The Outdoor Education programme encourages students to develop their social and leadership skills, build teamwork, develop self-reliance and resilience and challenge themselves physically and emotionally.
The programme offers participants a structured progression of physical and cognitive challenges that are matched to their maturity and, to some extent, their previous outdoor experience. As students engage with these challenges they discover a great deal about their perceived limitations, capabilities, self-concept and independence.
It is strongly held that in learning to deal with change, uncertainty and perhaps self-doubt that may arise during their Outdoor Education programme, the girls learn valuable coping strategies and build resilience that can be useful in their day-to-day living.
Our programme development is guided by research and recent changes to programmes have been influenced by Dr Michael Ungar’s idea of “the risk taker’s advantage”.
Students will also be encouraged to make decisions based on an assessment of needs versus wants. This prioritising and filtering offers immediate consequences and benefits during their time on the programme and develops skills that will be vital in dealing with the broader issues that confront contemporary society as a whole.
Students have a number of Outdoor Education experiences available to them:
Year Programmes are compulsory for all girls in Years 3 to 10.
- Year 3 – ‘School Sleepover’, Students sleep in tents on School grounds. We keep it simple with some games after-school, BBQ dinner and more games in the evening.
- Year 4 – ‘Urban Adventure’, Year 4 students will have a two-day Outdoor Education programme at Pelican Point in Perth. Students sleep in tents, participate in water and land based activities and begin to develop team work.
- Year 5 – ‘Moray’, a three-day programme based at Scotch College’s Outdoor Education Centre, ‘Moray’, near Dwellingup. Students spend one night in tents amongst the Jarrah and Marri trees and one night in a dormitory.
- Year 6 – ‘PLC’s Got Talent’, this programme includes two nights in a tent and one night in a dormitory, first use of a Trangia stove (cooking pasta), plus initiative games, kayaking and environmental activities. The programme is held at Camp Geographe (near Busselton).
- Year 7 – ‘Bush Adventure’, based at Wharncliffe Mill (north of Margaret River), this programme is run over four days and three nights, with students spending every night in a tent and cooking every night with a Trangia stove.
- Year 8 – ‘Give It A Go’, this programme commences a transition from a base-camp structure (the programme based largely at one location) to more expedition-style camping (multiple campsites, with groups moving frequently during the programme). The programme runs over six days in the Margaret River region and includes mountain biking, caving, abseiling, hiking and indigenous culture.
- Year 9 and Year 10 – ‘Personal Leadership’, these programmes are designed to further extend the girls’ competence and confidence in the natural environment, as well as develop their leadership skills whilst undertaking genuine expedition-style programmes.
Co-curricular Outdoor Education options run on a term-by-term basis and are available to all girls in the Senior School.
Activities include surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, indoor climbing, rafting, abseiling, caving and sea kayaking.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
PLC students have the opportunity to complete the internationally recognised Duke of Edinburgh Award. Girls in Years 8 to 12 are able to work toward their bronze, silver or gold award, developing their leadership skills, improving their fitness, contributing to the community and experiencing an adventure along the way.
Students are able to personalise their own programme, completing four mandatory sections from the following choices:
– Physical Recreation – sport and fitness
– Skill – learn a new skill
– Volunteering – connect with community
– Adventurous Journey – a journey into an unfamiliar environment
– Residential Project (Gold Award only) – live and work in a place of need in Australia or overseas.