As Scottish pupils go back to school - so do we!
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As Scottish pupils go back to school - so do we!

Over 130 schools from Scotland usually visit Outward Bound’s Loch Eil centre for a week-long outdoor learning and adventure residential each year. But as overnight residentials are not currently possible due to COVID-19 – our instructors are heading to the schools to ensure young people don’t miss out.

Can't isn't in our DNA

Martin Davidson, Director for Scotland and Innovation at The Outward Bound Trust said: “At Outward Bound we never sit back and say we can’t. It's just not in our DNA. If pupils are not able to come on residentials at Outward Bound this autumn, then we will go to them!”

“Covid-19 has brought many challenges to the education system, from the isolation many children felt during lockdown to the worry of how schools can open safely. Critically each child has had a very different experience, for some safe and enjoyable and for others challenging or traumatic.

Outward Bound’s mission is to help young people see what they are truly capable of, to believe in themselves, to be more than they think. We saw an opportunity to use our experience of working with young people to help schools as part of their recovery curriculums, to adapt to new ways of working and to support young people as they adjust to life back in the classroom after almost five months away.”

We saw an opportunity to use our experience of working with young people to help schools as part of their recovery curriculums
Martin Davidson, Director for Scotland at Outward Bound
Helping pupils reach their fullest potential

This autumn, instructors will join schools on a weekly basis, offering outdoor learning experiences, starting within the school grounds, and building up to local adventures.

The first schools to take advantage of this are those closest to Outward Bound’s Loch Eil centre, where staff are supporting more than 500 young people across all stages, in four schools in the Lochaber area. The charity plans to extend this work to more schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

This initial support for schools and young people has been made possible through funding from Mowi Scotland, Swagelok Scotland and a small number of other Scottish supporters.

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Outward Bound working in school
Developing skills for life, learning and work

Katrina Kelly, Headteacher at Lundavra Primary School in Fort William said: “Having two dedicated Outward Bound instructors in school is helping our pupils to develop the skills they need to face an ever-changing world. Crucial skills like resilience, confidence and self-belief, as well as a willingness to try things.

The learning is done outdoors, with a firm emphasis on health and wellbeing and play based learning. The children are having fun whilst being helped to address some of the emotional uncertainties of the past few months.

As a school team we are relishing the opportunity to work with Outward Bound to enhance both our pupil’s opportunities for outdoor learning but also to help them develop a wider range of skills for life, learning and work.”

The children are having fun whilst being helped to address some of the emotional uncertainties of the past few months
Katrina Kelly, Headteacher at Lundavra Primary School

All activities support the Curriculum of Excellence and will adhere to government safety guidelines. As soon as restrictions allow, pupils local to Outward Bound’s Loch Eil centre will also be able to travel to their site for bigger adventures to support their learning.

Ben Hadfield, COO at Mowi Scotland, a local salmon farming company said “Mowi Scotland have been proud supporters of Outward Bound for 10 years. We want all children to reach their fullest potential and hope that through this additional donation, the dedicated Outward Bound instructors will be able to help all children in these schools to not only catch up on the last five months, but thrive in education, learning and in their mental health and wellbeing. Right now, all young people need as much support as possible and the In-School Adventures will help pupils who might not otherwise get this opportunity.”

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Outward Bound and Lundavra PS staff

Further Reading

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Jessica's story

22 August 20

Jessica is 11 years old and lives with her mum. This is her Outward Bound story.

Read more