Goals of the Outdoor Education Program
Outdoor education is a valuable component of the Middle Years program at École Varennes. Outdoor education provides students the opportunity to attain learning outcomes in an authentic, meaningful context while exploring their city and province and developing an appreciation of the natural environment. Outdoor education includes a wide variety of activities such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, camping, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, and archery.
Outdoor education experiences are often the fondest memories that students recall from their schooling. Such rich common experiences draw students together, forming social bonds that define them as unit, strengthening their sense of belonging, and enhancing school pride. Trying new activities expands their horizons. Succeeding at a difficult challenge—whether it be rock climbing or staying away from home for the first time—builds character and self-confidence. Outdoor education also provides a means of nurturing the budding independence of some students and the expressed need for independence of other students.
We aim to provide a variety of outdoor education experiences to our students. We address the following objectives when planning and implementing off-school site programs:
To provide educational experiences that complement the regular curriculum of the school.
To provide educational experiences which provide opportunities to all students.
To provide educational experiences that are relevant to the curriculum, have educational value, and are not hazardous to students.
There is a greater risk in off-school site activities and outdoor education as compared to a regular classroom setting, but the risk is manageable. By setting standards of behaviour and in fully discussing all safety rules prior to the activities on trips, both students and staff should be able to enjoy a safe and unique educational experience. With this goal in mind, all outdoor education experiences are planned in accordance with the guidelines of the extended instruction program policy.
Types of Outdoor Education Experiences
Downhill skiing, snowboarding and residential camping have been selected as the primary outdoor education experiences. We believe that these experiences must be carefully coordinated in order to ensure safety and reap maximum benefit. We have developed the following multi-year plan as a planning guide. The guide is subject to change in function of changing needs and new opportunities.
Outdoor Education Planning Guide
5 & 6
7 & 8
Two days, one night
7 & 8
6 & 7
Three days, two nights
Fall Band Camp
Three days, two nights
The guide is offered for planning purposes only and is subject to change in function of changing needs and new opportunities. All outdoor education excursions must comply with divisional planning criteria and are subject to school division approval.
For more information on our Outdoor Education program, please contact your child's classroom teacher or a school administrator.