Pioneering new programme to help primary pupils in Highland
After a year of disruption, Outward Bound and The Highland Council have teamed up to offer more than 2,500 young people outdoor learning sessions, to help them make the move up to secondary school.
Each and every one of the 2527 pupils in their final year at the 165 primary schools in The Highland Council region of Scotland will take part in an outdoor learning session before the end of term, to help them prepare for the transition to secondary school.
The pioneering Highland Primary Transition programme has been made possible with funding from ‘Get Into Summer’ the Scottish Government’s targeted provision for summer activities for young people accessed by The Highland Council – and Outward Bound and their supporters, including Mowi Scotland.
Outward Bound were asked to work with Highland Council’s P7 pupils to ensure they feel well equipped and prepared for the next big chapter in their lives.
Every P7 pupil will take part in an interactive outdoor learning session in the grounds of a local school before the end of June. Run by Outward Bound instructors who are experienced at building rapport with young people, each session has been designed to prepare pupils for what to expect at secondary school and to meet the other students who will be joining them in August.
Martin Davidson, Director for Scotland and Innovation at The Outward Bound Trust says: “Planned transition experiences are a key focus for P7 pupils every year as they aid and enhance the transition to secondary school. The relaxing of restrictions across Scotland means that young people in Highland can access this opportunity this year.
“The Highlands are a big patch to cover, and additional donations from supporters such as Mowi Scotland have enabled us to work with every P7 pupil. From Thurso High School to Ardnamurchan High School, Portree High School on Skye to Culloden Academy, ALL pupils will have had the same opportunity. After a year of disruption, the value of this cannot be underestimated.”
The Highland Primary Transition programme is part of a wider programme, tailored to reflect the values of individual schools and support young people as they begin their secondary school journey.
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of The Highland Council’s Education Committee said: “This is a fantastic and exciting programme for our young people in Highland. This project, delivered in partnership with Outward Bound, is not only helping our young people to transition to higher education. The project also helps to develop key skills such as problem solving, thinking flexibly and collaborating with others. These are essential skills that our pupils will need as they progress in their learning journey and will benefit them greatly when they are ready to enter the workplace.”
Speaking about the initiative, Ben Hadfield, COO - Farming, Scotland, Ireland & Faroes added: “We have supported The Outward Bound Trust since 2012 and are especially proud that we are able to provide such practical support to the young people in our communities at this time. Starting secondary school is exciting but can be challenging for some and we are delighted to support the Highland Primary Transition programme to make that move as smooth as possible.”