//Crocodiles and comfort zones

Crocodiles and comfort zones

2018-07-05T13:38:09+00:00 July 5th, 2018|
outdoor_learning
‘Are there crocodiles in here?’*
It’s not the average question we’re asked at Clock House, but that was the burning thought on the mind of one of our Year 2 pupils as they took part in some canoeing on one of our residential trips recently.

As well as firing up the imagination and taking part in exhilarating activities, such as zip wiring and canoeing, there are so many more benefits to taking part in residentials, such as the challenges our children face which are personal to them. They certainly bring opportunities to take them out of their comfort zones.

For an introverted, shy child, leading an outdoor task or being without a parent for the first time overnight might be a terrifying prospect. The challenge, for them, is to overcome that fear so they can embrace the confidence which comes from pushing themselves. You could see our children challenge themselves during another recent residential to Brimham Rocks, in North Yorkshire, when the children had to jump and scramble from rock to rock. Many said they didn’t think they could do it, but they were encouraged to take a leap out of their comfort zone and gained a huge surge in confidence when they pushed themselves.

Pupils also gain confidence in being self-sufficient and responsible on school residentials. As a society, we tend to do a great deal more for our children than previous generations. One of the ways a child can grow is to have the freedom of self-sufficiency, so on residential they have the responsibility of getting ready themselves, making their bed, helping to lay the dining room table or clear up. It’s about thinking for themselves and working together in a team. For some children, the ability to make mistakes without judgement and freely explore learning can remain with them for the rest of their lives. There are also gains to be had by living in a different context, one where new relationships with peers, and existing ones, can be redefined.

The fun the children have on residentials is plain to see. They are exhilarated and enthused. (Pupils on our recent residential remarked: “I’ve never walked on a mountain before – it’s amazing!” and “No school trip can be better than this”) But watching the children grow in confidence is one of my greatest pleasures in my role as headmistress. Knowing that they’re gaining everyday life skills such as resilience, decision-making and problem solving, which will stay with them for life, and that BGS Junior School had a part to play in that, comes a close second.

*You’ll be pleased to hear there were no crocodiles in the Lake!

“The fun the children have on residentials is plain to see. They are exhilarated and enthused. (Pupils on our recent residential remarked: “I’ve never walked on a mountain before – it’s amazing!” and “No school trip can be better than this”) But watching the children grow in confidence is one of my greatest pleasures in my role as headmistress.

Knowing that they’re gaining everyday life skills such as resilience, decision-making and problem solving, which will stay with them for life, and that BGS Junior School had a part to play in that, comes a close second.”

Kerry Howes, Junior Headmistress

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