News from the Field Studies CentreNick Van Breda
Almost two weeks has flown by for the boys on the current Field Studies Programme. It has been great to watch the students challenge themselves as they engage in a sequence of outdoor activities that have been designed to help them stretch their comfort zone and develop as a member of a team. From low ropes activities, to crate climbing, mountain biking to canoe fishing, abseiling to orienteering, rock climbing to challenge courses, there has been something for everyone this week.
Learning to manage the inevitable ups and downs of living in close quarters with 75 other young people takes some work. Overall, the boys can be congratulated for their patience and positive attitudes. We often say to the boys that there is more in them than they know. The Field Studies Programme helps the students to see some of these invisible character strengths both within themselves and in others. The new and unfamiliar environment, the requirement to take responsibility for tasks that are often done by someone else in their family, and the expectation that everyone will contribute to the community each day in some way, all provide opportunities for ones character to bubble to the surface.
Mr Lang and I have had the pleasure of supporting a small group of students to continue their swim training two morning per week while at Woollamia. We have both been impressed by the boys’ commitment, positivity and appreciation of this opportunity. The boys have enjoyed the chance to train in a regional setting and have enjoyed sharing the pool with the local athletes and their coaches. Lane space is at a premium in the mornings, so I would like to thank the Bay and Basin Leisure Centre and the local swim club for giving the boys the space they need to keep their training on track.
The students have now had the opportunity to learn more about scientific investigations and have been gathering data as they explore a line of inquiry that they have each developed. The unique salt marsh areas of the property and the adjacent Currambene Creek become an extension of the classroom for the boys while they are on the FSP. The new teaching team have been busy sharing their expertise and encouraging the boys to apply what they have learnt in Science and Geography during the field work lessons. The launch of the term-long programme in Term 1 2022 came a step closer this week as the first intake of boys and their parents participated in personalised briefing sessions. Each session provided an opportunity to drill into the detail behind the extended programme with its focus on academic, social emotional and outdoor learning, and answer a wide range of questions that were brought forward. Mr Pitts, our Outdoor Education Co-ordinator, gave families an insight into the work that has gone into developing an industry leading approach to risk assessment and management. New technology in the form of Garmin In Reach devices will be deployed from the start of 2022. These devices provide an accurate moment to moment location for the activity groups and allow for communications to be sent quickly via satellite technology. We have assembled an incredible team of outdoor educators here at the Field Studies Centre who do an exceptional job of safely guiding the boys through the diverse outdoor environment that they encounter.
Tim Knowles | Head of the Field Studies Centre (FSC)