EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
At UWC Thailand International School we know that physically-challenging outdoor experiences have a powerful impact upon a young person’s intellectual, physical, spiritual, social, and moral development. We also believe that in an age of growing digital entertainment, social isolation, and inactivity— the need for Outdoor Education (OE) has never been greater. To answer this need, learning at UWC Thailand International School extends well beyond the classroom; aiming to expose students to the incredible natural diversity of Phuket and beyond. The goal of EOTC is to foster an intrinsic enjoyment of outdoor pursuits that will last a lifetime. To achieve this goal, we embed EOTC into the UWCT curriculum by collaborating with classroom teachers to inject EOTC skills and knowledge into the Units of Inquiry typical of an IB school. This results in an array of age- and risk-appropriate learning experiences designed to foster integrity and responsibility, as well as knowledge of—and respect for—the environment. Each year, our student’s EOTC skills culminate in a grade-level expedition, from a sleepover at the school in Grade 1 to a self-planned, week-long service expedition in Grade 11.
Drawing from a variety of day trips and outdoor learning opportunities, the school organises age-appropriate expeditions for Grades 2-10. In Grade 1, students prepare for Grade 2’s expedition by spending a night in the library, which for some is their first night away from home; while in Grade 11, students participate in Project Week. During these expeditions, each grade level travels as a group to areas within the surrounding region in order to face challenges and learn new skills. Phuket’s landscape—a mix of beaches, plantations and protected forests—encourages students to make real-world connections and ask important questions.
Project Week is a Grade 11 off-campus experiential service and learning programme. Through its cultivation of communication and leadership skills, self-awareness and self-reliance, compassion and cultural understanding, the programme promotes student growth relative to the school’s mission. With students leading, organising, and trouble shooting; they travel around South-East Asia. Project Week experiences form an integral part of the curriculum, and participation is a graduation requirement.