8 December 2022
“Students get the same buzz from our outdoor team building exercises as from the high ropes course,” said Mr Richard Brinkmann, Woldingham’s Outdoor Adventure and Education Manager. With more than 12 years’ experience in outdoor education, and a longstanding love of white water kayaking and climbing, Mr Brinkmann, who joined Woldingham in September, has shared his passionate sense of adventure with students across the year groups since the start of term, at the same time instilling in them the paramount importance of safety and mutual support.
Students’ regular sessions in lessons start with the basics: an introduction to the equipment, how to put it on correctly, and a guide to the course. When ready, the group moves to the low ropes course, over the term progressing up to the zip wires when Mr Brinkmann knows they are ready.
Building on what students have already learnt using the high ropes course, as well as skills learnt in the classroom, Mr Brinkmann has focused on team building this term, creating a series of games focusing on developing key skills such as communication, leadership, problem solving and teamwork. “Woldingham’s outdoor education programme complements work students are doing in school, as well as offering the well-known benefits of being active and spending time outdoors, especially in a natural setting,” Mr Brinkmann explains.
Mr Brinkmann’s plans for 2023 include the creation of an environmental studies station, archery and bushcraft sessions, and working with subject departments to optimise all that the centre has to offer. A project is already underway with the DT Department – more news on that to come.