Understanding Foundation Skills in Outdoor Education: Paving the pathway to learning
Our Outdoor Education expeditions may be considered a jolly holiday by some, while others regard them as a gruelling challenge. However, all the experiences offered in our carefully constructed outdoor education curriculum are built around standards (significant concepts) that apply from K–12.
As described in previous articles about how our concept-based curriculum is structured, under each standard are conceptual understandings, which are conceptual statements written for specific developmental stages. In Outdoor Education, these are school-based rather than grade specific.
Grade-level benchmarks attached to each conceptual understanding, describing what a student should know or be able to do at each stage of their learning in order to have developed their understanding in each identified area (subject or stand).
By structuring the curriculum in this way, students are able to access the broader concepts in each standard, while simultaneously developing an understanding of specific concepts appropriate to the grade-level.
This example illustrates how carefully constructed, age-appropriate activities develop the essential practical skills identified in the ‘camp craft’ strand of the Expedition Skills standard in our Outdoor Education curriculum. The below examples describe how the stand 'camp craft' is developed under a school-based conceptual understanding that is developed by providing students with age-appropriate activities in each grade from Kindergarten to Grade 11.
UWCSEA K-12 Outdoor Education Standards (K-12)
- Personal identity
- Healthy relationships
- Connectedness to nature
- Expedition skills
Standard 4–Expedition Skills (K-12)
Individuals and groups can engage in outdoor contexts by developing and applying a set of practical skills.
Developing these practical skills is not the end goal of our programme. However, the successful development of these skills are the building blocks that allow us to access the situations where the learning outcomes around self, relationships to others and a connectedness to nature that are intended in the other three standards, can take place.
Our students are provided multiple opportunities to develop these skills in authentic settings, be it on campus, in Singapore or further afield. All of these activities are vehicles for learning opportunities that are crucial to support the development of the qualities and skills outlined in the College's learner profile.
Expedition Skills Strands (K-12)
Within 'expedition skills' there are four discrete strands in which we deliberately plan activities at age-appropriate levels (described below) so that students can work towards the standard. They are:
- Camp craft
- Personal and group safety
Looking for more? Our UWCSEA learning programme is delivered through a bespoke K–12 concept-based curriculum. It aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and qualities they will need in order to work towards fulfilling our mission to create a more peaceful and sustainable future.
Our holistic learning programme is made up of five elements: academics, activities, outdoor education, personal and social education and service. Learn more here.
Read about how the concept-based curriculum model works in the academic element of our learning programme here.
Read about how we work towards developing Standard 3: Connectedness to Nature here.
Meet our team of specialist outdoor educators, who develop and deliver our bespoke outdoor education programme.