Kuranui students from the college’s senior 2OUT class and the junior Survivor class recently visited the multi-level aerial obstacle course at Adrenaline Forest in Porirua to put their survival skills to the test.
The three-hour session gave the students a chance to challenge themselves on all levels of the high ropes course, giving them an opportunity to strengthen their ‘soft skills’ through practical learning outside of the classroom.
Kuranui English teacher Chelsea Fenwick organised the Survivor course as part of Kuranui’s Ignite junior curriculum and thought the experience would be good for her junior students to practice some of the advanced ideas they had explored in the classroom. “In the course we look at the theme of survival and all of the different ways of looking at survival,” she explained.
“When I first surveyed the class at the beginning of the semester, surviving for them was being lost in the bush and having to find food and water. I wanted to show them that survival is also about surviving life, it’s about surviving your school years, about surviving your teenage years. So that might also mean surviving a difficult or challenging situation.
“The day was to help push ourselves outside of our comfort zone. Survive a challenging experience and to have fun,” she said.
The junior students joined senior students from the Level 2 outdoor education class 2OUT. “It was quite nice for the junior students to go along with the older students and interact with students of different ages to support one another. For the older students it was a good way to learn to encourage the younger ones.
“The Ignite program is providing junior students with these new kinds of opportunities, combining different curriculum subjects and placing them in a real-life context. The engagement from the students was amazing, as they had expected something like this from their PE course, not their English class,” added Fenwick.
“It gave the students an opportunity to implement our school values in a different setting. There was a lot of empathy. I heard students cheering and encouraging one another. They were all being really determined. Because it was hard. It was really hard. It was windy and they were having to apply and independently manage themselves. A lot of those soft skills and transferable skills came into play.”
Year 10 student Trinity Southey certainly agreed. “Putting yourself in a challenge that you weren’t expecting was really hard, so you actually had to try for it,” she said.
Fenwick also utilised the trip to support the development of the students’ curriculum skills. “We have studied short texts, looked at language features, and we are currently in the middle of a film study, looking at survival. Some really interesting stuff came out of our trip. I got the students to write their own permission slips and thank you letters to the staff afterwards,” she said.”