At the beginning of September the Senior Pupil Residential took place at Lagganlia Centre for Outdoor Learning in Glen Feshie. This residential which is now in it’s fourth year is part of the Outdoor Learning with National Parks project and was jointly funded by Education Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission Scotland. In total 14 schools from across seven local authorities took part in this residential with 64 pupils and 11 staff attending. The aim of the residential programme is to consider the ways in which residential experiences can challenge and support pupils in the senior school, with a focus on leadership, personal development and National Parks. Pupils from as far afield as Portree to Portlethen, Crieff to Clydebank and Banff to Blairgowrie worked in groups throughout the week to complete a range of problem solving and team building activities. All pupils took part in an overnight camp with only a bivi-bag and tarpaulin for shelter! As part of this year’s residential the pupils also had to collaborate with their group to present their thoughts on key issues such as ‘What are the benefits of outdoor learning?’ and ‘How can National Parks engage effectively with young people?’ Pupils also worked towards the John Muir Award and are now completing the final Sharing stage of the award back in their schools.
Feedback from both pupils and staff attending the residential was overwhelmingly positive:
“One of the aspects I benefited from was the opportunity to meet new people form all over Scotland, become more open-minded due to the different areas in which we live, create new friendships, boost my confidence and improve my knowledge of the National Parks.” Pupil
“This week has had a huge impact on the pupils’ social skills and their leadership skills.” Teacher
“The impact on the learners has been massive – they have developed so many skills but especially their ability to come out of their comfort zones and interact with new people from different areas across Scotland.” Teacher