Kuranui College Launches Outdoor Education Academy

Press Release – Kuranui College

Kuranui College, the South Wairarapa’s secondary school, continues to develop its innovative approach to education with a new groundbreaking programme that is aimed at getting secondary, primary and international students to enjoy the great outdoors …24 January 2012

Kuranui College Launches Groundbreaking Outdoor Education Academy

Kuranui College, the South Wairarapa’s secondary school, continues to develop its innovative approach to education with a new groundbreaking programme that is aimed at getting secondary, primary and international students to enjoy the great outdoors and develop good life skills.

The Kuranui Outdoor Education Academy (KOEA) will be based in the foothills of the Tararua ranges at the Waiohine Valley Outdoor Centre. Easy access to the ranges allows the academy’s experienced staff to deliver a variety of activities, including bush craft, river safety, tramping, camping, kayaking and abseiling. With the Wairarapa coast less than an hour away, students will also be able to take part in beach safety, diving and surfing, with the wider region providing ideal opportunities for students to mountain bike, rock climb, experience high and low ropes and get involved in conservation projects.

Kuranui College Principal Geoff Shepherd is keen for Kuranui students to gain experience in an integrated environment “Teaching the curriculum through integration allows students to learn through opportunities that are relevant to their lives, in a real life context. In the last few years, the college has successfully run NCEA Outdoor Education courses at levels 1-3, and now we will also be able to give every student from year 9 upwards the chance to take part in a wide range of outdoor activities.

“Students will be able to select an individual module that they are especially keen on, like mountain biking. Each module will have a strong emphasis on the National Curriculum’s key competencies such as relating to others, managing self and participating and contributing. We believe these skills are not only essential for the development of our young people, but will enable those youngsters to embrace leadership, ingenuity and the healthy ‘can do’ attitude that New Zealanders are world-famous for.”

The KOEA activities will also be available to year 7 and 8 students throughout the region. Each term, primary students will take part in a different activity that will culminate in a camp at the Waiohine Valley Outdoor Centre at the end of Term 4, bringing together all their newly learned skills.

“Greytown School, Kahutara School, South Featherston School and St Teresas School, Featherston have already signed up for 2012,” added Shepherd. “As part of the NCEA level 3 course, our students have to demonstrate skills in both leadership and instruction. The academy will give them an opportunity to work together with our local primary schools. This is an excellent way of strengthening our close relationship with the community and helps our students to develop respect and responsibility. It also allows us to pool experience, knowledge and expertise amongst the staff.”

Glenn Beach is the teacher in charge of the academy and he is passionate about getting young people to experience the outdoors: “Outdoor Education programmes produce some remarkable results for students of all ages and ability, including changes in attitude, increased self esteem and improved social skills. It is these benefits, along with many others, that makes Outdoor Education a powerful tool in educating a broad cross-section of our community. I hope that the academy will help to forge closer links between the college and the wider Wairarapa.”

Former year 13 student Monique Graves said of her experience last year: “Many life-long skills have been learnt in Outdoor Education this year, from overcoming fears of height to getting to do something that many people may never get to do, taking people outside their own comfort zones, like snow caving on the Tongariro Crossing. Lots of new things have been learnt, not only about the subjects we have covered, but also about ourselves.”

Kuranui College:-

Principal: Geoffrey Shepherd
Founded: 1960
Estimated number of students 2012: 540
Decile: 5
Location: Greytown, Wairarapa
Motto: “Be the best you can be!”
“Whaia te iti kahurangi, ki te tuohu koe, me maunga teitei!”

ENDS

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