In these modern times of stress and hurry, one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the opportunity to go into green spaces, move at the pace of the great outdoors and be reminded of the wonders of the world in which they live.
The John Muir Award is run for pupils in Years 7 and 8 by our staff. Pupils attend a series of single days and overnight camps at an Outdoor Education site. They learn bush crafts such as fire-lighting and shelter-building in order to heighten their knowledge and understanding of the natural environment and they are given the opportunity to clear brambles, plant trees and do research into areas of specific interest.
In addition to this, pupils are taught how to be safe in the outdoors – learning how to use knives and saws safely, how to avoid hypothermia and how to be responsible towards wildlife. Pupils also enjoy working in teams to cook their own meals, pitch and strike their tents and live in a state of mutual cooperation for the time they are away.
They are given the opportunity to undertake different craft activities such as willow-weaving, felt-making, wood wittling and bow-making.
Pupils take John Muir Award Levels 1, 2 and 3, each of which challenges them a little further. The 5 day camp in the summer is a particular highlight, when pupils get to camp ‘under the stars’ for one night, developing their self-reliance and independence.