Travel and Experiential Education Programme
Why experiential education?
At Cedar, we firmly believe that students learn best when they are engaged and have the opportunity to work “hands on” with the subject matter. Our teachers do a brilliant job with this in the classroom, but nothing substitutes for getting students out into the community, be it home or abroad, to actualize their learning. Authentic, relevant learning occurring in context is learning that lasts.
To this end, Cedar offers a Travel and Experiential Education Programme that includes a variety of travel courses—with local, regional, and global options—that appeal to a range of interests and budgets.
What are travel and experiential courses and how are they structured?
Travel and experiential courses are academic courses that meet every other week throughout the second semester, as part of each student’s regular schedule. Courses include a full week of travel or hands-on experience in late May led by their course instructor and additional staff chaperones as appropriate. All secondary students are expected to participate in a travel or experiential course.
Grades 6-8: Students in Grades 6-8 will have the opportunity to choose from 8 multi-age courses, featuring a variety of destinations and academic themes.
Grade 9: Students in Grade 9 will have the opportunity to choose from all of the options available to Grades 6-8 as well as one additional option: the university tour.
Grade 10: Students in Grade 10 will have the opportunity to choose from all of the options available to Grades 6-8, as well as two additional options: a university tour or an internship experience.
Grade 11: Students in Grade 11 may participate in the university tour or the internship experience. They may also seek special permission from the administration to participate in one of the multi-age options available to Grades 6-10. Student behavioural records and demonstrated leadership skills will be considered when reviewing such requests.
What costs are associated with the travel courses?
The expectation is that every student will participate in a travel course. With that in mind courses have been selected to provide a variety of destinations and academic themes that appeal to different student interests and different family budgets. Options abroad will obviously carry larger price tags. Local options entail only minimal costs, and include two completely free options. All costs can be invoiced by the school and paid in installments. Students in each course will also have the opportunity to fundraise to reduce costs.
Will the travel take away from instructional time?
There will not be a loss of instructional time. In past years, final exams have finished a week before the end of school, leaving one week of classes after exams. With the introduction of the travel programme, exams now go right up to the end of school. Thus, the travel week in May substitutes for the “lost week” at the end of school. Because the travel is part of a course, it is considered academic time and has concrete learning objectives every bit as valuable as other learning.
Who supervises the travel courses?
All courses are led by qualified Cedar faculty and staff and will include both male and female chaperones. (The one exception is Space Camp, which has only one staff member, as Space Camp personnel provide door-to-door service starting at the airport gate!) Ratios are kept around 1 teacher for every 5 students, though this may vary depending on the nature of the trip and whether or not the services of a guide company are being utilised. Safety guidelines and protocols are in place for all Cedar travel.
- December 10th: Registration opens with a travel fair in the Atrium from 2:30 – 3:30 pm. Travel course leaders will be set up at tables to answer any questions you may have. Registration materials will be available.
- January 11th: Registration closes. By this date, students must complete a registration form, signed by parents, and pay a non-refundable deposit (except for free options) to be considered registered.
- February 1st: Second semester begins. Travel courses will meet every Wednesday during 7th period beginning March 23rd.
- May 21st – May 28th: All travel will occur during this week.
Travel and Experiential Education courses vary each year, but always include a mix of local and abroad experiences. Recent options abroad have included science study at NASA’s Space Camp, environmental studies in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and the American Southwest, political study in Washington, D.C., and a University Tour. Local options include the BVI Dive Experience, which leads to scuba certification, and targeted experiences on BVI Art, Music, History and Culture, using the local community as a resource. Internship options in the local Financial Services, Tourism, and Hospitality sectors are also offered each year for students in Grades 10 and above. To review this year’s Travel and Experiential Education course offerings, please download the document below.
Given the precautions we as a school community are prudently taking, this year we have chosen to dedicate the programme to exploring the many wonders of our beautiful Virgin Islands. All eleven of the brilliant and varied experiential education courses have been specifically designed by our dedicated and accomplished Cedar teachers to engage, excite and fascinate our secondary students.
Travel Programme Overview, 2021