Interdisciplinary Learning (IDL)

What is IDL?

IDL is a planned approach to learning, which uses links across different subjects or disciplines to enhance learning.  In Sanderson, IDL encompasses the Junior Award Scheme Scotland S1-S3- includes My Interests, Me and My World, forest schools, learning away and many other pupil led experiences and in the senior phase, is accredited by the SQA Personal Achievement and Personal Development Awards, encompassing all sections of this.


  • Pupils will be involved in active learning opportunities.
  • Pupils will take responsibility for their own learning through their interests.
  • Pupils will participate in outings and trips and will engage in learning within the local community and see links to subject areas of curriculum.
  • Pupils will learn practical skills which will support them in life, learning and work.
  • To gain accreditation in the Senior Phase.

Forest Schools as part of IDL

Forest Schools originated in Europe in the early 20th century as a way of teaching about  the natural world.  The Forest Schools approach is a unique way to get young people learning outside, in line with Curriculum for Excellence guidelines.  In Sanderson, we have two teachers trained in Forest Schools, one to Leader level and one to Assistant level.  Forest School is suitable for all ages and in our case, will take place in the local area.

Some possible activities include rope swings, knot tying, shelter building, fire lighting. Building bridges etc.  Forest School activities aim to develop the individual as a whole.  However, some specific areas of development are:

Self esteem, social and emotional skills, language and communication skills, team work, confidence, ability to asses and take risks, find and gross motor skills and love and appreciation of the great outdoors.

The aim of these courses is to develop skills for life, learning and work, and to encourage hobbies and interests.

Independent Travel Training

Pupils use local community resources such as banks, libraries, shops and leisure centres under adult supervision to improve their independent living skills.  Some pupils take part in the school’s independent travel programme using the local bus service. GPS monitors enable pupils to travel with confidence.

Learning Away / School Excursions

Our S2/3 visit Keswick Outdoor Centre in November every second year. A full range of activities were on offer including hill walking, canoeing, horse riding etc.

During March our S4/5 visit Bendrigg Trust in Cumbria every second year.

These excursions are designed to build teamwork, self esteem, confidence and build independent skills.

The benefits of extracurricular activities are acknowledged within the school. At lunchtimes pupils attend clubs supervised by teachers and support staff. These clubs include Football, Basketball, ICT, Samba Band, Drums, Relaxation, Film, Reading and Drop In which is an inclusive club for 1st and 2nd year pupils with Calderglen.