News from the Field Studies Centredeveloper
A strong sense of community pervades the Woollamia Campus as we near the end of week 2 of the programme. Each term we bring together a diverse group of close to 60 boys who, as part of that community, interact with our multi-disciplinary team of outdoor educators, teachers, administrators and other support staff. The staff and students work together in the kitchen, around the campus to complete the chores that keep the residential operations functioning, in the classroom and during the outdoor programme. Each community member contributes something each day that benefits others. The boys learn the importance of serving others and that their contributions have an impact.
The boys have now engaged in each of their academic classes, participated in their first camp out, and explored a range of outdoor activities including orienteering, rock climbing, abseiling, mountain biking and canoeing. The adventures will continue in the weeks to come as the boys extend themselves and take on new challenges. Co-curricular activities have also begun for term 3, with a wide range of activities facilitated by the staff including table tennis, basketball, Lego, chess and press, sets and decks and paddock to plate. The Field Studies Programme provides each boy with opportunities to pursue new interests and expand their comfort zone in a variety of ways. Each boy is encouraged to maintain a sense of curiosity and approach the new and diverse learning experiences with an open mind. Research tells us that many boys learn by doing and experiencing the world around them. The FSP is filled with applied and hands-on learning experiences that immerse the boys in the content and the local context.
This term our academic staff are engaging in a Professional Learning Team that will be further investigating the research supporting our Place-Based Education approach on the FSP. According to the Centre for Place Based Education at Antioch University, USA “Place Based Education immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences, using these as the foundation for the study of mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum”. The broader Shoalhaven region becomes our classroom while the boys are on the FSP and each term we delve further into learning about this incredible part of the country, which has deep significance to the local Jerrinja Wandi Wandian Aboriginal people.
Tim Knowles | Head of the Field Studies Centre (FSC)