Outdoor education aims to create an exciting and fulfilling environment where young people can encounter risks and new experiences in a controlled space, from team games and fire lighting to Maths, English and Science. Outdoor education enables our young people to explore learning beyond the classroom and supports developing an appreciation and understanding of the world around them. This approach allows students to build on interpersonal skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and assessing and managing risks whilst improving communication, confidence and self-esteem, ultimately helping our young people to overcome adversity and build their resilience.
Many of our learners have very limited access to green outdoor space where they live and do not spend time in nature. As part of our 'Wellbeing Wednesdays' programme, year 9 pupils can develop their community inclusion skills in the outdoor explorers option, visiting local parks and natural spaces to participate in team-building activities. At Soundwell, we are fortunate to have two outdoor classrooms, the first of which is already very well developed as a mud-kitchen and exploratory play area. Thanks to a generous grant from the John James Foundation, we are in the process of realising our vision for the larger outdoor classroom, which will soon have vegetable beds to grow produce for our school kitchen, a pizza oven, den-building area, parachute canopy and fire pit.