Inaburra School’s camps and outdoor education

BY INABURRA SCHOOL: 

Inaburra aims to provide innovative and exciting programs that foster the development of the whole child. The Inaburra Learner Profile states that the School seeks to shape life-long learners who, among other things, are knowledgeable and resourceful thinkers and resilient and responsible risk takers.

Inaburra’s Camp and Outdoor Education program is designed to facilitate this learning by providing exciting experiences beyond the classroom where students work together in a context unfamiliar to them. There is a progression designed into the sequence of camps that allows the students to gradually increase the level of challenge they experience.

The camping program commences in Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6), with a biennial alternation between a trip to Canberra for three days, visiting Parliament House, the Australian Institute of Sport, the War Memorial and Questacon, and a more traditional camp at Port Hacking for three days.

In Year 7, the School continues continue this program with a camp in the first week of the School year. This occasionally entails putting students on the camp bus on their first day of School. While this can be a high bar for new Year 7 students (and parents) to hurdle, Inaburra School is convinced that this camp is of inestimable benefit in assisting students with the social transition to School. They have the opportunity to share experiences, form positive memories, and begin to build friendships.

In Year 8, Inaburra has another site-based camp – conducted by Anglican Youthworks on their Waterslea property in the Shoalhaven. This camp involves a step-up in challenge, with some more demanding activities including one night sleeping in a tent, the first such experience for many students.

In Year 9 the bar is raised significantly higher. Inaburra School offers two options: a four-day bush camp or a six-day expedition camp. Students are free to choose the level of challenge that they take on with these camps, recognising that they come to the opportunity with varying levels of experience, fitness, resilience and desire.

In Year 10, the students participate in the Global Education program in the final weeks of the School year. In this experience, the focus shifts from outdoor education, to concentrate on service learning and horizon broadening. Students choose from a range of programs, including Cambodia/Vietnam, the Yasawa Islands, Broken Hill, or a range of experiences throughout Sydney. The benefit for the students is significant, enabling them to see beyond their individual and immediate needs, and instead view themselves as part of a global community.

In Year 11, the focus shifts to completion of preliminary HSC coursework in the allocated three terms in preparation for students’ final year. However, in Year 12 Inaburra takes the cohort back to Waterslea for an intensive study camp at the end of Term 2. The School’s goal is to equip the students with study and organisational skills to help them to make the most of the lead up to the HSC Trial exams and the preparation for the final HSC exams.

The program for camps and outdoor education at Inaburra is designed to provide a variety of levels of challenge and opportunities appropriate to a student’s age and stage of Schooling. It is inevitably the case, that the various camps are remembered as the highlights and best aspects of School among its Year 12 graduates.

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