Learning 18 Nov 2019

Excursion week: an unforgettable outdoor learning experience

By Lucy Estcourt, CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

Outdoor learning plays an integral part of a student’s education at CIS. No matter the age or subject, we aim to extend lessons into the outdoors whenever there is an opportunity for students to learn.

The length and focus of our outdoor learning programmes vary depending on the age. In kindergarten, it takes place in our Outdoor Discovery Centre while in the older grades, it involves engaging activities such as Open Minds (hands-on learning experiences in settings such as Fort Canning) and Excursion week.

Excursion week involves all students in grades 4 to 11 spending a week in Singapore or other countries in the region and learning to be independent, take risks, show initiative, lead, work in teams and care for other communities.

In May, fifty grade 9 students went on an expedition to Sedili Besar in Malaysia. During the trip, they took part in a variety of meaningful environmental, team-building and service activities. The objective was to help them develop an international-mindedness and a sense of responsibility, and understand how small actions can make a great contribution to the community.

“We did lots of cool outdoor activities like kayaking, a ropes course, orienteering and mangrove exploring,” explained grade 10 student Rafael G. “We also visited a plantation and an organic fruit farm where we learned how to create organic fertiliser and protect fruit without using pesticides.”

“Another highlight was volunteering at a local Rohingya refugee school where we facilitated two different art therapy exercises; one designed to break down negative feelings and the other to strengthen group bonds and identity. Afterwards, the children built their dream houses out of Lego - it was fascinating to see what they believed was necessary and desirable in a house! I really enjoyed visiting the school. I was able to learn about the situation the children are in and how they’ve coped with it. I greatly benefited from the experience and would love the chance to do it again!”

To find out about CIS and their Excursion Week programme visit https://www.cis.edu.sg/learning/outdoor-learning