The Opportunity of Adventure

The summer term is a special one.  It is a time when we can take our learning out of doors and begin to enjoy our surroundings.  A time to enjoy different environments and new challenges.  At the BSP we are fortunate to be able to offer many outdoor experiences beyond the sports field.  Our Year 5 went to the Auvergne and climbed volcanoes at the end of last term, our Key Stage 3 students (and their parents) learned what is in store during Outdoor Education Week and before long Year 6 will head down to the Ardèche.  Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants have just returned from their latest adventures. (Please see the expedition report in the pages of this newsletter).  We are indeed in the season of expeditions.  As an educationalist I value the skills that expeditions and adventurous activity give to our students.  Students stand taller once they have conquered a challenge and the outdoors allows us to be tested at our own appropriate level.  When students engage in outdoor education they learn the value of preparation, they develop resilience and they appreciate teamwork to name but a few of the benefits.  They also enjoy a time away from the pressures of growing up in the 21st Century.  Life is simple when on an expedition and if nothing else students develop a healthy appreciation of the benefits of sleep!

Lord Hunt who led the 1953 Everest Expedition in which Norgay and Hillary conquered Everest certainly had it right when he said:

“Such experiences provide the means of self-discovery, self-expression and enjoyment which are at once both stimulating and fulfilling.”

In the weeks to come we will learn of this year’s adventures.  All who participate will develop as individuals.  This is, in many respects, the core of a good and useful education.

Nicholas Hammond

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