The mission of Fintona’s Outdoor Education program is to provide students with the skills to contribute and participate in the ever-changing global community that will continue to pose new challenges.
The Outdoor Education program, integral to a Fintona education for over 20 years, is designed to provide students with hands-on experiential learning. In addition to gaining an appreciation and understanding for how to protect our natural environments, students learn problem solving, communication and collaboration, leadership and resilience; valuable skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
All programs focus on ‘facilitating the achievement of human potential through outdoor experiences.’ (1)Curriculum-based camps from Years 1-10 and co-curricular opportunities are underpinned by the wellbeing curriculum and are centred on building sustainability across three domains:
- Self Sustainability — respect and responsibility for self
- Community Sustainability — respect and responsibility for others
- Environmental Sustainability — respect and responsibility for the natural environment
Students explore these domains through a range of activities including hiking, surfing, kayaking, rock climbing, navigation and camping, just to name a few.
This year during camps week, Year 7 students travelled to Central Australia to begin developing their outdoor skills while strengthening their connections to our natural environment and indigenous culture; Year 8 students focused on what it means to be part of a community in the Toolangi region; Year 9 students learnt about what it means to be resilient on The Great Ocean Walk; and Year 10 students focused on leadership in the Brisbane Ranges. These camps follow a sequential curriculum which culminates in Year 10 students becoming self-sufficient in the outdoors for the entirety of their experience.
Following their time on camps this year, when asked, ‘What life lessons did you gain from camp?’ students shared the following responses:
‘The importance of pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and giving things a go even if I am unsure.’ Zimo, Year 10
‘Teamwork and learning to push through when things became tough.’ Alessia, Year 9
‘I learnt about the importance of communication when working as a team.’ Navya, Year 8
It is hoped that when students graduate, not only will they have a toolkit of skills and experiences to draw from when they face challenges, but they will look back fondly on lifelong memories formed during their experiences in Outdoor Education.