Our Approach to Adventure
Adventure is an exciting, unusual and sometimes hazardous experience, according to the dictionary. It is also an essential part of life at Dauntsey’s – not simply an event but something that teaches invaluable life skills and changes attitudes and behaviour for the better.
We want pupils to adopt behaviours that will help them lead a fruitful and interesting life, in which they are organised and flexible, willing to have a go and learn from their experiences.
Adventurous Behaviour is:
- To be open to trying new experiences and entering new environments
- To show resilience and good humour in the face of adversity
- To be able to recognise, analyse and control risks and to use this knowledge to act boldly
- To be able to learn from experiences, whether successful or not
- To treat the environments you enter and the cultures and people you come into contact with dignity and respect
- To be able to admit and correct our mistakes.
- To be as concerned for others as we are for ourselves and treat both with respect
- To be organised but flexible
- To be able to provide leadership where needed and to follow leadership where appropriate
- To enjoy our experiences
Within the provision of adventure at Dauntsey's, there are two strands - High Adventure and Accessible Adventure. Younger pupils develop a passion for adventure through the accessible adventure programme which is then developed and expanded as they move up the School when they can take on more challenging activities in the high adventure programmes.
Accessible adventure consists of programmes where large numbers of pupils have short experiences that serve as an introduction to adventure and to various activities. These serve both as educational experiences in their own right and as a gateway to “high adventure” for those that enjoy them and find them rewarding. The potential for misadventure is much lower, hence the term 'accessible'. An example might be learning to kayak on the Kennet and Avon canal, camping in the School grounds, or a night hike on Salisbury Plain.
High adventure includes longer-haul trips, activities and experiences that involve relatively small numbers of pupils participating at a high level, normally with a high staff to pupil ratio. Typically, this type of adventure will require time and dedication from the pupils and they will have to work to achieve specific skills and competence at a given activity which will allow them to access remote or challenging environments. The potential for misadventure is greater in high adventure and care must be taken to ensure that participants are ready and willing to engage with it. Parental reassurance and involvement is crucial, not just from a safety perspective but to help encourage and motivate participants when the going gets tough. Examples of high adventure might be participating in the Devizes to Westminster canoe race, trekking in the Himalaya or crewing our Tall Ship, Jolie Brise.
We were staying in a little hut and it was freezing and everyone was moaning and groaning. But looking back, I'm really glad that I did it because you get such a sense of achievement."third form pupil