Wales Outdoor Learning Week
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Wales Outdoor Learning Week

Young people step out their comfort zones during an action-packed residential at Outward Bound Aberydfi on the rugged West coast of Eryri National Park to mark Wales Outdoor Learning Week (24 – 28 April).

From canoeing to rock climbing, and everything in between, hundreds of young people from School's in Wycombe, Stoke-on-Trent, Castleford, Northfleet, Worcester and Wiltshire joined us as they took on new challengers and conquered their fears. Trading in their textbooks and TikTok to try new things and test their limits. Together they took a break from traditional classroom learning to focus on relationship building, what they’re capable of, and how to build self-confidence.

Haywood Academy 2
Haywood Academy Students

Their outdoor adventure comes as a consultation on the Outdoor Education Bill (Wales) comes to an end. An ambitious proposal to make an outdoor education residential mandatory for every child and young person in Wales at least once in their school life. A similar proposal is also making its way through the Scottish Parliament, but there is currently no equivalent plans in England. Any takers Westminster MPs?

Time outdoors helps young people develop vital skills such as teamwork and communication, helping them in employment and later life. Residentials like Outward Bound help build on this by immersing participants in nature and empowering them with the most important lesson they could ever learn: to believe in themselves. The relationships developed on their residential will also help strengthen the connection they feel with school, as well as build a culture of support and cooperation in the classroom and with their peers.

Seeing young people thrive and be themselves as they build their confidence and resilience in the outdoors is what we’re all about
Al Crisp, Head of Centre at Aberdyfi

Mr Adlington, a teacher at Haywood Academy who joined us at Aberdyfi this week said, “Learning beyond the classroom allows students to express themselves in ways they wouldn’t normally. Being placed under controlled pressure to solve problems, work as a team or individual and to be outdoors is vital in this ever changing world. Students get to appreciate their surroundings and explore.

He also added “At first, students have been apprehensive, but all our young people take valuable life lessons from Outward Bound. Fundamental life skills such as working hard, respect, community and aspiring to be a better person. These are our schools’ values but in the mountains and the sea they are developed even further!”

Al Crisp, Head of Centre at Aberdyfi said, “It was an absolute pleasure to have so many schools join us for Wales Outdoor Learning Week. Seeing young people thrive and be themselves as they build their confidence and resilience in the outdoors is what we’re all about at Outward Bound.”

Wales Outdoor Learning Week began in Spring 2019 and was kickstarted by Natural Resources Wales and the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning, with people right across the UK visiting Wales to participate. This year’s theme is active learning in the outdoors, encouraging learners of all ages to become healthy, confident individuals.

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