Without Walls offered students the chance to step out of their comfort zones, develop life skills, and foster an open-minded approach to the world. Grades 3 to 11 students ventured beyond the classroom to explore diverse landscapes and cultures. Each grade level took a trip designed to cultivate personal growth, teamwork, and cultural appreciation.

Grade 3: Camp Olympics – A Right of Passage

In their Week Without Walls experience, Grade 3 students journeyed to Reignwood Club’s Pine Valley in Changping District. The program’s central focus was team-building activities to develop cooperation and collaboration skills. These young learners demonstrated effective teamwork throughout the week, conquering obstacle courses and collaborating effectively on various problem-solving tasks. However, it was challenging, as some students initially found it difficult to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new experiences. Nevertheless, these challenges proved instrumental in instilling a growth mindset within them. The camp experience strongly encouraged attributes from the PYP learner profile, including risk-taking, open-mindedness, and reflection. Students learned to embrace challenges positively, remain receptive to diverse perspectives, and engage in introspection for continuous self-improvement.

Grade 4: Taste the Outdoors – A Balanced Adventure 

Grade 4 students took on an adventure to Tuobang, Yanqing’s partner camp, starting their journey with a campfire gathering during which they shared their camp goals. The program featured diverse activities, from an engaging MTV Night where students displayed their singing and dancing talents to spirited competitions that included a kayak race, a mini shelter-building challenge, and a gaga ball game. These unique experiences allowed students to become courageous risk-takers, pushing them beyond their comfort zones. Effective communication and principled teamwork were essential for constructing functional shelters in the shelter-building task. This camp experience fostered students’ creativity and refined their self-management, social, and communication skills within an unfamiliar environment.

Grade 5: Luoyang & The Shaolin Temple – A Journey of Culture and Martial Arts

Grade 5 enjoyed an adventurous journey at Luoyang, a city steeped in history and tradition. The students had the unique opportunity to stay at China’s first experiential and culturally focused learning campsite, and they visited the Shaolin Temple on Song Mountain, the birthplace of Shaolin Martial Arts. Here, they delved into the origins and evolution of Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Martial Arts. Students faced physical challenges during martial arts training, interacted with local students, contributed to a mural project, and practiced cultural sensitivity by dining quietly with the monks at the Shaolin Temple. The program was a blend of culture, history, and physical activity. It provided a unique cultural exchange and appreciation platform designed to foster open-mindedness.

Grade 6: Qingdao Exploration Camp – A Journey into Cultural Heritage

Grade 6 students took a voyage encompassing maritime skills and cultural appreciation at the Qingdao Exploration Camp. They learned the art of sailing, including changing sails, managing rigging, and mastering navigation. Additionally, students explored an old German town in Qingdao, where they discovered the diverse architectural features of buildings. Low tide activities allowed students to dig in and explore the sea and its life, providing insights into tides and their impact on coastal communities. While some students faced initial water and ocean fears, many overcame them by realizing they could confidently navigate the waters by listening to the instructor and adhering to boat safety guidelines. This adventure was about cultural enrichment and instilled essential life skills in students that promoted personal growth, playing a pivotal role in making them more independent and responsible.

Grade 7: Nanjing Exploration Camp – A Blend of Culture and Adventure 

Grade 7 students stayed at a natural campsite, used their organizational skills to embrace camp camaraderie, and formed a temporary living space. They explored Jinling Ancient City, immersing themselves in its architecture, city lights, and local performances. The students took a challenging 6-kilometer hike through Purple Mountain that deepened their connection with nature. The hike culminated in a visit to Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, where students enjoyed local cuisine and tried crafting in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Center. The students also took a scenic boat ride on the Qinhuai River and visited the Nanjing Museum. In addition, a local farm visit allowed hands-on harvest experiences, connecting them to agricultural life. In the evening, a campfire gathering featured storytelling and team building. On the final morning, students wrote closing camp reports and engaged in reflection activities.

Grade 8: Xi’an Exploration Camp – Unveiling the Treasures of History 

Grade 8 students took a trip to Xi’an, a city known for its rich cultural and historical significance. Xi’an is home to iconic landmarks such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall. The students started their trip by watching “The Legend of the Camel Bell,” a sensory show narrating the story of a merchant’s Silk Road journey. In the following days, students visited museums, explored the city, and learned about the history of the Silk Road. Alongside these historical explorations, students experienced local delicacies and wore Tang Dynasty costumes to gain a deeper cultural understanding of the region. They also discovered ancient wooden buildings and architectural marvels at the China Architecture Exhibition Center, some dating back over 2,000 years. This journey left Grade 8 students with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for China’s heritage.

Grade 9: Thousand Island Lake Adventure – Nature’s Classroom

Grade 9 students visited Thousand Island Lake (Qiandaohu) in Zhejiang province, experiencing a nature-based classroom. The journey blended kayaking, tea culture exploration, art appreciation, outdoor challenges, and cultural experiences. Students worked on team building and creative problem-solving through kayaking adventures. They discovered China’s rich tea culture, studying old traditions while practicing mindfulness. The students also explored Qiandaohu Lake and its picturesque surroundings on bicycles. They pushed themselves by crossing a glass bridge, soaring over mountains in cable cars, and descending on a glass slide. The Qiandaohu expedition helped students develop themselves through independence, adaptability, and resilience. The challenges they encountered reinforced the development of IB learner attributes, including promoting inquiry, critical thinking, effective communication, and an open-minded approach.

Grade 10: Wuhan Cultural Exploration Camp – Unleash Your Curiosity

Grade 10 students took an adventure to Wuhan, a city steeped in history and culture. Their journey began with a visit to the Hubei Provincial Museum, where students studied the craftsmanship of ancient Chinese artifacts, notably the Chime Bell. They explored Dong Hu wetland and its natural water purification systems. A 12-kilometer cycling excursion along Dong Hu Lake followed, challenging the students’ perseverance. They watched the Han Show in the evening, an aquatic spectacle featuring daring dives and water-scooter stunts. The following day, students explored Wuhan University and learned about fascinating academic disciplines like Satellite Remote Sensing. On their final day, students visited the China Architecture Exhibition Center, gaining insights into the construction of ancient wooden buildings, some dating back over 2000 years. The Grade 10 Week Without Walls adventure encouraged the power of inquiry, cultural appreciation, and physical challenges.

Grade 11: Hangzhou and Moganshan Adventure – Discovering Strengths and Bonding

Grade 11 students took a transformative journey that began with a visit to Hangzhou, where they experienced the city’s rich tea culture. They participated in tea picking and mountain hiking, gaining insights into the centuries-old tea cultivation and appreciation traditions. Their adventure continued in Moganshan when they ventured to Discovery Park, taking on thrilling activities, including ferrate, zipline, slackline, bouldering, climbing wall, quick jump, challenge course, and abseiling. These activities pushed students out of their comfort zones and tested their physical and mental resilience. The Grade 11 trip presented significant challenges that required students to step beyond their usual boundaries. Activities such as the 12-kilometer uphill hike, climbing a towering 40-meter-high wall, and navigating the rope challenge course challenged students to the fullest. The Hangzhou and Moganshan adventure helped Grade 11 students to become more determined and discover new strengths.