Outdoor Education is an important part of an SJI International education, with all students participating in challenging Grade Expeditions to locations such as Bintan, Tioman, Krabi, Cameron Highlands and Bali.
Students in each Grade participate in challenging residential experiences where experiential skills and character strengths are developed. Our students are expected to step out of their ‘comfort zone’, to develop their own resilience as a learner, and support others around them. Students gain confidence in their own abilities, discover innovative ways to overcome obstacles and turn challenges into positive life experiences.
In Grade 9 and 10 students are introduced to the National Youth Achievement Award (known as the Duke of Edinburgh in the UK, and the International Award worldwide). The National Youth Achievement Award is a compulsory part of our curriculum in Grade 9, with over 90% of our cohort achieving the Bronze Award. We have a designated team of six NYAA leaders who also support the implementation of the Silver and Gold Award in senior years.
In the NYAA Programme, our students are encouraged and inspired to make a difference in the community and grow as individuals. They are given a wonderful opportunity to help others in community projects and demonstrate leadership in outdoor pursuits. The NYAA programme directly reflects three of the four areas of learning at SJI International – Service Learning, Co-Curricular Learning and Outdoor Education. Participation is recognised and celebrated as a reflection of a student’s commitment to our holistic education programme.
Grade 7, Bintan Indonesia
Students learn the basics of kayaking, rock climbing and navigation, and are challenged by Low-Ropes courses, Zipline and Boom Netting activities. Raft building and “trust activities” also serve to build a sense of community and solidarity in students. There is also participation in the annual Service Project at local orphanages and kindergartens.
Grade 8, Tioman Island, Malaysia
Activities develop progressively from the experiences of the Grade 7 expedition and are more challenging to provide further avenues for personal growth. Students revise their kayaking skills and take part in a kayak and trekking expedition across the Eastern part of Tioman. Low-Ropes elements, as well as camping in tents, add to their experience of dependence and interdependence. A-One Star Kayaking Course is required and completed before departure.
Grade 9, Choice of one of four options all of which are accredited to NYAA requirements
i) Cameron Highlands, Malaysia – a series of mountain ascents towards Gopeng to experience caving, waterfall abseiling and white water rafting. This expedition will also play host to some jungle skills training and is the most adventurous of the three expeditions.
ii) Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – this trip has a cultural and adventurous element. Students hike across volcanic terrain and summit Mt Batur. The camp and develop intermediate map and compass skills.
iii) Krabi, Thailand – this trip is a challenging water-based expedition. Beginning with a revision of kayak handling by venturing into sea-filled gorges followed by a three-day kayaking trip. Students also experience ‘Deep Water Solos’ off vertical limestone formations. No previous climbing experience is necessary, but the kayaking experience is a progressive step up from Grade 8
iv) Khao Yai and Khao Ito, Central Thailand – this expedition is a land-based trip in and around Khao Ito and Khao Yai National Parks, in the Sankamphaeng Mountain Range of Central Thailand. Students trek through the grasslands and into the evergreen forests at higher altitudes (600-1000m), and experience either mountain biking or Canadian canoeing after some training on-site.
Grade 10 FIB & Grade 10
The Grade 10 FIB expedition is both an expedition and Service visit to Mae Teng, Northern Thailand. It is expected that all FIB students will attend this trip, but we also offer limited places to the rest of the Grade 10 cohort. The emphasis is on adventure, service and environmental sustainability, and is an excellent opportunity for Grade 10 to celebrate the completion of their IGCSE studies. Activities include white water rafting, trekking, and visits to hill tribes.
The visit inspires students to think creatively about their further involvement in the Community Action and Service (CAS) component of the IB Diploma and in particular their participation in the Challenge Week programme.
Grade 11 & 12
Expeditions are a core component of the IB CAS programme where students devise their own mini expeditions of differing challenges, duration and costs. We call this venture ‘Challenge Week’. Examples include students who have organised and trained for conservation projects in the Gili Islands of Indonesia to a climbing expedition in Taiwan and trekking in Vietnam.