It is not long to go now until the Ellen Tinkham School expedition to South Africa takes place. Watch this space for photos and updates.
Good news. They have landed back at Heathrow.
We are pleased to report that everyone has checked in fine.
Some of the group spent an awesome night on the beach, under the watchful eye of their dedicated leader. Then it was a sad goodbye to Pongola and on the road.
Pongola River Camp
A busy week
Rhino, Lion, Cheetah, Hippo and Crocs!
They did traps today and caught a slender mongoose. Then they climbed into a pit of waste plastic sheet and bagged up lots of it which was dirty and hot work but rewarding. The two groups then came back together which involved lots of hugging and chatting.
A quick hello from a misty morning in South Africa. What a stunning view to wake up to.
The group have been at a school today. The whole school came out to welcome them and later they were inside presenting to groups of students which went down very well. The groups were fairly large so it was a challenging but extremely rewarding experience for all the Expeditioners.
The group with Sarah have been doing a presentation to a class from a primary school in Hluhluwe on the Rhinos and affects of poaching. They worked with the interns to get this sorted. They also did a day of walking on Albizia camp and checking bucket traps and setting other traps. They have seen some large elephants the other side of the river. They then spent the afternoon pulling plastic out of a river bed.
The groups are out on the walking trails again today. An unforgettable and very exciting phase of the expedition. They are getting the chance to experience the ‘real Africa’ walking through the bush trying to spot wildlife - all under the expert guidance of highly trained and very experienced guides and rangers.
All is going well and the team had an excellent evening after handling the animals and getting their talk from Anton. Steve is off today with half of the team going to Amakhosi. The team are working hard and interacting with each other really well and as a result there are no splinter groups or cliches, it is just one big happy group.
On a bush walk they saw an elephant on the other side of the river much to everyone's delight. After that it was onto Environmental Awareness with Anton. Snakes, spiders and more with no fear factor! The whole group embraced getting up close.
The group have seen lion, rhino, buffalo and also confirmed by Tommy, a leopard! All before breakfast. There were two male lions at a distance and the leopard was a long way off.
The group have been at CROW Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife. They have been removing trees and clearing the bush pig enclosure.
The group are now at Marine World and having a fantastic time by all accounts watching dolphins, seals and turtles.
News just in that the group have arrived at the hotel and have been met by Anton and Tommy!
We have had news from the group that they have arrived in Johannesburg and have checked in. They are now waiting for the next flight. Everyone is good if a little tired.
We have just had news that the group have arrived and Heathrow and checked in! Now waiting in departures before boarding.
The Outposts Open Expedition to South Africa 2017 is on its way. We have just waved goodbye to the bus as it heads off to Heathrow for the first part of the journey to South Africa and the start of the group's adventures on expedition.
We are proud to be supporting goodgifts.org this year. We have bought all our Christmas cards from them and any profit is going to their initiative - Medicine to Save a Life.
We had a group of Cadets from King's Bruton with us doing a field day. They braved the grey, damp November morning to do a range of team-building tasks and outdoor activities like archery and airguns at Outposts' headquarters in Somerset. Thankfully the sky cleared later on, not that it had dulled their spirits. The photos speak for themselves.
If you look at guys like Olly and think ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I don’t have the money to do that’, well think again! Olly Hicks, son in law of our Managing Director, is going to be speaking at Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday 22nd November about his latest adventure – the Greenland to Scotland Challenge. Hear about the 1,500 mile kayak expedition to prove the legend that the Inuit may have found their way to Scotland in the 18th Century.
"Thank you for a really superb leadership day last week. The girls benefited tremendously from it all and have held meetings, joined things and begun some excellent initiatives already since you were here. You were all so easy to work with." Bruton School for Girls
"A great day out for the newly arrived students - I am sure many new friendships have been made - down to the fact that the students have to communicate and listen to one another." Taunton School
Outposts delivered an excellent programme that was tailored made for our Year 12 induction programme. It provided the perfect opportunity for new and current pupils to bond over well thought out tasks, such many of them falling off milk crates into 'shark infested water', dropping 'explosive' devices and the abandonment of team mates in 'acid filled lakes'. Clayesmore School, September 2016
Here are some pictures we have been sent of the group from Kosi Bay...
The Open Nepal 2016 expedition team have hit the press in Nepal as they are welcomed by Galaxy School...
The revision is finished, the exams complete and the results are in so what now? While many people may be gearing up to a gap year or packing up to go to university, not everyone feels that this is right for them. So if you are not planning on studying for a degree, what else is there?
We came across this write up from Taunton School who came to do a team-building day for their new prefects. It is fantastically well written and think they've summed up what we're about just perfectly. “CAN you carry my bags for me? The only thing I can lift now with my old age is a torch.” – the first of many misleading remarks given by the intriguingly rugged Michael Kingscote, standing quite ominously to attention as we arrived at Lydeard Farm.
We have long been advocates of the benefits of outdoor learning and, happily, there is ample evidence to prove that we are right.
At Outposts, we are advocates of experiential learning and it is true that the majority of our programmes take place outside. However, ‘experiential’ is not in fact a synonym for ‘outdoor’ and there is no reason that experiential learning cannot take place inside, at school.
Survey results from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), released on 10th November 2014, reveal that almost two thirds of young people doing their DofE believe volunteering will best prepare them for the working world, beyond other extra-curricular activities completed as part of their DofE programmes.
This week has seen, once again, a huge furore over SATS tests for 10 and 11 year olds. With tales of leaked papers, striking parents and children leaving the tests in tears, one can’t help but wonder whether or not this is the best way to assess the progress of primary students.
If organising an INSET day can be a logistical nightmare; then organising one that is helpful and meaningful to everyone involved is nigh on impossible. So what is the answer?
One of the principles that underpins everything we do at Outposts is that of giving young people the support they need to develop and fulfil their potential. As part of this and in addition to the programmes and expeditions we run, we are involved in a number of local mentoring schemes and so we were pleased to read about the announcement by the Prime Minister David Cameron of an increase in funding for careers and mentoring provision, led by the Careers & Enterprise Company.
Outposts director Fee Bellamy has just returned from two weeks in Nepal to see how our expeditions can help in the aftermath of the earthquake. Here she writes about a hugely under-reported crisis that is having an enormous impact on the people of Nepal and their ability to recover.
As members of Leave No Trace, we at Outposts believe in the importance of responsible tourism and as such thought we would offer a few top tips to help you to make the most of your expedition and to help preserve the culture and environment of the country you are visiting.
In their final evaluation report, published in June, the independent evaluators of the Learning Away project have provided powerful and significant evidence about the numerous positive effects of residentials on participating students, staff and the wider school community.
After weeks of training on the Quantocks, this Saturday a team from Outposts (dressed in fetching camouflage tutus...) completed the 2015 10K Marine Commando Challenge on Dartmoor.
On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders will commit to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years. End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change. The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people.
As a child, I always saw September as a clean slate and would return to school brimming with good intentions.
Outposts is delighted to have been awarded the LoTC Quality Badge. The LOtC Quality Badge reduces the red tape associated with learning outside the classroom by making it easier for teachers and other education providers to incorporate LOtC into the everyday curriculum. This increases the likelihood of children having the opportunity to have wider educational experiences which directly benefit their educational, social and emotional development.
With a week to go before our first expedition to South Africa departs, we thought we would share a few last minute tips and reminders for our intrepid adventurers.
The Duke of York’s Royal Military School and Newent School have been here this week as part of a BTEC course. The weather couldn't have been better for them. We hope they've all been enjoying the activities they've been taking part in and learning new skills.
We've had years of experiences in leading expeditions for schools and groups overseas. We've produced some advice on what to pack so you don't have to worry about it.
Taunton School were at Outposts on 22nd and 23rd June completing a bespoke prefect leadership training programme. The programme is geared to bond the students in an environment far removed from their every day school life and designed to build confidence.
England's women are through to the World Cup quarter finals for the first time ever; what is the secret to their success?
Working in Education can, at times, feel like being stuck on an out-of-control merry-go-round with policies and fads coming and going at such speed that you’ve barely got your head around something before it is old news. One of this year’s hot topics is character education but can it be taught and whose responsibility is it?
1. Increase engagement and concentration: it can be hard to hold concentration levels at the best to times but coming into the summer it is more difficult than ever to stop eyes wandering towards the window. Why not work with that and take learning outside of the classroom? For certain lessons it might seem irrelevant but with a bit of imagination a maths lesson can incorporate measuring distances between buildings and working out angles. The possibilities are endless. If it’s not always practical to do that but there are other options to take students out of a classroom setting to do something totally different, like team-building or residential camps. Students return feeling more engaged with staff and their compatriots. Refreshed and ready to continue their studies.
A positive view of the world and high motivation are the keys to positive behaviour. A young person who is not motivated is unlikely to concentrate and learn effectively. Research evidence shows that learning outside the classroom can have a powerfully motivating effect on young people and a beneficial impact on behaviour.
Outposts' team-building days aren’t just about having fun outside in the sunshine. There’s a lot more to it than that. What will your students learn and why is ‘team-building’ so important anyway? As they say, pictures speak a thousand words.
The biggest global schools rankings hit the news this week with Singapore topping the list and the UK lying in 20th place, behind other European countries. Are these rankings truly reflective of the education system in our country? Quoted in an article on the BBC website, Sir Anthony, head of Wellington College in Berkshire said "They are skewing schools and national education systems away from real learning towards repetitive rote learning”.
We are delighted to be an official partner of Empty Classroom Day 2015 and, as such, thought we would share an easy teambuilding activity to help you get your class outside on 19th June.
Empty Classroom Day is a day to celebrate and promote learning outside the classroom...
The transition from primary to secondary can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn't need to be.
In an increasingly results-driven and time-pressured environment, where is the time, or the justification, for taking a group of students out of the classroom?
Outposts launches a new, competitively priced, teambuilding day, aimed at improving team skills and communication.
The fields of Lydeard Farm rang with the sound of excited children as over 140 came to enjoy team tasks today in this second week of October.
"I was very happy with all of it. An excellent range of challenging activities for all abilities. Highly inclusive." Teacher - Wellsway School
"The activities were brilliant; challenging interesting and engaging. The girls and staff really enjoyed themselves. I really appreciated Dave and his team's help in accommodating Group B in building their shelters" Teacher - St Catherine's School