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​​Rationale for outdoor activities and enrichment​ 

Rationale for Outdoor and Enrichment Curriculum at Roselyn House School and The RHISE Service. 





Education is more than just learning English and Maths - it's also about activities that extend children's learning through new experiences and opportunities.  


All children benefit from enrichment, but in our experience, children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with profound SEMH needs can benefit more from experiences and activities that they may not get out of school. At Roselyn House School and the RHISE Service we believe that enrichment provides children with a rounded, culturally rich education through activities that enhance their learning. Enrichment gives students opportunities to try new and varied activities that may not strictly fit into the curriculum, but that develop character, resilience and motivation, and encourage them to pursue wider goals. 


It helps to teach life skills that benefit children beyond the classroom, and can develop an appreciation for cultural and community issues, teamwork and social responsibility. Research by the Education Endowment Foundation has also found a link between enrichment and higher attainment in reading and maths. 


Although there’s no statutory requirement for schools to provide enrichment opportunities, it’s encouraged by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted. Ofsted’s Inspection Framework emphasises the importance of personal development and extending the curriculum beyond academic achievement. 

It assesses schools on whether they: 

  • Help children develop their interests and talents. 

  • Enable children to develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence

  • Teach children how to keep physically and mentally healthy

  • Prepare them for future success. 

  • Equip students to be responsible, respectful and active citizens. 



Self-perceptions are an individual’s own beliefs about whether or not they can accomplish a task. Self-perceptions are often seen as precursors to motivation Positive self-perceptions predict greater motivation which, in turn, encourages students to apply greater effort, leading to improved performance.   


2. Motivation   

Motivation is why individuals think and behave as they do. They develop goals, the ability to be flexible, control situations and achieve well.   




3. Perseverance  

Perseverance is about sticking with a new skill or completing a task. It helps to develop long term goals and a sense of self fulfilment.  


4. Self-Control  

Self-control is the ability to resist short-term impulses in order to prioritise longer-term goals. Students may alter their own responses, especially to bring them into line with standards such as ideals, values, morals, and social expectations, and to support the attainment of long-term goals. This involves exerting self-control over behaviours, feelings, and thoughts in order to conform to rules, plans, promises, ideals, and other standards.   


5. Metacognitive Strategies  

Metacognitive strategies are goal-oriented efforts to influence one’s own learning behaviours and processes by focusing awareness on thinking and selecting, monitoring, and planning strategies that are most conducive to learning (Zimmerman, 2001). Students will understand their own strengths and weaknesses and set goals for the future.  


6. Social Competencies   

Non -cognitive skills involve social interactions and relationships with others including leadership and social skills. Leadership is defined and measured in many different ways but usually it concerns perceptions of having power and influence over other people or exhibiting behaviours related to being a leader such as organisational and management skills. Social skills relate to a wide variety of positive interactions with others including having good communication skills, showing empathy, having good friends, and being cooperative.   


7. Resilience and Coping  

Resilience is whether individuals continue to persist despite minor setbacks. Resilience is demonstrated when young people succeed despite exposure to significant risks. Coping refers to a wide set of skills/strategies and purposeful responses to stress.   


8. Creativity  

Creativity is the production of novel and useful ideas.   



Outdoor Education  


With outdoor education, achievement is not assessed and it follows no set curriculum, so how do we prove its worth for our students, and why are more and more schools making it a key part of their students’ education? 

The very fact that it is not assessed allows students a chance to learn without the pressures of “failing”. Achievement is personal; the value is in the experience. Many students who struggle in the classroom often thrive in an outdoor environment; the move from visual and auditory to kinaesthetic learning is a refreshing change for all and notably of benefit to many students with SEN. 

Physical activity is proven to help increase attention, reduce anxiety and develop coordination skills. However, for many students, the more traditional competitive team sports still put pressure on the students for results. That said, outdoor education can also be a great boost to high achievers in the classroom and to great sportsmen and women, and the experiences are very often some of the most memorable of a student’s schooling. 

Outdoor education encourages students to work independently, use their initiative and exercise problem solving skills. When a student achieves the challenge of reaching the top of a climbing wall or mountain, masters paddling a kayak or faces their fears when caving, it helps them to realise what they can achieve when they push themselves. It also demonstrates the benefits of teamwork, as students are able to support each other both physically and emotionally. 

Those running the activity can only encourage and support; the effort has to come from the student. Activities require perseverance, determination and sometimes braving bad weather, but the experiences teach students what they are capable of, pushing them out of their comfort zones and into new environments. 

Outdoor based curriculum activities/ Forest Schools 

Outdoor based curriculum activities and Forest Schools are unique educational experiences and processes that offers our students the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence, resilience, creativity independence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. 

Students engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers, with the appropriate footwear and clothing. They work with tools, play, learn and begin to understand the boundaries of behaviour, both physical and social. This helps them to grow in confidence, resilience, creativity independence and self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world. 

These activities encourage young people to: 

  • develop personal and social skills 

  • work through practical problems and challenges 

  • use tools to create, build or manage 

  • discover how they learn best 

  • pursue knowledge that interests them 

  • learn how to manage failures 

  • build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk 

  • develop practical skills 

  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle 

  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth 

  • regularly experience achievement and success 

  • reflect on learning and experiences 

  • develop their language and communication skills 

  • improve physical motor skills 

  • become more motivated 

  • improve their concentration skills 

  • improve their communication 

  • and explore the world through all the senses available to them 

 These activities may include: 

  • Shelter building  

  • Natural art 

  • Using knots and lashings 

  • Fire lighting 

  • Animal tracking 

  • Bug hunts 

  • Tree investigations 

  • Climbing and balancing 

  • Woodwork using tools, e.g. making musical instruments, jewellery, decorative items 

  • Creating bug homes and bird feeders 

  • Collecting, identifying and sorting natural materials such as leaves 

  • Team games 


These activities are curriculum-linked and span a number of subjects, including Maths, English, Design & Technology, Science, Music and Art. 

On site we have developed a sensory garden with outdoor musical instruments, an outdoor story telling area, buddy benches, a living tepee and a zen garden is in development by students which will contain natural habitats for wildlife and a market garden. 

Duke of Edinburgh 

14-24 year-olds can do a DofE programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  


There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity. Any young person can do their DofE – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.  


Through a DofE programme young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and further education and job applications. Employers recognise the work-ready skills Award holders bring to their business. The DofE licenses organisations that work with young people to run DofE programmes. Through the Licensed Organisation (LO) young people are supported by Leaders who support them through their programmes, helping them to choose their activities, set their objectives and achieve their Award.  


There are four main sections of a DofE programme; Volunteering, Physical, Skills, and Expedition. At Gold participants will also complete a Residential section.  


Volunteering Section  

Volunteering is about choosing to give time to help people, the community or society, the environment or animals.  

Your volunteering must not be done for a business but can be undertaken for a charity or not-for-profit organisation.   

For your volunteering activity you need to choose to give time to do something useful without getting paid.  

You can also volunteer in a team, which might be an easier way to find an activity if you can identify a local need you can help with.  


Physical section  

For your physical activity you need to choose any sport, dance or fitness activity – in short, anything that requires a sustained level of energy and physical activity. For example, playing a sport regularly and showing personal improvement would count.   


Skills section  

For your skills activity you need to choose an activity that will allow you to prove you have broadened your understanding and increased your expertise in your chosen skill.   


Expedition section  

For your Expedition section, you will need to plan, train for and complete an unaccompanied, self-reliant expedition with an agreed aim. You must do the correct training for your level and mode of travel, at least one practice expedition, a qualifying expedition (the one that is assessed) and a final presentation in order to complete the section. Your expedition must be completed by your own physical efforts (but you have loads of choices, not just on foot!) with minimal external intervention and without motorised assistance. Your route should also be a continuous journey.  


The team must plan and organise the expedition; all members of the team should be able to describe the role they have played in planning. The expedition must have an aim. The aim can be set by the Leader at Bronze level only.  All participants must be within the qualifying age of the programme level and at the same Award level (i.e., not have completed the same or higher level of expedition). There must be between four and seven participants in a team (eight for modes of travel which have tandem). 


The expedition should take place in the recommended environment. Accommodation must be by camping or other simple self-catering accommodation (e.g., camping barns or bunkhouses). The expedition must be of the correct duration and meet the minimum hours of planned activity.  All expeditions must be supervised by an adult (the Expedition Supervisor) who is able to accept responsibility for the safety of the team. Assessment must be by an accredited Assessor.   


At Bronze level only, the Assessor may also be the Expedition Supervisor. Expeditions will usually take place between the end of March and the end of October. They may take place outside this period, if so, non-camping accommodation options should be considered. 


Teams must have the opportunity to plan their own route and submit a route plan.   

Planning the expedition Bronze: Expeditions should be in normal rural countryside – familiar and local to groups. Bronze: A minimum of 2 days, 1 night; 6 hours planned activity each day. Silver: Expeditions should be in normal rural, open countryside or forest – unfamiliar to groups. Silver: A minimum of 3 days, 2 nights; 7 hours planned activity each day. Gold: Expeditions should be in wild country (remote from habitation) which is unfamiliar to groups. Gold: A minimum of 4 days, 3 nights; 8 hours planned activity each day.   

All expeditions must be by the participants’ own physical effort, without motorised or outside assistance. Mobility aids may be used where appropriate to the needs of the participant. All expeditions must be unaccompanied and self-sufficient. 


The team must be properly equipped, and supervision must be carried out remotely. Teams must possess the necessary physical fitness, first aid and expedition skills required to complete their expedition safely. Groups must adhere to a mobile phone use policy as agreed with their Expedition Supervisor and Assessor. This agreement should also include use of other electronic equipment.  


Participants must behave responsibly with respect for their team members, Leaders, the public and animals. Groups must understand and adhere to the Countryside /Scottish Outdoor Access, Highway and Water Sports Codes (as appropriate).   

Participants must plan an appropriate expedition menu, including cooking and eating a substantial hot meal on each day. This is optional on the final day. Participants must actively participate in a debrief with their Assessor at the end of the expedition. At Silver and Gold level, a presentation must be prepared and delivered after the expedition.  


Modes of travel 


  • Foot  

  • Bicycle  

  • Boat  

  • Canoe or kayak  

  • Wheelchair  

  • Horseback  

Eco Schools and Green Schools 

Seven Step Overview 


Ten Topics 

Sport and Healthy Lifestyles 

  • Improve social well-being. 

  • Multi sports and games.   

  • Gym and personal fitness.   

  • Understanding and planning for a Healthy Lifestyle.  

  • Positive Collaboration with others.  




  • Good posture   

  • Muscular strength and flexibility.   

  • Absence of poor health conditions.   





  • Co-operation with other people in teams and groups.   

  • A sense of belonging throughout life.   


Mental/ Emotional   


  • Feelings of satisfaction and happiness.   

  • Good levels of self-esteem.   

  • Absence of illness such as depression and anxiety.   

  • Aesthetic appreciation of the beauty of performance.   


Engage student voices  


  • Enhancing young peoples’ ownership of physical activity delivery to ensure that activities meet their needs.  

  • Create active environments. 

  • Access to, and integration of, open forests, parks and playgrounds are positively associated with physical activity levels.  


Offer choice and variety  


  • Offering a variety of physical activity opportunities including free play can increase participation in physical activity.  

  • Embed in curriculum, teaching and learning e.g., children standing up and moving around every 20 minutes. Using physical activity games in other subjects e.g., maths.  

  • Increasing the amount of time spent being physically active can improve both physical development, educational outcomes and emotional development. Active children have better attention, behaviour and academic performance.  


Promote active travel  


  • Interventions to encourage active travel can play a key role in contributing to young people’s physical activity levels e.g. walking to school, using scooters or bikes.  


Embed monitoring and self-evaluation 


  • Self-monitoring, for example through use of pedometers deployed with personal goal setting, has been found to support an increase in physical activity; particularly among children and young people who are likely to be the least active.  


There is an association between being physically active and academic attainment and attention. Being physically active also helps to promote physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Children and young people who are physically active are more likely to continue the habit into adult life.  


The Chief Medical Officer recommends that all children aged between 5 and 18 should be active for a minimum of 60 minutes per day.  


  • The positive associations between physical activity and promotion of mental wellbeing, including as an approach to combat stress.  

  • The characteristics and evidence of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, including the links between an inactive lifestyle and ill health, including cancer and cardio- vascular ill-health.  


PE Curriculum:  See schemes of work 

NCFE Sport and Sport’s Leaders 

To be awarded the Level 1 Certificate in Sport, learners must achieve a minimum of 20 credits (5 units) to be selected from the 11 optional units  


Unit 01 Taking part in sport  


  • In this unit, learners will participate in sport. They’ll develop an understanding of why people participate in sport and the skills and techniques required for a range of team and individual sports. Learners will actively participate in sports activities, and they’ll also have the opportunity to review their participation over time, identifying areas for improvement.  


Unit 02 Sports coaching  


  • In this unit, learners will understand the importance of communication skills, the qualities and responsibilities of a coach, and how to create a positive coaching environment. They’ll understand the different components of an activity session, and will plan, deliver and evaluate a session.  


Unit 03 Leading others  


  • In this unit, learners will develop an understanding of leadership and decision-making skills and why they’re important within certain situations. Learners demonstrate the use of effective leadership skills through a group activity and will review the use of their skills.  


Unit 04 Personal exercise and fitness  


  • In this unit, learners will understand why people participate in exercise and fitness. Common fitness tests will be identified, participated in and results recorded. Learners will actively participate in exercise and fitness activities to improve their fitness levels. 


Unit 05 Effect of exercise on human body systems  


  • Learners will understand the structure and function of the skeletal, muscular, respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and the effects of exercise on these systems.  


Unit 06 Strength and conditioning  


  • In this unit, learners will learn about strength and conditioning exercises, equipment and facilities used. Learners will be able to plan, use and review a fitness programme in order to identify targets.  



Unit 07 Health and nutrition  


  • In this unit, learners will understand the major food groups and the importance of a balanced diet. They’ll look at different diets and will be able to prepare a healthy diet plan.  


Unit 08 Developing sports volunteering skills  


  • In this unit, learners will understand the skills, qualities and values that a sports volunteer needs, and will apply these in a sports volunteering role, reviewing what went well and what could be improved.  


Unit 09 Assist in a sports event  


  • In this unit, learners will identify different types of sports events and set personal objectives. They’ll prepare for and assist at an event and review the achievement of their objectives.  


Unit 10 Understanding the sport and active leisure sector  


  • In this unit, learners will learn about the sport and active leisure sector. They will identify job opportunities and the skills and qualifications needed to work in the sector. Learners will plan their own learning and development, identifying further learning required to enable them to progress into a career in the sport sector.  


Unit 11 Exploring employment in the outdoor industry  


  • In this unit, learners will study the structure and organisation of the UK outdoor industry. Learners will understand the roles and responsibilities of an outdoor industry role and identify the skills needed to work in the sector.  


 S.Damerall, J.Birkenhead 

June 2023 

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