Outdoor education gives a different look to the curriculum
and it makes an important impact to a student’s personal, social and physical education.
These are achieved by a variety of outdoor and residential visits; outdoor and
adventurous activities; outdoor pursuits and also field work.

The
high standards of teaching in the outdoors in school based settings and centres
are generally quite good. Students mostly make good progress in outdoor
education, both at school and also outdoor centres. They develop their physical
skills in new and challenging situations as well as learning important social
skills such as teamwork and leadership that you don’t always achieve through
other educational subjects. Within the outdoors student’s attitudes and
behaviour during adventurous activities and outdoor education activities are
completely different and are often good and more mature, with matured responses
to challenging situations that are being put in front of them. These are regularly
noticed in lessons taught by teachers who are usually motivated and are up to date,
with expert knowledge of outdoor education and have a keen interest in using a student’s
trial and error within activities as a means of developing team work, self-motivation
and social attitudes. An example of this is a teacher who’s lively, challenging
students over their map-reading skills in a lesson, always being communicative.
Who’s questioning individuals and the whole group to determine their
understanding of key words to describe terrain and other features, the teacher
responds to their indecisions by asking them to picture the terrain and explain
how it would affect the route. the teacher keeps the pace of the lesson and
makes sure the activity supports the development of the students, as well as successfully
involving them in teamwork.
The outdoor education lessons being taught in school-based settings from less
experienced teachers tend to opt for activities less of a challenge which are
well within the capability of the students. This is due to the limits of resources,
locations and insecurities in the subject’s knowledge. For some teachers, it
could be recognized by the lack of understanding with good practice in health
and safety, fears of taking risks and the worry of the worst happening.  

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Children in primary schools
enjoy these opportunities to learn and establish new physical skills in these activities
that are rarely experienced by the majority of students in other schools.
Students often make a good and
increasing progress in outdoor education, both at school and also outdoor
centres. Their achievements are mostly achieved in sessions where they’re
challenged through constructive feedback from instructors and are given a series
of opportunities for listening and replicating behaviour, observing what others
are doing, asking questions when needed, exploring different boundaries and
applying skills in different situations. Students enjoy outdoor education
sessions because they usually experience more challenging activities, supported
by everything that’s needed around them. Despite all this, outdoor education
still remains within a smaller area in the physical education curriculum of majority
of schools.
The courses clearly make an
important contribution and impact to a range of the students physical and social
skills. Residential visits, specifically, have a positive impact on countless
young students.
Many students within the centres
enjoy the new challenges and are always wanting to take on responsibilities in
unfamiliar locations. Examples of this, is cooking their own meals, pitching a
tent up and even navigating a mountain walk are all new skills for many
students, and all which contribute towards their personal and social progress.
In most occasions, students demonstrate mature responses to new and changing
situations.
Remarkably, outdoor education
activities also include students in risk assessments and in the management of
risk. This is so they have an understanding and know the rules and regulations,
but mainly aimed at secondary students and older. Within outdoor education it offers
controlled opportunities for learners to identify dangers, assess the related
risks and then to make a decision on the significance of the risk in order to establish
and realise the necessary precautions to be made to eliminate and minimise any risks.
With student’s involvement and contribution, from outdoor education, in risk
management makes them more aware of any potential harm and this contributes
towards them being able to take more of a responsibility for their own and
other’s safety within the outdoor field. 

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