Adventure Based Learning

Year 10 girls abseiling during their camp at Hillary Outdoors.

In 2019, St Peter’s embarked on a new adventure-based learning programme for Year 10 students.  Working with the expert team at Hillary Outdoors, students now attend a one-week camp, generally in Term 1 and 2 at their Tongariro site.  On arrival, students are grouped by gender, house and Learning Group (no more than 10) and paired up with an instructor.  The groups work together throughout the week and the instructor learns the strengths of each student and tailors the programme accordingly.  

The week is designed to develop students’ knowledge of themselves and their Learning Group through a variety of Adventure Based Learning experiences and outdoor activities. For some, being in the outdoors is familiar territory; for others, it’s a whole new world.  Learning to live in constant close quarters – eating, sleeping, duties and activities with the same nine students each day, all day is a challenge.

Year 10 boys undertaking a team building exercise

Key topics, in line with the St Peter’s wellbeing curriculum, are included to create a natural progression, allowing students to face new and bigger challenges, expanding their toolbox of personal skills along the way  The objective is to give students opportunities to develop the desire and skills to communicate learning throughout life in a variety of ways; set, evaluate and achieve realistic and attainable goals; increase self-esteem, personal integrity and self-discipline; develop initiative, commitment, perseverance, courage and enterprise.  

Regardless of what they bring in terms of knowledge, courage or resilience at the start of the week, by the end every student is leaving changed. They’ve discovered there’s more to themselves and their peers, with an increased respect for the magnificent country, to their peers and to themselves.    

Executive Principal, Dale Burden is a real advocate of the programme, believing that “the learnings and values taught during the week are invaluable for individual growth.”  Given the success of the Hillary Outdoor Year 10 camps, St Peter’s is evaluating the potential of running longer duration camps in the future.

To find out more about the St Peter's Outdoor Education programme, email us here.

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