Cappanalea OETC can help facilitate a learner centred approach to achieving the five key skills on the senior cycle. The challenges faced while participating in outdoor learning activities can reinforce the skills learned in the classroom. A self-guided expedition such as the EXPLORE Course allows the students to understand what may be to some, an abstract concept and reinforce learning that occurs in the class room.
· Information processing – The students are trained in navigation, abseiling, camp craft, expedition planning and must apply that knowledge to complete the two day expedition.
· Communications – effective communication is essential in achieving success in all elements of the EXPLORE Course.
· Being personally effective – each student must take responsibility for personal and group equipment.
· Working with others – this is a core element of all activities at Cappanalea OETC
· Critical and creative thinking – whether it’s overcoming an issue with equipment on the expedition or participating in adventure games, students are both mentally stimulated and physically challenged on activities at Cappanalea OETC.
Linking activities to specific subjects on the senior cycle is also possible at Cappanalea OETC. A report by the Department of Education and Science Inspectorate, ‘Looking at Geography’ (2008), found it was “disappointing” that investigative or a fieldwork element was lacking in half the TY programmes for Geography. The NCCA (2007) also identified that students saw the traditional didactic form of teaching geography as less helpful.
· Cappanalea OETC provides an opportunity for teachers to help students develop field work and investigative geographical skills in the unique environs on the Kerry landscape.
· Problem solving and numeracy can be addressed in many activities. Rock-climbing presents a physical challenge but if we delve a little deeper, we can discover that knowledge such as Newton’s laws, acceleration and force as vectors are vitally important in determining fall factors when climbing. Centre of gravity and equilibrium, Archimedes’ Principle are all components incorporated into adventures activities and can help students