Woodstock | What Students Imbibe On Woodstock’s Outdoor Learning Weekend (OLW)
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What Students Imbibe On Woodstock’s Outdoor Learning Weekend (OLW)

18 Mar What Students Imbibe On Woodstock’s Outdoor Learning Weekend (OLW)

“Never give children the chance of imagining that anything exists in isolation. Make it plain from the very start that all things living is relationship. Show them the relationship in the woods, in the fields, in the ponds and streams in the village and the country around it.” – Aldous Huxley

We have output from staff and students in sound bytes, pixels and print. While some results remain refreshingly media-free they all come with the added benefits that the outdoors bring. Here are different takes from different folk. Enjoy.


Andrew Hepworth (Outdoor Ed) on the OLW

Once a year, the school sets aside a three-day weekend exclusively for Outdoor Learning, in which we actively find opportunities to take academic learning outside.  Up through Grade 9, activities are organized at the grade level, flowing out of themes from their academic study.  In Grades 10-12, staff organize a set of between twelve and fifteen options. Among many possibilities, these may include environmental science trips to nearby Rajaji National Park, wilderness first aid training, historical re-enactments/simulations, art and creative writing, or opportunities for silent reflection and meditation.

Read an article by Andrew here: https://www.woodstockschool.in/outdoor-education-weekend-brings-learning-to-life-at-woodstock/

Linh B, Grade 11, on WFA: Wilderness First Aid





“Woodstock School is a boarding school that strives to improve on the academic life of the students. Focusing not only on indoor learning, WS utilizes the mountainous surroundings for outdoor learning. A weekend is dedicated to interacting with nature with various programs: Outdoor Learning Weekend, or OLW

Wilderness First Aid is one of the programs of OLW. Its goal is to enable students to alleviate the danger a person might be in. In this course, we learnt the ABCDEs all over again with a twist. It is the abbreviation for Airway, Breathing, Circulation, (Neurological) Deficit, and Environment. These are the factors to assess life-and-death situations. We also learnt how to spot symptoms of dangerous diseases and whether it’s a evacuate situation (call for higher medicinal help).
However, WFA is not only about books and studies and all that boring theoretical stuff. There were first aid practices for our experience. Although the promise of mud, blood, and intense knee scrapes were reneged, the activities were still fun. Some have a chance of being sick and spoiled. Some have a chance of treating others, at the same time, killing them.

The key to this exercises was to be alerted and snappy. I had my own scenario-experience of someone bleeding on her back and I just flipped her over. If that were a real-life scenario, instead of saving that person, I would have led her to her demise much sooner than fate intended.
Nonetheless, it was a fun activity and I learnt a great deal. If you are a person with great reaction skills, common sense, and is level-headed, I strongly urge you to sign up for this program. However, if you are (and I sincerely hope not) like me, who specializes in destruction, then this program might not be the best for you.”

Abe Okie(Music) and Brett Gore (Music) on creating music from Field Recordings



The purpose of the project was for students to gather a variety of sounds from their surroundings and then categorize and analyse those sounds according to certain criteria-  nature, machine, and human-made, followed by a classification of sounds into a variety of melodic and rhythmic types. The categorised  sounds are then used by the AP musical theory students to create a composition.

Listen to some sounds they recorded here.


Mule bells



TRACK Number & Description CLASSIFICATION:Human Sound/ Machine Sound/ Nature Sound MELODIC SOUND:(Can you discern notes, a tune, or melody pattern?)YES / NO PITCH:High Mid-rangeLowDeep- vibrating RHYTHMIC SOUND:YES- rhythmic (regular, steady, patterned beat) orNO obvious rhythm or beat/ random TYPE OF RHYTHM:Choose- a. Steady, Regular pattern. Dottedc. Syncopated


Curran Russel (Drama) on taking the ‘Show’ outdoors

For the drama activity, we took our play rehearsal outside to beautiful Mount Herman flats. We spent the morning doing all kinds of movement and ensemble-building activities, interspersed with a few in-depth conversations about the play. After some lunch and some laughs, we spent the afternoon working our way through the play, stopping to fix any weak points.

You can also see these photos on our gallery:https://www.flickr.com/photos/woodstock-school/



Sanjaya Mark (Community Engagement) on Grade 6 – Discovering the Mussoorie of 1857.

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

The study of Ruskin Bond’s novel A Flight of Pigeons is one that is full of rich experiences for our 6th grade students as Language Arts is integrated with Indian history, culture, and geography. A week-long field trip to Lucknow has been a part of this experience as the setting brings the story to life for the students and gives them a better understanding of some of the different cultures represented in it.   The story is set in Oudh during 1857. 

This year we added another aspect to the study of the novel.   During the Outdoor Learning Day for the School on Friday, 13th March, the class discovered the Mussoorie of 1857!  They visited various “artifacts” in the “Mussoorie Museum of the 1850s”. 

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

The class first looked down towards Rajpur and imagined how the 200 sepoys deployed by the Raja of Tehri to protect the English, warded off any mutineers headed towards Mussoorie.   The Raja was indebted to the British for reinstating him after they helped him reclaim Tehri from the Gurkhas. 

At Waverley Convent, which is the oldest existing school in Mussoorie and was built in 1845, the students saw where exactly British families from nearby areas  including  Chakrata, Nainital, Kaladungi, were housed during the Mutiny.  It was also amusing for them to hear firsthand stories of boarding life at Waverley from Mrs. Puri who had been a student there in her elementary school years.  

The class also saw the site and remains of the first School in Mussoorie, which was The Mussoorie Seminary set up by the McKinnon Family.      They also saw the ruins of the once famous and grand McKinnon’s brewery which was founded in 1830 by Mr. Bohle.  This was the first business which was started in Mussoorie. 

Everest House, the home of Sir George Everest, first Surveyor General of India had a lesson on the many wonderful contributions which were made by the British.   Sir George Everest was famous for surveying the country using the triangulation method – the class was able to see how the geometry they learn in class is of great value in real-life! 

The class spent a significant amount of the day at Cloud End, a large property which was given to a British soldier when he married the daughter of a local landowner.   The architecture of the building, the photographs, the furniture and other artifacts in the house which remain from the 1800s helped students picture the lifestyle of the family in those years.        Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

We had plans to visit other “artifacts” that day, but time ran out, so we hope to cover The Mussoorie Library, Christ Church (built 1836, rifle clamps introduced post 1857 as protection for troops in prayer) , the Musoorie Municipality (2nd oldest Municipality office in India), Gun Hill (where a guard post was set up and guns were installed after the Mutiny)  and Landour Bazaar (which used to be one of the most well supplied bazaars in India during the 1800s!) another time. 

And, finally, what was happening at Woodstock during the Mutiny?  Here is an extract from History of Woodstock    Volume 1:

 ‘At the outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, 1857, they [Mrs. Scott and her husband] were stationed in Agra. Mrs. Scott had left the plains for Landour before Agra was actually attacked, but Mr. Scott was shut up in the Agra Fort. When calm was restored, it fell to Mr. Scott’s lot to plan for the re-building in Fatehgarh of the mission bungalows and schools that had been destroyed.’     Mrs. Scott was Principal at that time.

More on our experiences, after the visit to Lucknow next week!



Peter Millican (Music) on the Mindfulness Walk.

The Mindfulness Walk was a very unique, peaceful, and thoughtful experience.  Our students were able to free their minds from the stress of life and focus on the “here and now”.  Through simple meditative sessions, we were provided with the experience to reflect upon life and it’s deeper meanings.


Pam Wiggins (Science & Math) and Ritesh Farmer (Finance) on measuring Altitude, Temperature, CO2 and O2 Levels at Different Heights. 

On Friday the Grade 7s went on a hike to investigate the change in Carbon dioxide and Oxygen levels caused by altitude. We also recorded the temperature at regular intervals. We began our hike at the spring below Flag Hill where half the group walked up to Flag hill with Vernier probes that measured CO2 and temperature. The other half walked down to Kulti (spelling) with an O2 and temperature probe. With the help of a GPS measurements were recorded at intervals of 200ft. Students then returned to the start point and reversed directions. At the end of the day they enjoyed chai and cake by the spring before heading back to school.

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock



Two Poems from Meredith Dyson’s Anti-Selfie Project Walk (English).


by Chahat


The swaying of the leaves could be heard and a board was revealed that said “Welcome to LalTibba”. Sitting on the roadside and listening to the loud horns of the car I was revealed to the snowcapped mountains. The sun peeped through the sparkling white clouds and invited all of us to our first destination. The lush green trees and the perpetual wailing of the leaves made up a perfect spot to write a journal.

The red buildings around us, described the place perfectly. The “Lal” (red) doors, chairs and windows coupled with the smell of hot coffee forced me to be away from technology for a day. The world of technology had made a cage around me, therefore I put on my wings of nature and went exploring. The grey and black pebbles on the road, weathered against each other as the cars passed us. I could relate it to myself being weathered by technology whenever I was bored.

The sparkling white snow twinkled through the branches of the trees and pulled my attention towards them. Suddenly I heard “Let’s go everyone” and I realized that I had been pondering upon life while the snow shone through the trees and I bid farewell to it.



by Chahat

The bird in me, was no more around the iron bars of technology. It had put on its wings and it had started exploring life. While flying, it stopped at a cemetery. The bird faced the harsh realities of life. It got acquainted with the fact that people and happiness don’t last forever.

The tablet said “In the loving memory of Christina Martin” and I couldn’t read the whole thing because my tears blurred my vision. My eyes were full of tears because I realized that someone had lost their mother, daughter, sister and wife. I was thinking how it would have been to bury her under the thick layer of marble. The cries of her family echoed in my ears. The cries were mixed with the melodious voice of the birds and these voices were pushed through the curtains of my ear and this derived me into a sad mood.

Suddenly the smell of lavender pushed through my nose and the sun shone again. The sun was peeping through the mountains and was seeing me sob. Parting through the lush green oak trees its rays comforted me. Through this I got a lesson that even if I am in a big trouble the sun will shine soon and I will be able pass through my trouble very easily. Thinking of my troubles in life I penned down a poem.

“I am here alone, walking in the night

Moving here and there searching for light.

Passing through the darkness hoping everything will be fine

Waiting for the morning when the sun will shine.”


Adam Hubbard’s (Art) With HS Students At the Rishikesh Street Art Festival. In the News!

Outdoor Learning Weekend At Woodstock

Adam Working on His Wall Art in Rishikesh

The WS team

Art students



WS Art and Music students with staff and other participants.



Outdoor Learning Weekend

Outdoor Learning Weekend



Sindhu Clark (Hanifl Centre) on the Rajaji National Park trip.


The AP Environmental Studies class went to Rajaji National Park for the Outdoor Learning weekend. They stayed just outside the buffer zone of the Rajaji forest at a place called ‘Camp Forrest’. Over the three days, the students were exposed to  Riverine Ecosystem, Nature Walks, Jeep Safari, Rajai National Park, Elephant Behaviour, Tiger and Camera Trapping. The three days was filled with academic content helping the students to learn the concepts in a natural setting.


Amy Seefeldt (Academic Dean)  Takes Students Sketching.

IMG_2373 (Medium)




Not all OLW trips are covered here. Photo credits: Adam Hubbard, Amy Seefeldt, Andrew Francis, Anjali Sharma,  Brett Gore, Eloise Boinot, Martha Lopez, Mayuri K, Ritesh Farmer, Shreya G and Sindhu Clark.


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