11. July 2012 16:47
Michael Palin, the writer, TV presenter, and former Monty Python star has spoken out about the importance of Geography fieldtrips to children’s education. Here at ICS, we couldn’t agree more heartily with Mr Palin! We’ve written before about our philosophy of outdoor classroom, but heading into the holidays seems like a great opportunity to emphasise the importance of exploring the outdoors.
According to research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 13 per cent of schools failed to take children out of the classroom on a regular basis. ICS bucks the trend, with our dedicated outdoor education centre in Bawdsey, Suffolk, we are incredibly lucky to be able to offer our students a learning experience that isn’t simply restricted to the classroom.
Perhaps during these long summer holidays, parents will think about taking Mr Palin’s advice to heart, and take their children to see as much of the world as possible, because Mr Palin is right, getting out of the classroom doesn’t only lead to better informed, more engaged students, but also because “The next generation... are going to be around for the next, say, 120 years, they're going to have a lot to deal with and geography is key.”
How do you plan to explore the great outdoors this summer?
27. January 2012 09:30
With 2011 a distant memory, and the New Year presenting a range of new opportunities for learning and exploration, we thought we’d take a look at some of the latest developments in education and predictions for the months ahead. And in doing so, one prediction that we were particularly excited to find came courtesy of a recent Forbes article, hailing a rise in outdoor education – something which is very much at the heart of our teaching philosophy at ICS.
With a dedicated outdoor Education centre available to our students, we are incredibly lucky to be able to offer our students a learning experience that isn’t simply restricted to the classroom. And even if these resources aren’t as readily available, we believe that these kinds of outdoor excursions are crucial in enabling students to hone in key skills such as team building, leadership training, management development and sustainability. As the Institute for Outdoor Learning highlights - outdoor learning doesn’t have a clearly defined boundary but it does have key themes, namely, valuing direct experience, real learning and inspiring new interests.
Whether it’s conducting your “coastal erosion” geography lesson on a beach or sending a class of children on a travel and learn excursion to CERN or a local Chinese restaurant, by demonstrating to your students that learning isn’t restricted to the classroom will encourage a set of inquiring and independent minds which will put them in good stead for a life beyond school.
What’s your favourite experience of outdoor education?
20. January 2012 10:00
On the first weekend in December ten eager students and two excited teachers ventured to Geneva to explore the greatest experimental physics research facility in the history of our race. We woke early, blurry eyed and barely conscious and boarded our trusty Easyjet flight to Switzerland. Ferried from airport to accommodation and onward to CERN we arrived surprisingly fresh and energetic, ready for our tour of the largest science centre on Earth.
With our enthusiastic Italian researcher-come-tour guide in tow, we wandered from laboratory to laboratory seeing particle accelerators that shoot protons at near light speed and the computer server that birthed the Internet. The students learnt about the international pursuit of the elusive Higgs particle and confirmation of Einstein’s famous work in theoretical physics.
In the following days we strolled the city seeing the UN, riding boats across the beautiful lake and indulging in all of the decadent chocolate treats this wonderful European city had to offer.
Upon our return we all agreed the journey was an outstanding success and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I will be planning this trip again in the coming school year at ICS.
Ryan Bishop, Science Teacher, ICS