Trips and Activities Week at the BSN Senior Schools is a time to take learning beyond the classroom. This refers to the wide array of residential trips on offer, but also local day trips that take advantage of the incredible resources available in the Netherlands, as well as programmes at school that mix up the routine and encourage out-of-the-box thinking and learning.
Developing Soft Skills
This goes far beyond fieldwork. Students get the opportunity to explore their subject areas, be it through hands-on experiences, site visits, language and cultural trips or work experience programmes. However, this is only a part of the value that Trips and Activities week offers.
Trips and activities are also about developing soft skills – working together as a team, overcoming challenges in an unfamiliar place or situation, advocating for oneself, developing a growth mindset and being open minded to new experiences – all the while strengthening bonds with peers and classmates. These curriculum enrichment opportunities help grow well-rounded young adults by complimenting their academic experience with a set of incredibly useful skills that simply cannot be learnt from a textbook.
A Chance to Dive Deep
During this week, Year 13 students were given valuable time to focus closely on their subject areas, and train their discipline in doing self-led revision, research and coursework – valuable skills for their future in work and education. For example, IB students were able to spend this time on their extended essays, while A Level students focused on enriching work that required dedicated time and focus. Students’ feedback on this opportunity has been very positive:
“Often I only have an hour in school to work on a subject. By the time I get everything out and start working it is less than this. By having more time to work on one subject I feel I have achieved more than usual. Being in school has also helped me to be more focused than if I had been working at home”
BSN Character Profile
These trips and activities are created by teachers and leadership at the BSN with just as much care and educational motivation as academic classes, as they are in themselves valuable learning opportunities. The BSN Character Profile is the embodiment of these soft skills and characteristics that both the academic and enrichment curriculum strive to grow within BSN students. This is central to the value of Trips and Activities week – allowing traits like creativity, collaboration, environmental integrity, compassion and curiosity to grow.
A student doesn’t have to attend a residential trip in order to benefit from these values. A diverse programme of activities held at the Senior Schools and around the greater area of The Hague are just as effective in delivering unique experiences that are not only fun and educational, but allow students to try something new and develop themselves in a positive way.
In addition to the residential trips further afield, here are some examples of the Trips & Activities Week programme at and around the BSN:
Year 7 students participated in activities which have an Eco-focus. They were able to work towards their Bronze Ecoseek Award, which raises students’ awareness about eco-friendly practices and sustainability.
Year 8 students focused on theatre arts and performance, science and future careers during this week. They worked with an external theatre company, traveling to Sheveningen to experience some aspects of theatre through a variety of arts forms, including music, dance, drama or art. They will also carry out scientific investigation and create videos to enter into the COBIS Young Scientist Awards, as well as participate in the Workplace for a Day Programme, spending a day in businesses and organisations around the Hague.
Students learned how to develop a growth mindset in specialized workshops, as well as develop confidence and self esteem through hands through the application of practical survival techniques in Elite Survival Training. They will also take a trip to Amsterdam to explore urban landscapes in the field later this week.
Year 10 and 11
In addition to specialized language, medical and other residential trips around Europe, students got hands-on with chemistry, problem solving and criminal justice during Forensic Science Day. They had to work together analyzing a crime scene, collecting and testing evidence and bringing the criminal to justice in a mock trial. The Orienteering workshop challenged students to work in small groups to develop map reading and orienteering skills, allowing them to develop valuable experience towards the Bronze International Award.
Students examined how they think and interact with the world through a programme of visiting speakers, trips, and seminar sessions. They looked at different perspectives and learned how to use critical thinking to improve their learning.