Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of working with Room Seven for the day. The setting wasn’t in Room Seven but rather it was in the great outdoors. As a component of their education outside the classroom programme the Year Seven and Eight group had the great opportunity for a day’s tramping, jet boat riding and rafting.

The goals of the day were based around team building but tied in well the key competency aspects of the National Curriculum: managing self ,participating and contributing, relating to others and thinking. But the real challenge in all of these targets is that these things need to be done in a challenging or unknown setting.

I have seldom been as proud of a group of young people as I was on this day. All challenges were accepted, all tasks completed and a genuine sense of comradeship developed.

Problem solving can be a purely theoretical task, but it does lose something when a problem is solved while seated at a desk. Most problems are identified, faced and solved in situ and that is what outdoor education brings.

A.J. Hackett once said “I like to scare myself at least once a day”. Most of us would find this a little too challenging but growth is about facing challenges and overcoming them and that is what our senior school did on Wednesday. And I may be wrong but I think the group that arrived back at school was just a little taller and stood a little straighter than the group that left.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

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