images-41Outsmart is based around a series of problem solving adventures. They are designed to develop the links between high quality outdoor experience and the ability to think and learn. Teamwork is a key element of the activities. Participants in the course experience the challenges for themselves and to consider how they might use them in their own contexts.

Key questions that will be considered include:

•  What is it to be part of a team?
•  How can teams be successful?
•  What are the habits and dispositions of successful learners and successful teams?
•  What skills do you need to facilitate successful experiences?
•  How can the reflection process be used in these experiences to develop successful
and sustainable learning?

The course was originally designed for use in outdoor education but it has been successfully tailored for use in schools, businesses, children’s organisations and any team building context.

The Course

The course is delivered over twelve hours. We are flexible in how this is delivered. It can be over two days or six two hour sessions or a combination of both. An advanced course is also on offer to allow participants to become facilitators of the basic course. RAIS accreditation is available for both levels.

At the end of an Outsmart course delegates will have:

•  Tried a number of thinking through group-work challenges both indoors and out of
doors and assessed the suitability of these for different age groups and purposes
•  Defined the characteristics of a high quality experience
•  Tried a simple evaluation of ‘risk’
•  Developed awareness of how the activities can be reviewed / debriefed and mediated
to maximise thinking and learning experiences
•  Explored the promotion of emotional awareness through a shared adventure

Outsmart can contribute to the Every Child Matters agenda in the following ways:

  •  It can help children to have a healthy lifestyle and be physically healthy
  • It can help children to attend and enjoy school and to develop positive relationships
  • It can help children and young people to develop enterprising behaviour and to engage in and understand decision making
  • And it can help parents, voluntary and community organisations to develop the above in children and young people

The OutSmart Experience

One of the activities is called “Down the Drain”. The parameters of this activity are given on the cards below. A team need to transfer a jug of water from one bucket to another using the pipes (guttering) to move the water. The pipes when joined together do not reach from one bucket to another. The teams need to plan how they are going to overcome this obstacle and then put their plan into operation. The facilitator will be listening to the team all the time offering mediation and encouraging participants to explain their thinking. The facilitator will also offer opportunities for review and reflection to maximize the learning experience.

Further Reading

Outsmart Books
Team work and team play
Dr J Cain

Team building puzzles
Anderson, Cain, Cavert, Heck

Silver Bullets
Karl Rohnke

More than activities
Roger Greenaway

Roger Greenaway

Adventure Alternative
Colin Mortlock

Smart Moves
Carla Hannaford

Mind Maps for kids
Tony Buzan