Where Learning Comes to Life
Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I will learn. Benjamin Franklin, 1750
Experiential Learning is a practice that engages students in active, hands-on learning, integrating curricular goals with practical and engaging real-life experiences. The Banff School Experiential Learning trips encompass a broad variety of learning activities, including outdoor education, adventure learning, and exciting travel experiences. This educational approach begins in the classroom, expands to the community and eventually takes the learning process into the world at large with students having the opportunity to travel locally, regionally and nationally.
Our unique travel experiences are filled with true meaning and value for the students. Some are related to the curriculum and others are related to the development of the individual - socially, emotionally, and/or physically. Research shows that this kind of active, experiential learning supports creativity, problem solving and a deeper understanding that endures. As such, many of the experiential learning opportunities support the academic curriculum. But, just as many support other important programmatic elements such as service learning, leadership, outdoor education, travel, or perhaps just exploring beyond one’s comfort zone. The school has adopted experiential learning as a cornerstone of its mission to "Educate the Whole Child" and recognizes the inherent value in teaching within this model. Not every lesson on every day employs the entire model, but the quality and depth of learning, not to mention student engagement, is clearly enhanced by the practice.
Please Note: These trips are optional and not required components. Students will not be responsible for missed school work while away on these trips.
A mainstay of The Banff School's travel program for over 30 years, our Outdoor Education trip for students in 3rd-5th grade is a chance to enjoy an outdoor adventure each year at "Mo Ranch" in the Texas Hill Country. Students enjoy a 4-day, 3-night trip with exciting activities including water recreation, camping, environmental education, ziplining, sports activities, hiking, animal conservation lessons and a state-of-the-art ropes course. Our Lower School Outdoor Education trips are a time for bonding, renewal, outdoor excitement, team building, relationships, and relaxation all while on an amazing trip!
Our middle school Experiential Education program delves deep into the history, art and beauty that is right here in our very own Lone Star State! Students will travel on this 5-day, 4-night trip to either Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, with the destinations rotating each year. This amazing trip is chock full of Texas lore, legend and history, allowing students to experience the art, culture and beauty in our great state of Texas!
From personal tours of the State Capitol, to ziplining at Lake Travis, to watching battle reenactments at the Alamo to exploring underground caverns - this trip will take students on a journey through Texas history and all that there is to experience right here in our home state. Complete with curriculum tied in with their history, social studies, English, science and Fine Arts curriculum, this trip is truly an extension of our Banff classroom - out in the real world!
Exploring a world created through STEAM! This spring trip travels to one of four major cultural destination around the United States where we take our curriculum on the road, providing hands-on learning opportunities while creating life-long memories. The trip rotates over four years, visiting New York, Los Angeles, Orlando and Washington, D.C. This 5-day, 4-night trip focuses on learning different STEAM concepts in a unique educational opportunity that allows students to see first-hand how the concepts they learn in the classroom are applied and utilized in the "real world." From attending Broadway shows in New York, to watching our government at work in the U.S. Capitol, to learning from Disney Imagineers, this popular trip is the highlight of our students' academic year.
View photos from recent trips!
the banff difference
At The Banff School, our mission is to "Educate the Whole Child,” providing exciting and engaging curriculum as well as unique programs and activities that help the students grow and mature, both academically and creatively.