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From The Wild To The Classroom

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FROM THE WILD TO THE CLASSROOM WHAT THE TEACHERS SAY


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INTRODUCTION The Outward Bound Trust is an educational charity that exists to unlock potential in young people through learning and adventure in the wild. We provide residential courses which immerse young people in the natural environment and expose them to a unique set of experiences. In the hands of our highly capable instructors, young people are faced with diverse challenges which require them to work as a team, push them to step beyond their comfort zones and show them what they are capable of achieving. Participants are carefully guided to reflect on these experiences, putting their personal development in the context of the everyday and helping to transfer their learning into their lives at school, at home and ultimately in the workplace. To understand the effects of our courses on pupils’ learning, we ask teachers to complete a survey one month after their pupils return to school. This asks teachers about changes that they have observed in the majority of their pupils since completing their course. In this paper, we present the results collected over a twelve month period1.


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FROM THE WILD TO THE CLASSROOM WHAT THE TEACHERS SAY KEY FINDINGS IMPROVED PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS The feedback indicates that pupils return to school better equipped to thrive in their learning and in their relationships with others. One month on, teachers were most likely to report positive change in relation to pupils’: Awareness of their potential, confidence Social confidence and ability to support, to tackle challenges and perseverance. and show consideration towards, others. - 96% of teachers reported that pupils - 89% of teachers reported that pupils were more aware of what they were were more confident when interacting capable of achieving. with their peers. - 95% of teachers reported that pupils - 90% of teachers reported that pupils attempted challenges more often. showed more consideration for other - 93% of teachers reported that pupils people’s needs. were better able to keep going in the face - 93% of teachers reported that pupils of difficulties. encouraged their peers more often. Charts 1 & 2 overleaf provide a more detailed breakdown of these results. 1 Data collected between February 2014 and February 2015. Over this period, we collected responses from 119 teachers.


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CHART 1: CHANGE REPORTED IN PUPILS’ SKILLS FOR LEARNING Awareness of what they are capable of achieving. 33% 58% Extent to which they attempt things that they believe are difficult. 34% 61% 3% Ability to keep going when they encounter difficulties and setbacks. 47% 49% 3% 0% Significant improvement 20% 40% 60% Slight improvement 5% 80% 100% No change Note: Results where teachers reported a reduction have not been included because the percentages were minimal. “THE CHILDREN ARE MORE FOCUSED AND WILLING TO HAVE A GO AT THINGS EVEN IF THEY THINK THINGS WILL BE DIFFICULT.” Kirsty Gagg, Daisyfield Primary School


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FROM THE WILD TO THE CLASSROOM WHAT THE TEACHERS SAY CHART 2: CHANGE REPORTED IN PUPILS’ RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS 41% Frequency with which they encourage their peers. 8% 53% 7% 45% Extent to which they show consideration for others’ needs. 48% 37% Confidence in interacting with their peers. 48% 0% Significant improvement 20% 40% 60% Slight improvement 6% 80% 100% No change Note: Results where teachers reported a reduction have not been included because the percentages were minimal. “ONE STUDENT WHO PARTICULARLY BENEFITED WAS A STUDENT WHO HAD A STAMMER. HE IS NOW ABLE TO COMMUNICATE MORE PROFICIENTLY WITH HIS PEERS AND HAS EVEN VOLUNTEERED TO DELIVER AN ASSEMBLY BASED ON HIS EXPERIENCES.” Nicola Brown, Nottingham Academy


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INCREASED EDUCATIONAL ASPIRATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT WITH LEARNING The findings suggest that pupils return to school more engaged with their learning and motivated to achieve. 82% of teachers observed an increase both in pupils’ educational aspirations and in the level of interest that they show in their school work, 82% and 80% reported an increase in the effort that pupils put into their studies. The feedback also suggests that an Outward Bound course can in turn have a positive effect on the classroom learning environment, where learning is better able to flourish. 79% of teachers stated that the classroom environment was more ‘conducive to learning’ following their course. 79%


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FROM THE WILD WHAT THE TEACHERS SAY TO THE CLASSROOM CHART 3: CHANGE REPORTED IN PUPILS’ EDUCATIONAL ASPIRATIONS AND ENGAGEMENT WITH LEARNING Educational aspirations. 25% 57% Interest they show in their school work. 18% 64% Effort they put into their studies. 24% 56% 0% Significant improvement 20% 40% 11% 15% 15% 60% Slight improvement 80% 100% No change Note: Results where teachers reported a reduction have not been included because the percentages were minimal. “THE CHANGE IN [LOUIS’] ATTITUDE SINCE WE HAVE COME BACK TO THE ACADEMY [FOLLOWING THE OUTWARD BOUND COURSE] IS INCREDIBLE. HE IS NO LONGER MOUTHY, HE IS FOCUSED ON HIS WORK, AND IS NO LONGER ATTENTION SEEKING. HE IS NOW KEEN TO GET ATTENTION FOR POSITIVE [BEHAVIOUR] AND EXCELLENT WORK.” Tim Evers, North Birmingham Academy


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For more information about The Trust’s impact, please visit: www.outwardbound.org.uk/impact-and-evaluation/ This document has been produced by The Trust’s Evaluation team: 0203 301 6481 evaluation@outwardbound.org.uk


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