Singapore’s doing it - so should we!
Last week Singapore brought in new plans to introduce dedicated time in the curriculum for outdoor education for both primary and secondary schools. We’re talking about far more than a walk in the woods or a few hours within the PE syllabus; it covers aspects away from the mainstream PE lessons such as outdoor cooking, kayaking and camping.
The new plans aim to raise childrens’ ‘spirit of adventure’ and promote an active lifestyle later in life. Singapore is dedicating 10 to 20% of its curriculum time to outdoor education - something we think we should be doing more of in in the UK.
This year UK Key Stage 1 & 2 PE programmes of study have been disapplied, giving teachers free reign over students PE lessons in primary schools. What a fantastic opportunity to bring back outdoor education to the mainstream and introduce the spirit of adventure from a really young age. A new PE curriculum is to be introduced in September 2014 and we hope that Outdoor Education has prominence in the programme for school children of all ages.
You often hear people despairing of the ‘youth today’ and their addiction to TV’s, iPads and the internet. Some of my best childhood memories are being let loose in the great outdoors to hide, climb, build forts, get muddy and feel the relative freedom away from our parents watchful eye.
Well here’s a great chance to bring back old school outdoor fun in primary schools: playing hide & seek in the woods, climbing trees and scrambling over rocks on the shoreline. Anything that involves an appreciation of the great outdoors can only help open up young minds.
Aside from the PE syllabus, lessons in Bushcraft give children an appreciation of environment, ecosystems and sustainability as well as being an amazing adventure activity. Being in the woods and learning how to live off the land may not be a necessity in our media-rich lives, but these outdoor skills promote resourcefulness, independence and a grounding of the world we live in.
To read more about Singapore’s new outdoor plans for children click HERE
Land & Wave Group’s school division Dorset Adventure provides outdoor education for primary and secondary schools in the UK. For more information about how they can help boost your outdoor education visit www.dorsetadventure.com