Battersea Park School
The programme was delivered over a five year period between 2007 and 2012, and aimed to improve the retention, achievement and progression of pupils. A yearly evaluation of the programme conducted by nfpSynergy used interviews, focus groups and questionnaires to identify the outcomes of the programme.
The qualitative research showed that the Outward Bound programme had become an “essential part of the school fabric”, informing “the evolving school culture in ways that feel clear to students and staff alike”. It provided pupils with a new level of challenge that promoted pride and achievement, and broadened their horizons. It built a sense of confidence and capability, developed perseverance, and helped pupils to become more mature and independent individuals.
Through repeated courses, pupils’ skills became more refined and there was a clear sense that they were increasingly ready to handle the challenges of everyday life.
By the end of the five-year programme, the Head Teacher reported a more stable, engaged school community, with a thriving leadership culture that had been directly influenced by the programme.
“The culture of pupil representation and engagement now forged effectively through the School Council and Prefects has been meaningfully aided by the leadership skills and confidence that Outward Bound nurtures [...] School Council and Prefect Groups are active [...] aspects which the Head had struggled to make effective without the extra support and momentum provided by the Outward Bound programme but which now appear to be flourishing.”
An Ofsted inspection report published in 2010 recognised the quality of the partnership between the school, The Outward Bound Trust and Deutsche Bank (the project funder) in raising pupils’ aspirations and in providing experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible to pupils.
THEY ARE STARTING TO LEARN THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MAKING MISTAKES. IT’S ALL ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARN FROM IT, BECAUSE THAT’S A MASSIVE CONFIDENCE ISSUE. AS SOON AS THEY GOT SOMETHING WRONG THAT’S IT, THEY’D GIVE UP, AND THAT’S STOPPED HAPPENING. A LOT MORE OF THEM ARE WILLING TO PERSEVERE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT EVEN IF THEY’VE MADE A MISTAKE THEY’VE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM THAT MISTAKE. Teacher, 2012
ALL THE ACTIVITIES WILL HELP ME WITH MY SCHOOL LIFE. I DID AN EXPEDITION AND I LITERALLY HAD TO PUSH MYSELF THROUGH THAT AND ENCOURAGE ANOTHER TEAM MEMBER. AND IT’S LIKE IF I CAN DO THAT, I CAN PRETTY MUCH GET THROUGH MY EXAMS. Pupil, Year 11