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Outdoor Education

Curriculum Intent and Rationale

Curriculum Intent and Rationale


The Outdoor and Adventurous Educationalist at King Edward VI Five Ways School aim to:


  • Foster a spirit of adventure

  • Provide outdoor and adventurous educational experiences for all

  • Support other departments by developing students with exceptional personal and social skills

  • Broaden the learning experiences and environment of our students

  • Maintain and build a strong sense of community with in school



For students we seek to engender:


  • Reflection and self-awareness

  • Empathy and responsibility to those around them

  • A sense of adventure

  • Resilience

  • A satisfaction in pushing one’s limits

  • The ability to analyse and take risks



Learning and undertaking activities in Outdoor Education at KEFW contribute to achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become:


  • Successful learners – who progress and achieve

  • Independent Learners – who have the skill to motivate themselves and reflect on their progress

  • Resourceful Learners – who can problem solve and plan


We aim to:


  • Provide a rich, contemporary and worthwhile curriculum in its OSLA course

  • Provide at least one meaningful Outdoor Education experience for every student on their journey through Five Ways

  • Provide opportunities in every year group to take part in an adventurous activity

  • Promote the benefits of Outdoor Education across the school

  • Stimulate students by the work set to fulfil their potential

  • Emphasise student achievements

  • Provide opportunities for students to take responsibility for their own work and to work positively with others

  • Provide opportunities for students to develop their personal and social skills

  • Provide opportunities for students to learn to deal with stressful and challenging situations

  • Promote the need for students at KEFW to look after themselves and others in their wider communities. Provide the opportunities for them to learn how to do so.

  • Develop an understanding of risk and how it applies to everyday life





The 2005 house of commons report on outdoor education gives clear evidence of the importance of Outdoor and adventurous education.

“The Committee strongly indicated that education outside the classroom is of significant benefit to pupils. Academic fieldwork clearly enhances the teaching of science and geography, but other subjects such as history, art and design and citizenship can also be brought to life by high quality educational visits. Group activities, which may include adventurous expeditions, can develop social skills and give self-confidence. Furthermore, outdoor education has a key role to play in the social inclusion agenda, offering children who may not otherwise have the opportunity the simple chance to experience the countryside, or other parts of our heritage that many others take for granted."


Our view of the value of education outside the classroom is supported by research evidence. Ofsted’s recent report, Outdoor education: aspects of good practice, finds that “Outdoor education gives depth to the curriculum and makes an important contribution to students’ physical, personal and social education”.


The recent Review of Research on Outdoor Learning, published by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and King’s College London, found that: “Those with a statutory and non-statutory responsibility for policy relating to outdoor education should be in no doubt that there is a considerable body of empirical research evidence to support and inform their work. Policy makers at all levels need to be aware of the benefits that are associated with different types of outdoor learning. The findings of this review make clear that learners of all ages can benefit from effective outdoor education. However, despite such positive research evidence and the long tradition of outdoor learning in this country, there is growing evidence that opportunities for outdoor learning are in decline and under threat.”


Outdoor Education is particularly important at Five Ways because:


  • Personal and social skills developed through outdoor learning are proven to boost exam results

  • Outdoor and Adventurous Education adds breadth to a curriculum in danger of being exam driven

  • Outdoor and Adventurous Education supports university applications for students striving to move into further education

  • Outdoor and Adventurous Education gives students the skills they need to move on from school into the real world

  • Outdoor and Adventurous Education develops the resilience needed to deal with grammar school work load and pressures

  • Outdoor and Adventurous Education increases a sense of community through an increased understanding of empathy and responsibility

Implementing our curriculum

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