News From the Field Studies Centre

News From the Field Studies Centre

The Field Studies Centre became a hive of activity again on Monday this week, as the fourth cohort of students for 2022 stepped off the bus and began their term of adventurous learning at Woollamia. The boys spent the first two days on programme orientating themselves to their surroundings and learning many of the processes that support the smooth operation of the campus during their time here. On Monday night, the boys experienced a Welcome to Country evening with one of our local Aboriginal Elders and learnt about the significance of both the land on which our campus is situated, and the broader Shoalhaven region.

During the break Mr Pitts, our Outdoor Education Co-ordinator and I had the opportunity to present a workshop session at the National Outdoor Education Conference in the Blue Mountains, where we explained the development and implementation of Trinity’s term long Field Studies Programme. The structure of the FSP’s contemporary rite of passage experience was well received by the educators present and the session sparked some interesting conversations about the different ways in which schools may help prepare young people for their journey to adulthood.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, Dr Pasi Sahlberg from Southern Cross University, emphasised the importance of ‘play’ and the value that outside play, away from modern distractions, has for the wellbeing of children and young people. I am always intrigued to see what ‘play’ will look like for each of the cohorts of students that arrive at Woollamia through the year. Whether it is during free time on campus, or after setting up their tents on camp outs, the boys find a range of ways to entertain themselves and enjoy their time with peers. The FSP provides the boys with something that the last two years have robbed them of to a large extent: extended periods of time with each other. The programmed elements of the experiece provide a fantastic structure that takes the boys on an increasingly challenging journey of personal discovery. But the down time, the play time and the opportunities to develop deeper relationships amongst the cohort, also have great value.

On Wednesday, the boys launched into the academic programme and began working with the teachers who will guide them through the place-based learning this term. A wide range of in and out of the classroom learning experiences are planned for the term which will see the boys interacting with the natural and built environment both on campus and in the community more broadly. On Sunday the students will have their first Outdoor Programme sessions and begin the process of building a range of skills that will help them to develop confidence and competence in a variety of outdoor activities.


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