Outdoor Education - -Building resilience in Hale School boys for the community’s sustainable future

The purpose of Outdoor Education at Hale is to make a distinctive and sustainable contribution to the School curriculum that will enhance individual capacity to make a positive contribution to their family, school and wider community.

Outdoor Education provides opportunities to develop positive relationships with the environment, others and ourselves through interaction with the natural world. These relationships are essential for the well-being and sustainability of individuals, society and our environment. Outdoor Education engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and settings typically beyond the school classroom. Through exposure to perceived risk and removal of normal comfort zones, students discover and expose their areas of vulnerability and in doing so build resilience and confidence. 

As future leaders and pillars of society, it is critical that we provide our students with the knowledge and moral compass to be able to make good decisions for humankind and the environment for both themselves and generations that follow.

The Hale Outdoor Education programme aims for every student to;
·          develop personal and social capability,
·          develop the capacity for critical thinking, self-reflection and ethical understanding
·          develop strategies for management of personal risk,
·          gain an appreciation for the natural environment, Aboriginal perspective's and sustainability.
·          be committed to service.

Our Outdoor Education programme spans across the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools.

Year 4 - The Lorax Adventure
Year 4 students will attend an overnight programme on campus. The theme of the camp is based around the 1971, Dr. Seuss book “The Lorax”. A mysterious character ‘The Lorax’ is the guardian of the forest who loves to share the marvels and mysteries of the natural world. As students earn badges to become Forest Guardian’s it is the intention they will explore how humans can connect with the natural environment and discuss ways they can develop solutions to better protect our natural world.

Year 5 - The adventure begins!
In Year 5, students attend a four-day programme in Geographe Bay, Busselton. Boys participate in adventure activities such as snorkelling, rock climbing, archery, caving, Aboriginal cultural experience and more. The intention is to gently introduce boys to different natural environments and group settings that are important in developing a sense of personal responsibility and comfort away from the home environment.

Year 6 - Great Southern Discovery’
In Year 6, each student will attend one four-day programme to be held at Camp Quaranup, Albany. The boys will participate in activities in and around Vancouver Point and Albany Town. The activities will include cycling, hiking, rafting, beach activities, archery, and more. The South Coast of Western Australia is a unique and historically rich setting to blend, develop and enhance the boys' knowledge and respect of the environment, and at the same time gain confidence in the outdoors. The progression of these concepts will be an important foundation in students Outdoor Education experience at Hale School.

Year 7 - Forming relationships and working together
The Year 7 camp is four days and held at Nannup, in the Blackwood River region (270km south-east of Perth). The campsite, inside a private property, provides excellent access to the Blackwood River and surrounding Jarrah forest. Students participate in a number of activities in the surrounding areas including tent camping, cooking, orienteering, canoeing, rafting, mountain biking, team games and more.

Year 8 - Personal challenge; preparing for expedition journeys
The Year 8 camp at Wharncliffe Mill Forest Camp (north of Margaret River) sees boys participate in mountain biking, canoeing, abseiling and rock climbing in the surrounding areas; and cooking their evening meal each night. These activities are challenging, exciting and fun. The aim of the camp is to develop boys’ knowledge of environmental camping and improve their teamwork and leadership skills.

Year 9 & 10 - Extended personal challenge and exploration of human-nature relationships
In Years 9 &10, all students attend a nine-day field programme in the Exmouth Region. 2018 will mark the final time of this expedition for Year 10 students and the first time for Year 9 students as the Outdoor Education curriculum is being updated and improved.
The camp is operated from Hale School’s base in Exmouth Township. After a 15 hour overnight coach trip to the base, students prepare for the next eight nights camping under the stars. Up to four groups are in the field at one time, where they rotate through three programme sections ranging from two to four days long. Camp highlights include:

Rowing a 24ft rowboat amongst the islands of Exmouth Gulf, where groups need to be self-sufficient (to a degree) through fishing and foraging in a shipwreck camp scenario.

Hiking fully self-contained for 30km from shore to shore across Cape Range on the Exmouth Peninsula. The walk is through an elevation of 300m and includes a lay-day of rock climbing and abseiling.

Sea kayaking along the pristine waters of Ningaloo Reef for two days with an overnight beach campout.

The expedition focuses around environmental, group and personal observations and includes many structured learning and review opportunities, as well as an introduction to individual leadership among peers. Following the final debrief, the students say goodbye to Exmouth and board the coach once again for the 15 hour ride home.