The ability to problem solve and make decisions is integral to the development and wellbeing of all. Decisions start the moment we open our eyes every morning – do I get out of bed or do I hit the snooze button? The big questions in life!

As teachers we constantly ask students to solve problems. At 10:00am every day, Year 6 have Numeracy groups and the problems start flowing – add these numbers, measure these angles, write your own word problem to show your understanding. Whilst the methods for solving these problems do address specific aspects of the Mathematics syllabus, there are many other ways that children need to develop decision making and problem solving skills as they mature.

Late last year, our staff observed students working together during various activities whilst on our Year 6 Camp. We identified that a day spent outdoors in God’s magnificent creation, working together, challenging ourselves and responding in a responsible and respectful manner, would be an excellent way for our Year 6 students to start their final year in the Junior School.

The Tops Conference Centre was chosen as our venue for what we hope to be our inaugural ‘Challenge Together’ Day. Students spent time developing friendships in the morning by the pool, and were placed in groups before heading off into the bush for a series of Survivor Challenge Course activities and Rock Climbing challenges.

As I observed the students in my group swinging from platforms onto small tyres and initially not achieving (also known as failing!), I was impressed with the encouraging words that were being yelled out and the positive attitudes that were being displayed by the students watching on. As they met each challenge and moved on to the next, their excitement and desire to work together grew. I observed honesty when something went wrong. One group was adamant that they had beaten a challenge until a voice spoke up saying ‘guys, sorry about this but I put my foot down’. The responses of ‘it’s ok’, ‘let’s do it again’ were heard around the group. The group instructor from The Tops was very impressed with the honesty and teamwork displayed.

Outdoor Education is an important part of learning and our school caters to this through our Camp Programs from Years 4-12. Adding this special ‘Challenge Together’ day to the Year 6 calendar has strengthened our start to the year. Friendships were developed, new students were welcomed into the year group and we were challenged to push a little bit further, a little bit higher and to work with one another to live life to the full.

As Year 6 experienced these team building and relationship strengthening times, I reflect on

Hebrews 10:24 which says “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” There are many times that a decision we make could lead to negative outcomes. How much better, as we consider the ups and downs of life, that we work together, with love, leading to greater teamwork and unity.

Mr Tim Bluhdorn
Year 3 to 6 Section Coordinator