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Search and Rescue

Learning outcomes

Most pupils will understand/be able to:

  • How to prepare for an outdoor activity
  • The need for safe and sensible behaviour
  • Listen to others
  • Co-operate with others
  • Encourage each other
  • Understand that listening, co-operating and encouraging are important during group activities
  • Experience success, a sense of achievement in responding to challenge

Some pupils will have the opportunity to:

  • Recognise the importance of effective teamwork and how it can be applied elsewhere
  • Recognise the contribution made by themselves and others during the activity

Key words/phrases

Communication, Co-operation, Determination, Encouragement, Enthusiasm, Involvement, Participation, Perseverance, Teamwork.

Curriculum links


Participation in different types of decision making; work in groups, roles and responsibilities


Work logically towards results and conclusions


Adapting to unfamiliar contexts


Half day activity (not in darkness).


Woodlands at Hagg Farm. A number of different areas are available.


Session can be led by visiting teaching staff. first aid cert?

Supporting materials

Search and Rescue curriculum pack.

Health and safety

Appropriate clothing and footwear required. Safety pack (with first aid kit, emergency shelter etc), mobile phone, technical equipment (e.g. stretcher inc. discussion re assembly) and any personal medication (inhalers etc). Risk assessment no. 20. Pupil ratio 1:12.

Activity session

  • Indoor briefing on aims, activity and health and safety (as above).
  • Explanation of a search and rescue simulation exercise (i.e. to find and rescue a casualty) and discussion about what makes a good team and what will be effective communication.
  • Discussion of environmental issues, following the Country Code.
  • Time is allowed for planning and ideas; all individuals should get involved.
  • Activity 1: complete sweep search. Sweets are scattered over the back field and students ‘sweep’ methodically in a line to find them.
  • Activity 2: mountain rescue stretcher. Instructions and practice: how to assemble and carry the stretcher, how to use Personal Mobile Radios (PMRs).
  • Team roles required: carriers, radio operator, coordinator etc.
  • Simulation exercise: find and rescue missing casualty in the woods, bring him/her back to base. (Casualty can be a member of staff or a teddy bear!)
  • Encouragement and assessment/discussion of progress is important.
  • Continuous emphasis on the need for teamwork, involvement and leadership.


(at Hagg Farm)

  • Have learning outcomes, above, been met?
  • A range of reviewing techniques with students using writing, speaking skills and creativity to express feelings about activity, performance, involvement, teamwork.
  • Teacher and peer group assessment: did the team work well together?
  • Did the search go well? Methodically? What could be improved? Were all the sweets found? Was the casualty found and successfully rescued?