The Ruyton Reporter - Spring 2014 - page 15

15
spring 2014
Inaugural Director of Outdoor Education
‘I love sharing the outdoors with students. There are so many great
places to go, trips to take and fun things to try. I’ve been able to share
my love and experience of the bush in a range of educational settings.’
Mr Darren Saunder took up the inaugural role of Director of Outdoor
Education at the beginning of Term 3. Darren has taught VCE Outdoor
Education and has run trips at a range of schools and settings.
Significantly, he has developed a sequential journey-based programme
to be used in schools which promotes personal development and a
love of the outdoors. Darren is keen to build on the Expanding Horizons
Programme already in place, to extend the levels of challenge but in a
safe and supportive environment. He believes that travelling broadens
our horizons so that we appreciate our everyday experiences so much
more.
‘You get to see new places and do different things. You usually
eat different food, stay in special spots and get around in new ways.
It’s always a little adventure, and sometimes it can be a big adventure!’
Darren will ensure that our girls’ levels of skills are enhanced and
developed at the appropriate age on each camp. He is an educator who
recognises the importance of academic study complemented with a
programme where girls learn to cope with challenges and co-operate
in an inclusive and close-knit community.
‘Living and travelling in the outdoors usually involves some challenges.
With a positive attitude and co-operation between students we can all
learn to see things with fresh eyes and overcome these obstacles,
growing from the experience.’
What a terrific time we all had at the Year 8 camp in Queenscliff! I think many
would see that the camp is the quintessential Australian marine experience.
We learnt the skills of surfing, paddle boarding, snorkelling and gained a greater
understanding of marine life. In the term prior to the camp we studied marine
ecology and the environment we would encounter at Queenscliff. We learnt
how fragile the ecosystems are there and the importance of preserving them.
Our snorkelling expeditions were conducted under the supervision of two
instructors, crusty old sea-dogs indeed, who had such a wealth of knowledge
of the marine environment. We saw star fish, anemones, sting rays and a huge
variety of seaweeds. This also tied in well with our unit in Science, where we
studied marine life-cycles and food webs. We were also able to observe closely
seals that were living on a man-made reef in the middle of Port Phillip Bay.
At the Marine Discovery Centre at Queenscliff we pressed seaweed, were given
specimens to classify, and were encouraged to handle the creatures living in the
pools. The highlight for many of the girls (and the teachers) was the surfing and
paddle board lessons. These activities appear so easy from the shore, but require
such skill to master. The girls felt a real sense of achievement when they either
stood up or knelt up on their boards. They also learnt important safety lessons
about the power of the waves, the strength of the currents and the danger of rips.
Ms Nicole Barrah
and
Mr Chris Moloney,
Humanities teachers
Loving the Outdoors
Learning from two crusty sea-dogs
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