All Junior School pupils participate in our outdoor adventures curriculum otherwise known as POLE (Pupils’ Outdoor Learning Experiences). The extensive school grounds provide the ideal location to go out and explore, have fun and learn. Sometimes the activities take place further afield, giving pupils the opportunity to explore different environments such as the local beach, Quex Park Forest School or Betteshanger Country Park.
Learning opportunities are provided through practical sessions in an outdoor environment, including forest school activities. Children enjoy the freedom to explore and experience the natural world in all seasons and in all weathers. POLE sessions, just like Forest School, embrace an approach of nurturing, supporting and developing the self-esteem of participants. It is an ideal environment in which to develop innovation, problem solving, risk taking, creativity and teamwork.
There are different themes each term, adapted according to each age group. The activities include scavenger hunts, orienteering, Geocaching, assault courses, team challenges, crafts, weaving, environmental art, creating animal homes and bug hotels, den building, erecting tents, mud kitchens, beach visits and roasting marshmallows on camp fires.
The benefits to our pupils are that they:
- adopt a positive attitude to challenge and adventure
- gain personal confidence and self-esteem through taking on challenges and achieving success
- develop their self-awareness and social skills and develop their appreciation of the contributions and achievements of themselves and others
- develop and extend their key skills of communication, problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking, leadership and co-operation
- enhance their overall well-being by gaining personal confidence and develop character and resilience through taking on challenges and achieving success
- understand the importance of conservation and sustainable development
- acquire and develop a range of skills in outdoor activities, fieldwork, exploration, journeys and expeditions
- demonstrate increased initiative and innovation, enthusiasm, curiosity, self-reliance, responsibility, perseverance, tenacity and commitment
- learn to appreciate the benefits of physical activity and the lifelong value of participation in healthy leisure activities and reflection
- display an increased motivation and appetite for self-directed learning that will contribute to raised levels of attainment in other aspects of their development, as well as becoming concerned, responsible and fulfilled citizens