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About Us

Our Approach

What we do

SOEC has many years’ experience in outdoor education and are keen promoters of intelligent outdoor learning. We are guided by the principles that outdoor education should be fun but that learning about ourselves and our place in the world is a natural outcome of our activities and programmes.

Why we do it

Our ethos is informed by key values of sustainability, inclusion and environmental awareness. The start point for SOEC is that which is good for children and young people. Our aim is to deliver learning priorities and commitments such as improving the life opportunities of young people, citizenship, confidence building, leadership, healthy lifestyles and sustainable development.

All of these outcomes will contribute to a healthier, more confident society.

Intelligent Outdoor Learning

SOEC is continuing to develop its distinctive approach to outdoor learning; an approach that sets it apart from many providers.  The SOEC approach advocates Intelligent Outdoor Learning which redefines residential outdoor learning and distinguishes it from that of the past.  More than just helmets, harnesses and muddy boots, and more than just distraction, fun and sport, today Intelligent Outdoor Learning integrates:

  • motivating and challenging activities
  • with clear learning and PSD outcomes, and
  • the immersion of a young person in a friendly and safe, away from home environment;

This is a powerful combination both for learning and for personal and social development. While the constituent parts have been around for some time, teachers and other education professionals who visit regularly are aware of the powerful efficacy of these factors working in combination. Also, their integration creates added-value and facilitates the innovation necessary to meet the very specific needs of different schools, youth groups, ages and abilities.

Our primary motivation is learning and the personal and social development of young people.

This approach enables SOEC to develop a wide range of innovative experiential programmes emphasising for example, adventure activities, environment activities and transition programmes. We have also been developing an engineering programme as well as programmes with visits to educational attractions such as the Seats of Power incorporated trips to Edinburgh Castle and Parliament; an Explorers programme including a trip to Discovery Point and the Science Centre; or a trip to New Lanark creates opportunities to explore sustainable development concepts.

Social Return on Investment

SOEC may deliver high quality outdoor learning programmes. It may provide more experiential learning to more young people than any other organisation in Scotland. However, SOEC is far more than this. SOEC is also a Scottish Charity delivering many social and other benefits.

A recent Social Return On Investment analysis carried out with the assistance of Forth Development consultancy has established a financial value for the many and varied benefits from our work. The results for SOEC show a very high ratio of 1:11. Therefore our work produced benefits more than 10x that which is invested in the charity. This is a fantastic endorsement and we hope that it confirms to others the importance and relevance of our work.

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