Outdoor Education Home
We have an industry leading programme of Outdoor Education which our pupils follow as part of their curriculum from Year 6 – Year 10. Using the beautiful peaks, valleys, rivers, lakes, forests beaches and sea surrounding our location near Snowdonia National Park, our pupils venture out to take part in a progressive series of outdoor activities. Pupils could find themselves climbing, canoeing, kayaking, caving, sailing, orienteering, team tasks, mountain walking, beach activities or learning Survival Skills (Bush Craft), to name a few examples.
St. David’s College firmly believes in education outside of the classroom, and we strive to go beyond just learning the skills necessary to participate in our range of outdoor activities. Using the outdoor environment as a giant outdoor classroom, we try and use it to enrich their school curriculum by linking traditional classroom subjects into outdoor education days. Learning outcomes from these days include building confidence, developing a better awareness of communication and team work, problem solving, leadership and helping our pupils in becoming more rounded individuals. This is facilitated by a highly experienced and well qualified team of Outdoor Education teachers within the department, all of whom are Accredited Practitioners of the Institute of Outdoor Learning, alongside their teaching and activity qualifications.
Starting in year 6, pupils will start on a programme of outdoor lessons designed to help them interact as a group and as in Year 7, pupils will embark on a series of taster sessions, with lessons taking place for a whole day, every other week, forming an introduction to the outdoor environment. This will progress through the year, with a short break over the colder winter months when we run low level ‘Celtic Saints’ walks on Anglesey. These walks are way marked by Anglesey County Council, and allow us to explore points of interest and the beautiful coast of Anglesey, with various activities along the way. We also organise a programme of educational visits to local venues linking into the school’s Personal and Social Education Provision. Advancing into Year 8 will see pupils continue to explore the outdoors, with the challenges faced becoming gradually harder in order to provide a fresh adventure each time.
Year 9 pupils continue in their lessons in the outdoors every other week, and are given training towards their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the training expedition of which is undertaken towards the end of the year. They also take part in a programme of lessons leading towards towards them gaining the John Muir Environmental Award, at the same time as continuing with activities started in Years 7 and 8. The John Muir Award also counts towards the volunteering section of their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Our Year 10 pupils are lucky enough to train for and undertake a week long expedition in an activity of their choosing. Groups in the past have participated in expeditions from a sea kayak, a canoe, on foot, under sail, down white water rivers, climbing or caving. Training for these expeditions makes up the bulk of the work during Year 10.
In Years 12 and 13 we offer the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Sport. Within this qualification we utilise the outdoor education based modules to create an interesting and varied programme of study based around the skills required to participate in outdoor activities, and the principles and practices behind the provision of outdoor education.
“The outdoor education curriculum provides pupils with a well-planned and extensive range of opportunities to take part in exciting and challenging activities. Pupils gain self-confidence and self-esteem through meeting significant and progressive challenges set for them by very skilled instructors.”