Our location really lends itself to the outdoor environment. The extensive bushland provides a perfect opportunity for students to experience the outdoors, discover themselves, and grow as people.
The College is set within Bungendore park, providing easy access to the Munda Biddi Trail, the Bibbulmun Track and Wungong Dam. We have the best campus-based outdoor education facilities in Western Australia, including high ropes, flying fox, giant swing and a 30m abseiling tower. Our performance in Outdoor Education far exceeds the state average. But most importantly, through Outdoor Education we equip our students with essential life skills.
Outdoor Education is a holistic approach to education. It develops independence in planning and preparing for camps, overnight stays, and adventure activities. It builds the students’ life skills as they learn through planning, preparing, cooking their own food, packing their own bag, taking charge of navigation and more.
By participating in a range of outdoor activities, students are challenged as individuals and as a group. Students grow from their experiences, becoming more empathetic through group work and learning how to work as a team.”
– Mr Morris Prinsloo, Outdoor Education Teacher
Outdoor Education is beneficial to students’ spiritual, emotional, social, and physical development.
Spiritual is understanding the importance of taking time out of the busyness of life and realising that God has given us His creation to look after. Learning about minimal impact and the importance of conservation. Through caring for nature, we teach our students to show integrity.
Emotional is when students learn resilience through challenging activities and learn to cope with changing and fluid situations. When students are away from home on camp, the weather is terrible, and the gear fails them, they learn to improvise, think outside the box, and persevere. The facilitation of excellent outdoor education staff, students pull through discouragement and help them to thrive.
Social skills come as students learn how to be relational with each other. Working as part of groups, communicating as a team, and listening to new ideas.
Physical are the hard skill results of Outdoor Education. Students increase in fitness and learn a variety of skills, from camping skills like cooking on camp stoves, setting up tents and knot tying, to hiking, navigation, mountain biking, canoeing, abseiling, and archery.
The Outdoor Education Camps are facilitated by Southern Hills staff who hold nationally recognised qualifications, are highly experienced and have expert knowledge of their local environment. Our camps are designed to progressively extend student independence.
Year 3 – Evening activity at school with a fire pit, night walk and nature play
Year 4 – Activity at school with a fire pit and night walk, followed by a sleepover in the classroom
Year 5 – Evening activity at school, sleeping in tents on the lawn
Year 6 – Leadership camp, sleeping in tents on the school lawn
Year 7 – Father/son, mother/daughter adventure camp with activity challenges, a guest speaker and a bonfire
Year 8 – One-night on Bibbulmun track, hiking from Sullivans Rock to Monadnocks
Year 9 – Two-night hiking and canoeing camp in Dwellingup
Year 10 – Three-night mountain biking camp on the Munda Biddi Trail
Year 11 – Cape-to-Cape hike, and a three-night water sports camp in Dwellingup
Year 12 – Cape-to-Cape hike, and a leadership camp in second semester
Outdoor Play in Early Years
In Early Years, staff members develop the curriculum, working together to develop a program that is child centred and develops the whole child. In outdoor play the students get dirty, challenge themselves and learn a lot about self-management, decision making, and risks.
Outdoor Play is cleverly worded, because really, it’s outdoor learning.”
– Jay Enright, Early Years Coordinator
Students learn numeracy foundations while playing in the bush with sticks. Students are taught through one activity and, as they progress, new dimensions and concepts are added to that activity. Staff facilitate problem solving, and make it hands on, so the students are more engaged.
We might ask students to make us a triangle out of some sticks. And we can then discuss how many lines in a triangle and how many corners. This is teaching them addition. In a later year we could give them 12 sticks and ask them to make as many triangles as they can. This is teaching them division.