Inverclyde Council is sending every one of its P6 pupils on an outdoor education course - the first time in decades that a local authority has done so with an entire year group across all its schools.
The TESS is aware of several authorities which, owing to the economic downturn, are likely to cut back on outdoor learning. Inverclyde has, however, made a bold statement by providing Pounds 80,000 to take 800 pupils on a two-night residential course and committing to the scheme for two years.
The programme at the outdoor education centre at Broomlee, West Linton, includes tree-climbing, archery, zip-wire slides and team-building. Tutors will emphasise Curriculum for Excellence outcomes through themes of confidence, rivers, health and exploration.
Dave Spence, chief executive of Scottish Outdoor Education Centres, said it was the first time in "several decades" that a local authority had agreed to a whole year group attending a residential outdoor education course. "The children have been so excited about this trip," said Janet Leicester, headteacher at Earnhill Primary in Greenock. "It will be a fantastic experience for them being active and outdoors and it will also teach them a great deal about teamwork."
Inverclyde Council's education and lifelong learning convener, Iain McKenzie, said: "These trips will help enhance children's view of life and learning and should help them become better citizens. That is why, despite the economic downturn, we are committed to making the money available."
Scottish Outdoor Education Centres will also carry out a survey of pupils, with help from the Centre for Confidence and Well-Being in Glasgow.