Since opening its doors in 1965, The York School has been committed to providing our students with the skills and tools they need to develop into bright, well-rounded, articulate, action-driven citizens of the world. A big part of that learning happens when teachers and students step outside the classroom to explore the world around them. As part of our strong commitment to engage in experiential learning whenever possible, the Middle School’s curriculum-driven day and overnight field trips take place at different points throughout the school-year.
Outdoor education provides opportunities for hands-on, experiential, challenging and engaging learning.
At the beginning of each academic year, there is a key focus on building community and promoting collaboration skills. Middle School students start the year with an overnight outdoor excursion. Developing an awareness and connection to the natural world and a sense of responsibility for our environment leads to resilient and caring youth, while team-building exercises and shared experiences bring the group closer together and set the tone for the year ahead.
These values continue to be fostered throughout Middle School in other outdoor day programmes and are embedded thematically throughout our students' tenure at The York School.
Our programme encourages students to grow through teamwork, positive leadership and individual risk-taking, providing the confidence to utilize these learner attributes in other areas of their lives. Reflecting on these experiences in a formal manner also supports the learning process in the International Baccalaureate programme to foster students who are engaged citizens and environmental stewards.
During Challenge Week students are asked to extend themselves beyond their comfort zone to gain the skills and confidence to learn through experience. Challenge Week is a mandatory part of the curriculum in the Middle School, sending students on a variety of excursions over the course of a week during the month of May.
Each experience connects our students to the world beyond our classroom walls and links directly to a course of study at their grade level. Some examples of Challenge Week destinations for the Middle School are:
Challenge Week is one of the most important platforms in which the Learner Profile of the MYP Programme is developed through experience. Becoming risk-takers, inquirers, communicators and open-minded, caring citizens are concrete outcomes that support our International Baccalaureate Programme.