That was scary, but I did it!
Children experiencing success outside their comfort zone
I remember the group going to milk the cows for the first time. Many were shaking with nerves; the cows seemed so big and the barn so smelly! But, once one pupil started, they all became very supportive and encouraging and after that task, whenever anybody became scared, the others would support them.Teacher comment
I saw how these pupils, who have a very negative view of school and success, could achieve in practical tasks and the impact this had on their engagement.
Through their OWL residential at Bore Place, 20 pupils from The Sittingbourne School were able to experience a week immersed in 500 acres of Kent countryside, a very different environment to the urban town where they have grown up. The residential activities were designed to enable pupils to leave their comfort zones behind and engage in new and often challenging experiences in nature.
The visit exceeded expectations for teachers, who felt it offered a space to strengthen their relationships with pupils and witness them facing their fears and experience success in a new environment.
Back in school, teachers noted that some pupils were more willing to take a lead in activities, rather than hiding at the back of the class and being worried about failing.
The visit has changed the senior leadership team’s view of Outdoor Learning too, leading to a new school garden, forest school training for teachers and a litter picking and recycling initiative around the school.
I have seen a student who has barely spoken in class for 3 months, suddenly take charge and order a group of 10 around the garden about what they need to do.Teacher comment
The residential was made possible through The OWL Collaboration, find out more about this programme here: