Great Outdoors Curriculum
At Redbridge Community School we believe that the school curriculum goes beyond the school gates and as such we have an innovative and exciting outdoor curriculum. Redbridge prides itself on our belief in the power of the great outdoors. The school is so fortunate to have the New Forest National Park literally on our doorstep! The school has invested £15,000 in the outdoor curriculum and the school has 4 minibuses and a provisions van to support the logistics! We therefore offer a range of activities utilising the great outdoors. These include:
Low Ropes Assault Course
Year 7 Camp
In July when it is the end of Year 7, all of our years 7s have the opportunity to go on the school camp at Foxlease in the New Forest. It is here that you can experience camping in a shared tent and take part in activities such as low ropes, water sports, command tasks, camping games, and climbing! This is also open to a select number of Year 8 students who mentor the younger students and can also get involved in the fun!
Prefects and Student Leadership Team
Once the prefect team has been selected and appointed, as part of their leadership development, they attend a Bushcraft day in the New Forest where they learn camp craft, safe knife work, fire lighting, shelter building, trust challenges and ‘bush tucker’ food!
Leadership, Inclusion and Resilience Programmes
In Years 8 and 9 groups of both male and female students are selected to work with the Headteacher and Embers Bushcraft in ‘bush living’. The skills are taught over a series of standalone days (around 4) and this includes safe knife work, local ecology and cooking game food such as pigeons and deer. Throughout this time, the students are taught the types of wood to seek for the camp fire, making and utilising natural products to make a shelter, shelter pegs and cutlery. The programme also includes fun/ silly type games based on speed of thought and resilience.
This culminates in a 24 hour survival expedition in which students experience night walks and night navigation, shelter comfort, camp cooking, split sleeps - with some wet and muddy activities thrown in for good measure! The programme is designed to improve decision making and resilience.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award
Redbridge Community School is a Duke of Edinburgh Licensed centre offering both Bronze and Silver Awards. We are one of the largest centres in Southampton and we have in the region of 40 students involved. The school has invested heavily in tents, rucksacks and outdoor equipment so that any student can take part. Students are encouraged to undertake a skill, community service and complete a 24 hour and 48 hour expedition. We are very proud of our students and our association with the award scheme.
24 hour expedition for staff
What we offer to our students we also offer to our staff. Staff have the opportunity to take part in a 24 hour expedition. Well, after all, the staff have to do what the students have completed too!
Ardèche Water Sports Trip
This water sports trip is offered to students at Redbridge Community School and is in association with PGL who run various trips. In the Ardèche, France, the students get to experience water sports such as kayaking, white water rafting and experience the French culture. It certainly is exciting!
The school is proud of its association with Embers Bushcraft and will continue to use their expertise in developing the students at Redbridge Community School further. Please click on the link below to get a sense of their work!
Inspired by the natural world around us, Embers Bushcraft was founded to help us access the dormant potential we all have within us by using the medium of the outdoors. In understanding our natural world and using the medium of Bushcraft and outdoor learning as a tool, Embers Bushcraft is able to provide positive and creative opportunities that can inspire. We are therefore, able to develop your skills and confidences and feel this can enable everyone to be more than they are, however they perceive themselves.
Embers Bush craft’s ethos is about finding an inner resilience and using our knowledge, skills and perceptions to succeed in environments that are now sadly, often divorced from our cosy, protected, centrally heated and technology driven 21st century world. With a minimalistic approach, we are able to connect with something special. Not only our environment but more importantly, with ourselves and each other. We have learnt from experience this inspires change and the outdoor experience becomes a catalyst for this.
Finally, whilst most of these experiences are free, the school holds an ‘opportunities fund’ to either pay or subsidise experiences where costs are associated. Nominations come from staff and parents can also approach the school, confidentially, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr J S Ashely