Outdoor Education takes place both within and beyond our campuses. All students take on experiential challenges that build resilience, collaboration and leadership through a carefully planned incremental progression of age-appropriate experiences.
Research shows that through exposure to nature, individuals can develop empathy, become environmental stewards and sustain their wellbeing, and this goes to the heart of the UWC mission. This is why at UWCSEA, Outdoor Education encompasses far more than expeditions; regular exposure to natural environments in outdoor learning spaces that are valued extensions of our classrooms are built into all elements of the learning programme.
Students are regularly given opportunities to observe and investigate the natural world around them while safely challenging their own capabilities, both independently and in collaboration with others. For all grades, this includes exploring the campus gardens and other natural spaces as part of the school day.
Opportunities for learning are then extended as students take on experiential challenges that build resilience, collaboration and leadership. Whether exploring the natural environment on campus in K1, learning about water filtration in Grade 3 or taking on our High Ropes course in Grade 8, students develop confidence in their physical abilities and the emotional resilience to withstand difficult situations.
Achievements in outdoor education are recorded through student reflections and demonstrated in the character, skills, qualities and maturity that students develop and apply across all aspects of the learning programme and in their lives.
UWCSEA is partnering with Oregon State University-Cascades to conduct a longitudinal study into the impacts of outdoor education. Interim findings present compelling evidence in support of the long-term benefits for students of an intentional Outdoor Education programme. Learn more
Outdoor Education in action
COVID-19 impact: 2020/2021 hyper-local programme
Our extensive overseas expeditions programme was disrupted from February 2020 due to COVID-19. The 2020/2021 school year is featuring a ‘hyper-local’ focus, with students engaged in specially-designed programmes on campus that create learning opportunities in each of our four Outdoor Education curriculum Standards (see below). In this way, student learning in Outdoor Education continues, because the nature of our curriculum means that students are able to develop the knowledge and understanding, as well as skills and qualities of the UWCSEA profile, through intentional participation in various age-appropriate activities in numerous settings.