Our yearly Trailblazer Validation survey results always amaze us! The variety of activities that schools are carrying out and the innovative ways that Trailblazer has become a part of the curriculum make very interesting reading.
The Validation Survey is sent out to our Trailblazer schools after the Easter holidays and is our way of finding out how Trailblazer is progressing.
Some of the most interesting activities we have heard about include:
Weekend Family Groundforce
Growing a natural wigwam
Japanese Zen Gardens
Milk Bottle Birds
Pirates of the Caribeean Number Hunt
Trailblazer is a big part of school life for many children and provides lasting memories. Here are some highlights from our schools.
Setting up a ‘Knight School’ where children trained their parents to be knights. All parents came along and did jousting, dragon fighting, archery and agility trails.
Working in family groups on Trailblazer mornings – giving year groups the chance to work together
Afternoon tea made with school-grown produce
Year 2 spelling tests outside involving natural objects
Seeing the newts at the bug hotel eating bugs
Twig epitaphs and twig skeletons*
The benefits of Trailblazer are varied and not just academic:
Less academic children being able to shine, giving a big boost in self-esteem.
Less disruption during lesson time because they have been outside.
Newer teachers becoming involved and confident.
Seeing the children become more independent and confident.
Seeing children build resilience by taking risks and challenging themselves when unsure.
Our schools find Trailblazer a positive addition to the curriculum:
At the beginning of the year my class were extremely difficult, they could not work as a team and lacked compassion towards other class members who were not their friends. After PSHE lessons outside working together they became the most supportive and helpful group of children. They encourage each other and this has transferred into their behaviour in the classroom.
Ofsted liked our multi-sensory approach
Children always more excited on the day their Trailblazer task is set and they know the quicker they get other work completed the more time they will have outside.
If you are a Trailblazer school and would like to view a full report of the Validation survey please click here.
If you are interested in becoming a Trailblazer school please contact email@example.com for more details.
* You can find wonderful seasonal ideas for outside activities on the Woodland Trust website.
The first half of the new school year has seen the Trailblazer team carrying out some exciting outdoor training and proving that getting outside is possible even in the most inclement weather (although I think we can make an exception for storms!).
Our Trailblazer Coordinator Course on 11 October at Hilliers got off to a sunny start but as soon as we left the classroom for the great outdoors we were treated to a downpour. Luckily we had a well-prepared group of delegates who donned raincoats and wellies and kept on smiling.
The group carried out a range of activities including Raccoon Circles, searching for a blackbird’s lunch (I am guessing there were plenty of worms around!) and team racing using the Caterpillar track.
The course was well-received and the delegates left with enthusiasm to start Trailblazing in their schools. We are looking forward to hearing about the activities they have planned and hope to share some of them with our Trailblazer schools.
To find out more about upcoming Trailblazer Coordinator courses please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
On 22 October we held one of our popular Maths Outdoors Workshops. The course was held at Osborne School and 24 teachers were treated to an afternoon of practical Maths by the inspiring Marie Spencer. Activities included Popcorn, Natures Pictograms, 20p/50p game, Reflecting Leaves and Ahhhh Acute Angles. A very intriguing sounding list!
We will be running another Maths Outdoors Workshop during the summer so please contact email@example.com if you would like to know more.
Further news and information for Trailblazer schools can be found on our Coordinators' page. If you are not a Trailblazer school and would like further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org