Students at Windermere School, Elleray and Browhead campuses, are actively involved in a programme of Outdoor Education (Adventure) and Adventurous Learning. The following information is designed to give parents a better idea of what the School does and how information is passed to your child/children. If anyone wishes to ask questions please encourage your child to speak to a member of the Outdoor Department or for Elleray email Mrs Fiona Roberts or for either campus Mr Paul Platt. Further information will soon be on the website.
In this ever-changing world our students, your children, need to be able to adapt. Children that are confident, tenacious, independent and happy are more able to succeed and flourish. Supporting the academic subjects, a programme of Outdoor Education and Sport helps develop a Growth Mindset (Dweck). A Growth Mindset allows children to maximise their potential in academia, sport and adventure. Children realise that by working hard they can develop and be the best they can will most definitely benefit in their adult years.
Windermere School is part of the Round Square community. One of the pillars (IDEALS) is Adventure. More information about Round Square can be found here.
There is a programme of Adventure from Year 3 to 6 with younger years starting their journey in our Forest School.
We use Hodge Howe as much as we can in the early part of the Autumn term and after Easter to sail, canoe and kayak. In Winter and Spring we start climbing, often indoors at Kendal or Ambleside climbing walls, hill walking in the local fells, orienteering and biking (Bike Ability Scheme). Our aim is that all our children become competent sailors, paddlers, climbers, bikers and mountaineers. They learn a range of skills such as rigging a sailing dinghy, sailing on all points of sail, map reading using a variety of maps and scales, belaying (holding ropes for a climber) and how to bike safely on and off-road.
We also use every opportunity to relate what we are doing in Adventure to their lessons in School. For example, we discuss contours and map symbols, the water cycle and work out speed when walking.
Even more importantly we aim to develop all those ‘impossible to measure skills’ which are so valued such as working with others, increasing their independence, using their initiative, adaptability to change, developing their self-confidence and tackling problems with resilience.
In addition to the lessons there are a number of residential trips for each year group. All our residential trips focus on growing independence and working with others. Year 6 has a focus on Leadership and this begins with a ‘Leadership Day’ delivered by the Outdoor Education team. Later in September there is a wild camp. In June, before the end of term, we have a week long residential – Challenge Week. A fantastic end to the students’ time at Elleray and the passage to Browhead.
Students in Years 7 to 9 have a programme of Adventure in curriculum time, each student has half a day of activity every other week – one lesson a cycle. See the programme for Autumn term 2020 below. Each student has an Adventure logbook which has six levels they can work through, receiving a pin badge when they complete each one.
A new development this year is that students in Year 10 and 11 have the opportunity to continue with Adventure. The Adventure team are working with the PE team to extend the provision in Year 10 and 11 – one member of Adventure staff will offer a programme of activities that students can opt into.
After school there is a programme of activities from 17:30 to 20:30 Monday to Thursday. This is for Elleray and Browhead students. This would normally include paddlesport, climbing, sailing and windsurfing in the summer and autumn; however, this autumn we will have students in year groups at Hodge Howe. Students have been sent information on the activity provision.
On Saturdays there is race sailing coaching delivered by our RYA Coach Graeme Rowe – students interested should contact Mr Rowe via firstname.lastname@example.org
On Sundays Mr Monk delivers a programme of recreational sailing, please contact Mrs Monk on email@example.com if your son/daughter is interested.
The boarders have a programme of Sport and Adventure activities which is managed through the boarding team.
Adventure residential trips, day trips at weekends and the Duke of Edinburgh Award are also running and information is sent to students when dates are known. At present residential trips, and therefore the DofE expeditions, are on hold. However, most years there are:
The Windermere School Adventure logbook is a scheme where children work through six levels gaining awards as they complete each level. Each level is named after a famous explorer and consists of a range of activities – paddle sports, climbing, mountains, sailing, Bikeability (Level 2 and 3), environment, expeditions, performance, scrambling and survival. To gain the award the children must complete all the sections in that level. They will receive a specially designed pin badge on completion of each award. We will work through the Adventure logbooks with your child as part of the Adventure lessons. We keep the logbooks in School during term time but if you have any family adventures, please do encourage your child to record these and add them to their logbook.
Students work through the levels at their own pace and according to their ability. It is unlikely that students will complete level six until Year 9 and the level is challenging enough that these students need to work hard at each activity to complete it.
We have updated our operating procedures and risk assessments and these are on the School Website for parents to see. Every effort has been made to ensure an exciting programme and to keep our students safe.
In order for your child to participate in Adventurous Activities the following consent form must be signed by the parent/guardian. This electronic copy of the annual activities consent form has previously been sent in a letter to parents https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=W6Gh56Lx_km7hI-PJiL29Fj9OkCYmTtHomaeSikgh-tUNzlKRjY0MzFBNzJJOUFCMjQzSjgySTg0Ty4u
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'When I take my granddaughter to Elleray, it feels like the school wraps its arms around her.' - Windermere School Grandparent
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Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.