that offers our students the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence, resilience, creativity independence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment.
Students engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers, with the appropriate footwear and clothing. They work with tools, play, learn and begin to understand the boundaries of behaviour, both physical and social. This helps them to grow in confidence, resilience, creativity independence and self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world.
These activities encourage young people to:
These activities may include:
These activities are curriculum-linked and span a number of subjects, including Maths, English, Design & Technology, Science, Music and Art.
On site we have developed a sensory garden with outdoor musical instruments, an outdoor story telling area, buddy benches, a living tepee and a zen garden is in development by students which will contain natural habitats for wildlife and a market garden.
Duke of Edinburgh
14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity. Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.
Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and further education and job applications. Employers recognise the work-ready skills Award holders bring to their business. The DofE licenses organisations that work with young people to run DofE programmes. Through the Licensed Organisation (LO) young people are supported by Leaders who support them through their programmes, helping them to choose their activities, set their objectives and achieve their Award.
There are four main sections of a DofE programme; Volunteering, Physical, Skills, and Expedition. At Gold participants will also complete a Residential section.
Volunteering is about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals.
Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation.
For your volunteering activity you need to choose to give time to do something useful without getting paid.
You can also volunteer in a team, which might be an easier way to find an activity if you can identify a local need you can help with.
For your physical activity you need to choose any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count.
For your skills activity you need to choose an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill.
For your Expedition section, you will need to plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. You must do the correct training for your level and mode of travel, at least one practice expedition, a qualifying expedition (the one that is assessed) and a final presentation in order to complete the section. Your expedition must be completed by your own physical efforts (but you have loads of choices, not just on foot!) with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance. Your route should also be a continuous journey.
The team must plan and organise the expedition; all members of the team should be able to describe the role they have played in planning. The expedition must have an aim. The aim can be set by the Leader at Bronze level only. All participants must be within the qualifying age of the programme level and at the same Award level (i.e., not have completed the same or higher level of expedition). There must be between four and seven participants in a team (eight for modes of travel which have tandem).
The expedition should take place in the recommended environment. Accommodation must be by camping or other simple self-catering accommodation (e.g., camping barns or bunkhouses). The expedition must be of the correct duration and meet the minimum hours of planned activity. All expeditions must be supervised by an adult (the Expedition Supervisor) who is able to accept responsibility for the safety of the team. Assessment must be by an accredited Assessor.
At Bronze level only, the Assessor may also be the Expedition Supervisor. Expeditions will usually take place between the end of March and the end of October. They may take place outside this period, if so, non-camping accommodation options should be considered.
Teams must have the opportunity to plan their own route and submit a route plan.
Planning the expedition Bronze: Expeditions should be in normal rural countryside – familiar and local to groups. Bronze: A minimum of 2 days, 1 night; 6 hours planned activity each day. Silver: Expeditions should be in normal rural, open countryside or forest – unfamiliar to groups. Silver: A minimum of 3 days, 2 nights; 7 hours planned activity each day. Gold: Expeditions should be in wild country (remote from habitation) which is unfamiliar to groups. Gold: A minimum of 4 days, 3 nights; 8 hours planned activity each day.
All expeditions must be by the participants’ own physical effort, without motorised or outside assistance. Mobility aids may be used where appropriate to the needs of the participant. All expeditions must be unaccompanied and self-sufficient.
The team must be properly equipped, and supervision must be carried out remotely. Teams must possess the necessary physical fitness, first aid and expedition skills required to complete their expedition safely. Groups must adhere to a mobile phone use policy as agreed with their Expedition Supervisor and Assessor. This agreement should also include use of other electronic equipment.
Participants must behave responsibly with respect for their team members, Leaders, the public and animals. Groups must understand and adhere to the Countryside /Scottish Outdoor Access, Highway and Water Sports Codes (as appropriate).
Participants must plan an appropriate expedition menu, including cooking and eating a substantial hot meal on each day. This is optional on the final day. Participants must actively participate in a debrief with their Assessor at the end of the expedition. At Silver and Gold level, a presentation must be prepared and delivered after the expedition.
Modes of travel
Eco Schools and Green Schools
Sport and Healthy Lifestyles
Engage student voices
Offer choice and variety
Promote active travel
Embed monitoring and self-evaluation
There is an association between being physically active and academic attainment and attention. Being physically active also helps to promote physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Children and young people who are physically active are more likely to continue the habit into adult life.
The Chief Medical Officer recommends that all children aged between 5 and 18 should be active for a minimum of 60 minutes per day.
PE Curriculum: See schemes of work
NCFE Sport and Sport’s Leaders
To be awarded the Level 1 Certificate in Sport, learners must achieve a minimum of 20 credits (5 units) to be selected from the 11 optional units
Unit 01 Taking part in sport
Unit 02 Sports coaching
Unit 03 Leading others
Unit 04 Personal exercise and fitness
Unit 05 Effect of exercise on human body systems
Unit 06 Strength and conditioning
Unit 07 Health and nutrition
Unit 08 Developing sports volunteering skills
Unit 09 Assist in a sports event
Unit 10 Understanding the sport and active leisure sector
Unit 11 Exploring employment in the outdoor industry