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Geography - The spirit of adventure

What it's all about

Ejecting teams of young children into the snow is not usually a preferred educational option. But for our Year 6 (P6) children, following the progress of Leo Houlding as he climbed the northeast ridge of Ulvetanna, Antarctica, it was the culmination of a two-month project, writes Sarah Walton.

We have become an accredited Adventure Learning School as a result of this unusual, bespoke curriculum and our adventure-based learning programme is now threaded through all our activities.

The idea came from Houlding and the Adventure Learning Schools team. The children were introduced to it in November, and worked on a presentation and questions to ask Houlding when they met him that month. They carried out extensive research into the expedition at the end of term, completed it over the Christmas holidays and by the start of the new term had unbridled enthusiasm for our Antarctica-themed week.

The young team planned their expedition to our adventure learning progress site, a large, wooded area, where in January they spent the day "surviving" outdoors in deep snow. They then had to secure their belongings (tents, water, food) to sledges before setting off on a trek, using a map. It was great to see how well the teams of eight worked together, helping each other over the icy terrain.

After the mile-long hike, the children arrived. They solved problems collectively, showing superb communication skills and teamwork. Since then, they have worked as a media team, interviewing schoolmates and staff, editing footage of the day and producing a documentary about the trek.

What else?

Try a resource on outdoor learning with early years and younger primary classes. bit.lyOutdoorLearningKS1.

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