Out of the classroom and into the wilderness, we’re supporting students to push their limits in a process of self-discovery. Using outdoor-based challenges, we’ll venture beyond stereotypes and self-doubt to build confidence, develop resilience, broaden horizons and create possibility.
The initial goal for Olive Academies (OA) Foundation is to raise funds to deliver Venture Beyond: a specialist residential enrichment programme for all OA students to participate in.
Planned and delivered by OA staff, who have expert knowledge of each student’s needs and abilities, in conjunction with specialist outdoor learning providers, Venture Beyond is a tailored programme that is optimised for each student to ensure maximum impact and lasting results for all participants.
While the programme is developed according to students’ abilities, the intended outcomes will be the same for all. Venture Beyond encourages all students to move beyond their comfort zone and empowers them to take on challenges that will:
- build resilience
- develop confidence
- increase positive engagement with learning
- improve interpersonal skills
- support relationship-building
- learn self-regulation
- broaden horizons
- discover new interests in physical activities and healthy habits
OA staff will generate lasting change for students by building upon these outcomes back in the classroom to support future success in learning and beyond.
Beyond the curriculum
Building on the success of the locally-based outdoor learning sessions currently in place for some of our academies, Venture Beyond will increase the level of impact for our students and extend access to all OA students.
Currently, three of our academies provide elements of outdoor learning as part of the curriculum, with high degrees of success. Despite the limited programme, which is due to constraints such as timetabling and funding, the impact we've seen in participating students is positive. Our ambition is to turn these relatively small-scale successes into transformational long-term results, which will give OA students the essential skills necessary to be successful in education, employment and society.
We have seen first-hand the impact that outdoor learning has on our students’ engagement with education. Students are showing more confidence to try. They are starting to show academic resilience when they face a problem. Their social skills have improved, with better relationships forming amongst peers and staff. These findings have also been recognised on a national scale within the outdoor learning community.
The impact of outdoor learning on attainment and behaviour
University of Edinburgh
The authentic and informal outdoor context provides rich opportunities for the development of peer and pupil-teacher relationships. Such connections improve behaviour for learning and are central to young people's attachment, sense of belonging and commitment to school and their academic career more generally.”
Taking part in new experiences has given me confidence in myself. If I’m willing to try, and I put the effort in, I can achieve things. It’s made me think about what else might be possible.
Rock climbing has taught me to push myself. To not give up when things get tough, but to find ways to work around problems.
The Institute for Outdoor Learning
Adventure learning interventions consistently show positive benefits on academic learning and wider outcomes such as self-confidence.
I feel better about myself. I’m learning not to give up and that it’s ok to ask for help.
Here's how Venture Beyond differs from the outdoor learning sessions that are currently in place at some of our academies.
- Scale: Venture Beyond is for all OA students.
- Range: The programme will include a wider range of activities, including working with specialist provisions such as Jamie’s Farm, which follows a more therapeutic approach. Venture Beyond will also cater for those students who are put off by more traditional adventure learning.
- Geography: Venture Beyond provides access to opportunities further away from home, including in wilderness areas such as Snowdonia or Dartmoor, or even abroad.
- Intensity: This will be residential for as many students as possible.
- Opportunity: Participating in Venture Beyond will open doors for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and National Citizen Service.