Children now enjoy further learning in the outdoors by the creation (summer 2012) of the TLC Hub. In this context, TLC stands for Teamwork, Leadership and Communication and the Hub is a series of outdoor areas especially designed to facilitate group challenges where these skills can be developed.

The area makes excellent use of the recently cleared space behind the school’s swimming pool, giving it its own special hide-a-way location. The main structure is a giant canopy which acts as an outdoor classroom seating up to 40 children around a log burning fire. As well as this specific area being used to simply take an indoor lesson outside, it is also the central hub to carry out introductions and evaluations for our new team building course.

The course has been designed to both use and blend in with the natural environment and extends through the wooded and shrub areas around and directly behind the swimming pool. Activities include blind trails, spiders webs, balance beams, rope swings and up and over tasks, to name but a few. Although the tasks vary in terms of their physicality, problem solving nature or reliance on others, they all draw on a common theme which is developing the imperative and transferable skills of Teamwork, Leadership and Communication.

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    Working with Others (Teamwork)

    “…to contribute to small-group and whole-class discussion and to work with others to meet a challenge. If pupils are to work with others they must develop social skills and a growing awareness and understanding of others needs.”

    Leadership

    “…to inspire and motivate a group or team in order to get a particular task done, to appreciate, respect and balance the team, task and individuals working with you without losing sight of the big picture, to understand the responsibilities and subtleties of co-ordination and control.”

    Communication

    “… to speak effectively to different audiences; to listen, understand and respond appropriately to others and to participate effectively in group discussion.”

    The use of this special area is structured around a Leadership Award Scheme which children take part in across the Prep School. The scheme culminates at the end of Year 6 with the successful children graduating to coaches/mentors and helping to lead the programme in Years 7&8. The area is also utilised in curriculum PE as well as through cross-curricular links in all subjects across the school from Music to Mathematics. The whole school staff use the area as part of their INSET training and there are also plans to hold some parent and parent-teacher team building events. Of course this facility is going to be much the envy of other schools, so we also plan to host some inter-school days for both local Primary and Preparatory schools.

    To see the video of Bear Grylls opening the TLC club please click here!