Adventure Aberdeen – Am I Ready?

With our learning from life placement coming round quickly – I thought I would reflect on my experiences I have so far that will help with my time at Adventure Aberdeen.

The main categories of experience I feel that will be of use in this placement are: my first year placement, my work, my experiences from secondary school and university lectures on outdoor education.

My main reason for choosing Adventure Aberdeen was based on my own keen interesting in sports from my upbringing and my work life. I have worked as casual staff for Aberdeenshire Council for over 3 years now as a Leisure Attendant (lifeguard), an Aquatics Instructor and a Coaching Assistance. I had a variety of sporting qualifications and experience teaching sports in different environments outside of a school. This has mainly become apart of my adult life due to my keen interest in sports as a child. I feel that this background of experiences in sports will help me when out on placement with Adventure Aberdeen.

I also have a job as a Sessional Playworker at The Yard Scotland: an indoor and outdoor adventure centre for children with additional support needs (ASN). This job gives me great experience working hands on with children who have ASN in a playful setting and gives me the opportunity to learn about different ASN that I may meet in a classroom. As well as this I feel that this will be useful experience when I go on placement at Adventure Aberdeen as when I visited Adventure Aberdeen before securing my placement I was told of the work they do with children with ASN which means thanks to my part time job at The Yard I will already have experiences of working with children with ASN outside of a classroom.

In my first year placement at university, there were so many things I gained from this placement it would be impossible to go through it all. However, the main things I felt I learnt from this placement was planning and delivery of lessons, organisation, keeping my folio of evidence and about different ASN needs in the classroom. These are all things that I feel will impact on placement at Adventure Aberdeen in different ways.

Throughout secondary school, I feel I gained multiple different experiences that will continue to assist my journey through placement at Adventure Aberdeen. I gained my Community Sports Leaders Award (CSLA) in my sixth year of academy which meant I was also selected for the Aberdeenshire Leaders programme in 2014. This means that I knowledge on a range of different sports, qualification and voluntary experiences through gaining my CSLA qualification and my place on the Aberdeenshire Leaders programme.

The last area of experiences I feel that will assist me through my placement is my lectures in Outdoor Education. Although one of the reasons I chose this placement was also down to the fact we do not have enough time at university to be lucky enough to have many lectures on Outdoor Education. On the other hand, I knew this was something I wanted to be able to include in my practice when I am a qualified teachers and knew this was the time I could use to gain some experience in this area. However, we do have some inputs on Outdoor Education such as the one I blogged about before on Literacy and History, which you can read here, which I will be able to use the information we have been given in these lectures and workshops for my placement. I know this is an area I will look to develop through this placement through the hands on experience Adventure Aberdeen can provide me with as well as through reading up on different ideas I can use.

So far, I feel I have many skills and an array of knowledge that I can use for my placement this year and there are areas that I am looking forward to developing through the experience at Adventure Aberdeen.

What is Adventure Aberdeen?

For my learning from life placement I have chosen to go to Adventure Aberdeen. Throughout this placement, we are given the freedom to record our experiences in any form. I have chosen to blog about my time at Adventure Aberdeen so I can include photographs, videos or links to anything I am doing on placement.

Therefore, before I start to blog about my placement I thought I would explain a little bit about Adventure Aberdeen. aa-logo

Adventure Aberdeen is a not for profit organisation within Aberdeen City Council which works with children ranging from preschool to secondary school for Outdoor Education. Although the organisation is not just for schools and they do packages for everyone – I will mainly be working with children of school age so I am going to focus mainly on what they do with children at school.

Adventure Aberdeen’s mission statement is “We strive to: ‘Inspire Learning through Adventure’.” They do this mainly through Outdoor Education which a huge part of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. Adventure Aberdeen state “by immersing individuals (sometimes physically!) into a new natural environment, all the body’s physical senses, emotions and key social skills are used to rationalise the situation and learn.” This is a chance for children to develop their practical intelligence from Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence (1997).

One of Adventure Aberdeen’s main site for providing learning in the outdoors is at Cromdale Outdoor Centre, their residential base, which is located in Speyside at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Adventure Aberdeen can adapted their residential programme to suit every group. After my discussion with the staff at Adventure Aberdeen, I am hopeful that I may get to spend a week at Cromdale Outdoor Centre and work with a residential group.

Adventure Aberdeen have different programmes from preschool, primary and secondary children with different learning opportunities to help meet the Outdoor Learning experiences and outcomes in Curriculum for Excellence which I hope to be able to be apart of throughout this placement.

This has just been a brief post to give some more information about Adventure Aberdeen, who they are and what they do. There is more information on everything they do on their website, which you can access here.