Lilyfontein's educational philosophy claims that the rigorous adventure-based type activities, with their contextually real nature, help to develop self-regulated learners. Adventure-based activities equip learners with certain meta-cognitive strategies that will help them to be better problem solvers to cope better with decision-making and to develop their ability to handle anxiety. This can be observed in their improved self-esteem and their more self-confident participation in various activities.
The programmes offered serve to develop these abilities and improve learners' meta-cognitive skills (thinking about thinking) such as self-monitoring and self-reflection (thinking about what one is doing, how one is doing this and how do I do better at what I'm doing). This thinking also involves decision making and problem solving. These are critical components in the mediation of learning that is required in the constructivist nature of the South African OBE curriculum.
The learners that pass through this integrated adventure programme are able to think, investigate, solve problems, cope with anxiety and make sense of information or situations for themselves. They are self motivated and are able to work in teams to harness each person’s strengths towards a common goal. These are skills that serve our learners long after they leave the school.
Activities vary from year to year and the location chosen. Each term encompasses a camp or an adventure day for every grade. The following are some of the activities that could be included in the experience.
Grade 1 to 3: General but basic adventure activities to build skills in a variety of disciplines.
- Grade 1: Individual challenges (climbing wall, paddling, hiking), orienteering,group dynamics, introduction of basic map skills.
Optional Camp: Camp Bushbaby
- Grade 2: More in-depth individual challenges (climbing wall, paddling, hiking), orienteering, group dynamics, build on basic map skills.
Camp: 1 night sleepover at school
- Grade 3. Sleep over, camp crafts, camp cooking, night hikes, climbing wall, group dynamics, orienteering with map, road safety.
Camp: 1 night sleepover off site
Grade 4 to 7: Incremental application of general skills moving towards a focus on specific skills with greater skills challenges. Using the skill of Self-reflection as a functional tool to cope with personal or group issues.
- Grade 4: Farm camp, budgeting, shopping, farm experiences, conservation, horse riding, team building, individual challenges, fishing. (Self-reflection, grace and courtesy, listening and leadership)
Camp: Farming and Fishing (3 days)
Grade 5: Group dynamics, team building activities, communication skills, concept of independence and inter-dependence, snorkelling, orienteering, solitude, raft building, beach studies, self care, health and fitness. (Self-reflection, grace and courtesy, listening and leadership)
Camp: Beach studies (4 days)
- Grade 6: A series of physical and mental challenges with a cycling focus. Cycle care, fixing punctures, safe riding habits, kloofing, road safety, responsibility, fitness, self-care and health. (Self-reflection, listening and leadership skills and social etiquette)
Camp: Cycling (4 days)
- Grade 7: A series of physical and mental challenges with a paddling focus. Introduction to leadership, senior role in primary school, paddling, orienteering, individual challenges and group challenges. (Self-reflection, safety in paddling)
Camp: Paddling (4 days)
Grade 8 to 12: Focus on specific skills per grade with an emphasis on achieving a particular goal. Practising the skill of self-reflection as a functional tool to cope with personal or group issues.
- Grade 8: Group dynamics, formal dinner, self challenges and abseiling (Madonna and Child 35m) to focus on self development, leadership, communication and trust. Hiking to develop Self-reflection.
Camp: Hobbiton (5 days)
- Grade 9: Hiking used to challenge intra-personal (self-planning, self-organisation, self-evaluation, self-talk, self-checking, self-encouragement) and inter-personal skills (language to encourage and motivate, making a point in a group, supporting each other, recognising the signs of dejection/demotivation). Environmental awareness. (Self-reflection, mental, emotional and physical fitness)
Camp: Amatola 80 km Hike (5 days)
- Grade 10: Survival experience. Survival, canoeing and 95m abseil. Working together to complete a series of activities designed to encourage intra and interpersonal skills application and consequently growth through specific debriefing techniques. This also includes budgeting, decision making and prioritizing. Abseil and conservation. (Self-reflection)
Camp: Gubu Dam (4 days)
- Grade 11: Put into practice the leadership skills developed during the adventure programme by facilitating a camp for under-privileged children. (Self-reflection).
Camp: Under-privileged Children’s Camp (2 days)
Excursions: Karoo Excursion, Nieu Bethesda and climb to the top of the Compassberg Mountain (2nd highest freestanding peak in South Africa).
- Grade 12: Geared specifically to the vocational aspect of adventure. (Self-reflection)
Extra –Curricular Adventure Activities
A set of extra-curricular adventure activities is also offered as part of the daily Extra-Mural Sports Programme and as special excusions.
These are based on age group abilities:
• Camp Bush Pig optional for Grades 4-7
• Adventure Race (grade 1 – open)
• Outdoor Pursuits - Otter swim (Grade 7-12), Horse trail riding, Marathon run, mile swim etc.
• Orange River Excursion (Grade 9-12)