“The first in time and the first in importance of the influences upon the mind is that of nature. . . The scholar must needs stand wistful and admiring before this great spectacle.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Selwyn School’s outdoor education program stands as one of the integral aspects of our curriculum. A collaboration between teachers and students across all grades and subjects, outdoor education at Selwyn focuses on project-based learning activities. We believe that the environment is an extension of the classroom, and we make the most of our wooded ten-acre campus and local parks and nature preserves. With Selwyn’s emphasis on experiential learning, our outdoor program puts theory into practice, allowing students the time for creativity and reflection that accelerates the learning process and cements learned topics into the minds of Selwyn students.
Throughout the school year, Selwyn students regularly enjoy the opportunity to:
In addition, each year students have the opportunity to experience the benefits of outdoor education during a day- to week-long trip, depending on grade level, through our Perspectives Travel Program.
Our outdoor education program allows students to form relationships with classmates with whom they might not normally interact on a daily basis. Students work together in groups to solve problems and discover more about the world around them, all while forming deeper connections with the school community.
Working outdoors and sharing exciting experiences together helps to improve social skills, peer cooperation, and conflict resolution. A unique and healthy culture of collaboration and camaraderie arises around their shared experiences.
Activities in Selwyn’s outdoor education program are specially designed so that older students can help lead lessons, allowing for peer teaching and the development of leadership and community. The alternate setting allows students to assume leadership roles and demonstrate in the real world what they’ve learned in the classroom.
By encouraging students to leave their comfort zones, outdoor education helps to build self-esteem and self-confidence.
Spending time in nature, away from the ordinary distractions of technology and indoors, promotes a healthy relationship between students and the world in which they live. We’ve found that time spent learning outside helps to decrease students’ stress and anxiety, elevate their mood, and maintain a healthy emotional balance.
Developing in students a love for, and stewardship of, the environment is a key for our shared future, and the Selwyn School works to ensure that students learn ways they can preserve healthy air, water, and other natural resources for their communities.