In a 2013 report on maps and education, National Geographic concluded, “Spatial thinking is arguably one the most important ways of thinking for a child to develop as he or she grows. … A student who has acquired robust spatial thinking skills is at an advantage in our increasingly global and technical society.”

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It is with this desired outcome in mind that the Grade 7 teachers and students took on the tiresome and challenging task of a 4 hour hike up Table Mountain. Armed with maps, compasses and a rucksack filled with snacks and hydration, fifty or so strong, and not so strong, bodies traversed the slopes, valleys and hills whilst plotting their way on their compasses and maps.

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With the assistance and support of the professional guides from Venture Forth and the encouragement and guidance of their teachers, the students discovered that their bodies are capable of far more than they thought possible. GRIT and determination were required to complete every section of this hike.

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But it was not only their bodies that got a ‘work out’, their minds and world view too, was stretched as they discovered the difference between Magnetic and True North, how to read co-ordinates and their compass, and studied topographical maps like skilled hikers.

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Though their bodies where aching when they reached the end of the hike, their minds were racing. Filled with new knowledge and a new passion to explore the world on the outside of their digital screens, they now explore the content in our iBooks with new vision, insight and zeal.

Outdoor education at its best!

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