Outdoor Education Programme

The Outdoor Education Programme (OEP) is a course offered to all students in Years 10 and 11. As the name suggests, it involves a range of activities that take place outside of the regular classroom.

The aims of the OEP are many. By giving students exposure to a range of outdoor activities they will have the opportunity to learn about working together to achieve a common goal.

Along the way they will learn the value of teamwork, practice leadership skills and appreciate individual differences within a group environment. At a personal level the programme will develop the student’s personal confidence, in particular, when participating in some of the more challenging activities. Not only will the students improve their physical aptitude, but will also learn important skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Increasingly, universities and employers are looking to select students that not only have the academic qualifications but who can offer something above and beyond other candidates. The OEP will help to equip students with the extra skills and experiences that are required in these increasingly competitive times.

As the majority of students in Year 10 now complete the Skills for Life Award (an in-house equivalent of the Bronze Premio Award) the OEP in Year 10 has been designed to help students in preparation for this award. This will include basic navigational skills, camp craft etiquette and at least one practice walk in the Sintra hills. The course will also benefit those students that have already completed the Skills for Life Award and are about to embark on the Silver Premio in Year 11.

The OEP comprises of number of testing activities, many of which are designed to challenge the students both physically and mentally. Over the course of the Autumn Term Year 10 students have the opportunity to experience the high rope course at Jamor (www.adventurepark.pt), to tackle the school’s military style assault course within the grounds of St. Julian’s, learn survival skills from British Marine Commandos, in addition to a wide range of problem solving challenges and activities within the grounds of the school and the surrounding local environment, such as orienteering.

In Year 11 the theme of team-work, communication and problem solving in an outdoor environment continues, culminating in a thrilling afternoon of coasteering along the Sesimbra shore.

During terms two and three Year 10 students complete a collective project which requires students to:

• undertake personal research
• work with others in small groups
• make a presentation to their peers
• produce a written project

The students will also focus on developing the competences needed for the two day expedition, which forms part of the Skills for Life Award. Lessons in camp craft, cooking, navigation and route planning will be included in this preparation.

Over this same period Year 11 students will complete two 3 week courses. The first is a life- saving course which is completed in a local pool. Not only does this foster team-work and collaboration, but it helps prepare students for the Silver canoeing expedition at the end of the year.

The second element is a school based community project. Students will work in small groups with the objective of planning and then delivering a lesson to a primary School class.

The programme is constantly evolving, with new activities being added to the programme every year.

O

ur purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.

Our purpose is to create a happy, secure and stimulating learning environment within which all members of our community can achieve their full potential and develop a commitment to lifelong learning.