Learning That Matters

By implementing the Wilderness School Learning that Matters Framework, we equip each girl to leverage opportunities and face challenges with agility and resilience.

Whilst the exact nature of the girls’ future lives is hard to predict, our learning framework is designed to deliver ‘life worthy learning’ for our girls and seeks to equip them with the knowledge, skills, capabilities and dispositions they will need to be creative, connected and engaged in a rapidly changing and complex world.

Our Learning that Matters framework unpacks our shared vision of the learning entitlement for each girl and articulates a clear vision and set of goals for our curriculum.

It enumerates what we know constitutes high quality teaching and learning outcomes and compels us to think ahead and foster innovative programs that focus on student growth. The Framework informs and underpins all learning and teaching programs across the School.

Wilderness also offers a number of bespoke programs that we believe deliver learning that is likely to matter in the lives that each of our girls is likely to lead.

Building a lifelong love for the natural places

Our Outdoor Education program provides girls with the opportunity to demonstrate real world application of their learning outside of the classroom.

Building an appreciation for the natural environment in our girls and addressing the need for its conservation, it encourages them to take responsible risks and be resourceful within their environment.

We take a sequential approach to Outdoor Education from the early years to Year 9, with opportunities to continue along these pathways through SACE subjects and the Duke of Edinburgh program. These experiences not only embody our School culture but create safe and challenging spaces for students to actively practise their character qualities as they develop a lifelong love of natural places.

Through our Outdoor Education program, each girl has the opportunity to explore the world around her. We focus on topics such as the sustainability of our world, Indigenous culture and environmental issues, preparing our girls to be agents of change.

We strive for our girls to use their head, heart and hands in all that they do. Using their heads, they gain meaningful knowledge of the natural world and develop the desire for real change that comes with passion in their hearts through appreciating and finding real joy in being outside in nature. The final step is demonstrating this development of their knowledge and passion with hands-on action.

The Junior years’ experiences are based around ‘living into’ learning themes. We bring literature alive as the girls ‘live’ the adventures that they read about. They explore time and place through real life outdoor adventures and connect with the journey of the characters in books. The girls’ senses come alive as they explore the different environments.

In the Middle years we expose the girls to multi-activity camps where they have the opportunity to persevere through challenges, be resilient, develop grit and confidence, and enhance their wellbeing. They foster independence by taking responsibility for their actions and being involved in all aspects of camp life, while building and strengthening relationships with other students and adults in a safe and supportive environment. Exposing the girls to moments of awe and wonder in nature creates lifelong memories.

Experiences are offered in a variety of locations across South Australia and Australia including the School’s property Crawford, which is close to the magnificent sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula and home to a vast wetland ecosystem.

REALISE

We want our girls to discover that challenges can be faced and overcome with persistence and collaboration, in an environment where they can be inspired to be the person they are striving to become.

All Year 9 students at Wilderness School benefit from REALISE at our Crawford campus, a unique and dynamic learning experience that reaches beyond the physical confines of the classroom.

As one of the longest residential programs offered in South Australia at our very own campus on the Coorong, our girls are supported to become capable, confident and connected young women who are resilient and resourceful in the face of challenges and uncertainty.

Girls have the opportunity to:

  • be independent individuals who take responsibility for themselves and apply the principles of sound nutrition and personal fitness during a critical period in their development
  • understand themselves through quiet contemplation and reflection
  • experience authentic learning within a natural and unfamiliar environment
  • build mutually supportive friendships and an enduring group spirit
  • face challenges individually and as part of a team
  • practise intelligent behaviours that promote resilience, resourcefulness, responsible risk taking and reflectiveness
  • engage in critical, creative and caring thinking with mindfulness and deep understanding
  • contribute to the local community through service learning
  • explore further ways in which they can contribute to the sustainability of our world.

The key elements that form the framework of the curriculum include Independent Living, Outdoor Education, Science, Community Service and Engagement, and Health and Wellbeing. Activities are relevant to the learning context of the Coorong, community experiences and components of the Australian Curriculum.

Living away from home provides many challenges and opportunities for the girls. There are personal challenges as they learn to live in harmony with their housemates and develop techniques to be accepting of the habits of other people. This rich learning environment will assist the girls to better understand adult life and enable them to gain insight into their own place in this world. They enjoy a range of Outdoor Adventures during their time at Crawford, including Kayaking, Rock-climbing, Surfing, Bushwalking, and a Solo Camp Out experience. The varied program also allows the girls to gain skills and a further understanding of First Aid, Environmental Science, Agribusiness, Indigenous Community Connections, Community Service and Ethical and Sustainable Living.

Artemis

Developed specifically for our girls – ‘Artemis’ is an integral part of Wilderness School Curriculum and is a learning entitlement for all girls across Years 3 to 11.

Cultivating capabilities and dispositions to support each girl to emerge as a connected and engaged learner, Artemis purposely embeds learning that is likely to matter in our students’ personal and professional lives. Whilst the exact nature of the girls’ future lives is unknown, Artemis seeks to equip them with the knowledge and skills they will need to be creative, connected and engaged in a rapidly changing and complex world.

The dynamic nature of the subject supports the development of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in our girls and encourages them to think deeply about current social and political issues and develop advocacy and action with passion and bravery.

It promotes the importance of authentic leadership, character, engagement, meaning and ethics and empowers girls to find and refine the qualities that are unique to humanity; the qualities that complement, rather than compete with, the capacities of technology. This supports the School’s mission to ‘enable each girl to be the best she can be throughout her life.’

Duke of Edinburgh International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is the world’s leading achievement award in non-formal education for young people, bringing together practical experiences and life skills to create committed global citizens and equipping young people for life.

Our Duke of Edinburgh Award Program offers girls in Year 9 and above the opportunity to find their passion, purpose and place in the world. It is about the girls striving to be the best version of themselves and enabling them to go out into the world and make it the best that it can be.

The Award provides girls with values and experiences that are highly sought after in the workforce, from their Voluntary Service to the Adventure Journey they undertake. It teaches them to take responsibility for their goals and choices, how to connect and actively engage with their immediate community and how to positively contribute to society. It is a program that enhances employability and is regarded highly by universities/colleges.

Many of our girls go above and beyond the requirements of the program through their involvement in all the opportunities that are offered at Wilderness. The program enables them to go about what they are doing purposefully, set goals and reflect, so that they get more out of their involvement and in turn are recognised internationally for their endeavours. For other girls it is gentle encouragement to try new things and see what they are made of.

The whole Year 9 cohort is provided with the opportunity to complete the Bronze Award and girls in Years 10, 11 and 12 can elect to go on to achieve their Silver and/or Gold Award.

We are delighted that 22 girls have chosen to pursue the Gold Award in 2021. The Gold Award is a prestigious achievement, only reached by approximately ninety young people in South Australia each year.

Design, Technology, and Engineering

The Wilderness School Design, Technology, and Engineering (DTE) curriculum provides our students with the opportunity to apply engineering processes and use new and evolving technologies in diverse situations including industry, community and tertiary organisations.

Offered to Junior and Middle School students, the course aims to equip the girls with entrepreneurial qualities and skills relevant in today’s context.

Working in collaboration with their peers and teachers, our girls are challenged and inspired to be creative, take responsible risks, be alert to opportunities and to develop global competency skills that are necessary in a universal and technological future.

Our girls will develop an understanding of design and realisation processes and engineer solutions for the development of products or systems across a variety of contexts, while applying problem solving skills and seeking to challenge and improve their current thinking and intellectual curiosity.

They will research local, national and international industries and discuss relevant ethical, legal, economic, and/or sustainability issues relating to technology, materials and processes used across existing industry-based or futures-based solutions.

Subs in Schools

Developed by the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation (REA), the Department of Defence and industry stakeholders including the Australian Submarine Corporation and Saab Australia, this program involves complex and cross curricular learning while linking STEM components together.

Offered as part of our Design, Technology and Engineering curriculum, Subs in Schools is centred around activity-based student led learning where our girls work collaboratively with industry experts to construct a fully functional underwater robot, while exploring authentic experiences in engineering, underwater design, team management, business and marketing.

Promoting student involvement with industry role models, this program provides a catalyst for local industry professionals to engage with our students.