Outdoor Education is an important aspect of the taught and wider curriculum at St. Julian’s and forms a strong part of the Learning Events that happen regularly throughout the school. 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 collaboratively and independently 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 life skills and experiences that are required in these increasingly competitive times.
Skills For Life
As the majority of students in Year 10 now complete the Skills for Life Award (an in-house equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Expedition) 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 Award 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 Year 10 students have the opportunity to experience:
- the high tree rope course at Jamor,
- to tackle the school’s military-style assault course within the grounds of St. Julian’s,
- go rock climbing on the sea cliffs of Guia in Cascais,
- learn survival skills,
- participate in a wide range of problem-solving challenges,
- participate in activities within the grounds of the school and the surrounding local environment.
During the second year of OEP 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. Students also have the opportunity to prepare a lesson which they then deliver to a Primary School class, along with undertaking a three week water-based life saving course, which is designed to prepare them for the Silver Award canoeing expedition at the end of Year 11.