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Problem Solving and Team Building

Breadth of Learning


  • Work independently and in groups, taking on different roles and collaborating towards common goals
  • Listen to, reflect on and respect other people’s views and feelings
  • Recognise their own and others’ strengths and weaknesses and how to improve


  • To take the lead, prioritise actions and work independently and collaboratively towards goals
  • To listen to, reflect on and respect other people’s views and feelings while negotiating and presenting their own views
  • To self-assess, set goals, prioritise and manage time and resources, understanding how this will help their future actions
  • Learn safely in a new environment

Key words/phrases

Teamwork, challenge, problem solving, roles and responsibilities, safety of self and others, cooperation, trust, communication, leadership


Centre staff will welcome your group and describe the day’s programme, learning objectives, and the health and safety issues. (10 mins)

½ Day Course Programme

Classes will then separate and sessions A and B will be interchangeable am and pm with session A generally led by the centre teacher.


Can be led by centre teacher or by visiting teacher.

  • Pupils put into 6 groups (5 mins)
  • Tour of the carousel of 6 activities to explain the rules for each challenge. (10 mins)
  • Explain/reinforce the principle of Plan, Do, Review (2 mins)

Each group given a activity to start on with order of rotation given for the activities:

  • Ski Walk: Using planks and rope, move your team as quickly as possible from the start to the finish (12 mins)
  • Crossing the Swamp: The whole group must cross the “Swamp” without getting their feet wet using only the equipment provided and nobody falling off (12 mins)
  • Roller Ball: The team must get the ball down the course using the guttering supplied. Not as easy as it sounds. (12 mins)
  • Soggy Circuit: The whole team must get around the trim trail without touching the ground and not spilling any water from the bucket they carry (12 mins)
  • Sheep and Shepherd: To guide all the blindfolded human “sheep” to safety in the pen (12 mins)
  • Jumbo Jigsaw: Blindfolded team members need to be instructed to put a giant jigsaw together in the quickest time (12 mins)

Detailed activity sheets can be found in the Problem Solving and Adventurous Activities at the Environmental Education Day Centres curriculum material pages 27 and 38 for groups self leading team building sessions. Copies available at the centre.


Back at the Centre the pupils will reflect on their contribution to their group in the challenges they have taken part in. (10 mins).

Safety Considerations

Weather Conditions and clothing

Some outdoor clothing and footwear is available at the Centre but please ensure that children are dressed warmly and have suitable waterproof outerwear. Activities will take place in all but the most severe weather conditions. The centre teacher will contact the group leader if conditions are unsafe for the visit to continue.

Equipment supplied

First aid kit, problem solving equipment, blindfolds, team analysis sheets

Equipment needed from school



A range of other Team Challenges: i.e. Save the World, Blindfold Shapes, Picture Orienteering are available that can substituted/added to the carousel through the planning process prior to a visit.

The actual programme may vary depending on the number and needs of pupils, length of visit and weather conditions.



Time limits can be imposed; number of times that groups can touch the floor (Soggy Circuit). Whistle used instead of verbal commands (Sheep and Shepherd), rubber band removed for Save the World.


More information provided as the activity progresses. Specific roles can be given out i.e. Collector, leader, and carrier. Picture shown on Jumbo Jigsaw beforehand.