Outdoor education is an integral part of the learning environment at The King David School. The program extends students’ learning into the outdoors and uses scope and sequence to transition learning from one year to the next. Outdoor education is an ideal complement to classroom learning, with a structured program to ensure that students learn valuable ‘life skills’.
The King David School Outdoor Education program takes an adventure-based, holistic approach to education, requiring the meta-skills of decision making, problem solving, personal development and leadership. It also educates our students about social and ecological sustainability.
Students from Years 3 to 11 participate in the Outdoor Education program. After Year 4, all camps are conducted at different locations.
Our Outdoor Education program aims to encourage:
- self esteem
- social skills
Outdoor Education activities are also designed to develop students’ interpersonal skills. Students learn how to negotiate with others to achieve the best results, develop safe risk-taking strategies, work best as individuals and within teams and how to lead others in challenging situations. Students develop important skills that help shape their adult lives.
As part of the School’s commitment to developing critical thinking skills, teachers encourage students to evaluate their feelings towards the camps they experience. Thinking routines such as “I used to think … but I now think …” are used by teaching staff to extend the students’ outdoor education experiences.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities located in the outdoor environment. These include rogaining, ropes courses, hiking, climbing, abseiling, water based activities, bivouacking and cooking in bush settings.
Canoeing is an example of a specific skill that is introduced and developed year on year allowing students to achieve mastery. In Year 3, students canoe on flat water in a lake, in pairs. By Year 4, they negotiate slightly moving water, while still canoeing in pairs. In Year 5, students canoe for a whole day to a new destination where they then camp overnight. At Year 6, students take on the challenge of white water rafting and at Year 7 students tackle the open water with ocean kayaking.
The Year 9 Expanding Horizons, which is a full year program, commences with the Rural Project encompassing a 3 week camp. In a rural environment students learn independence and responsibility as well as exploring rural towns, the services they offer, the issues of sustainability and settlement. In small groups students undertake unsupervised hiking and bivouacking, team building activities and leadership exercises.
Skiing and snowboarding are the focus of Year 10 Camp, preparing students to choose from a range of leisure activities as adults.
An expedition based camp that allows students full independence, whilst working within teams is the goal of Year 11 Camp. Students spend four days at Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park in NSW. Practical skills in sailing and water navigation are taught. The navigation skills required when sailing, and the team effort required in working and steering the yachts is extremely important as it calls upon all students to communicate effectively with one another and assist each other in demanding situations on the water.