In-School Team Building – The D.I.Y Approach


This article was written for teachers and leaders looking for inspiration and guidance on providing team building and experiential learning activities for their students.

Below, I have put together 4 sample team building programmes for download to help you provide your next outdoor learning experience for your students.

The programmes are designed to promote teamwork and leadership skills, encourage active participation and provide an opportunity for students to understand responsible risk management (all of which link to the curriculum). Above all, the programmes are designed to be fun!

The basis for any team building programme should be that your learners are safe and the programme is both educational and fun. In most cases, a company or facilitator is brought in will help with this but, in many cases, it is not always possible to bring in an external provider due to budget or funding constraints. This is why I have put together this article to provide tips and advice on delivering these activities yourself. By using the programmes provided below, you have the flexibility to run activities in-house  – what’s more, you can combine classes and provide a full day experience for your whole school.

Challenges require little or no equipment and depending on the type of activity, as long as you have a field or large indoor space then you can run these programmes in-school.

So why give Team Building a try?

  • Facilitates self-discovery, giving participants an opportunity to learn about themselves and improve self-confidence
  • Participants learn to work and build connections with others, develop new team building skills, improve group dynamic and relationships
  • Develops interpersonal and social skills including communication skills, leadership and trust
  • Understand problem solving and the importance of group discussions, reviewing and reflective practice
  • Young people enjoy learning differently and trying something new

Now, If the thought of having to ‘facilitate because we have no one coming in to do it’ scares you – DON’T PANIC – you do not have to be an expert facilitator to deliver some basic team building activities – the best way to prepare is to plan as much as possible, learn the challenges and ensure you have everything you need.

I recommend buying my new eBook, ‘The Team Building Activity Book’. The book provides an easy to use, step-by-step guide to teaching team building with full descriptions for over 30 team building challenges including: printable challenger briefs, ready to use programmes (both primary and secondary education) and access to exclusive member downloads. Buy it now for $19.99.

In the past I have put together various articles on teaching and facilitating team building in our workshop delivery section including step-by-step video tutorials to help you understand experiential learning and how to facilitate the learning process. Have a browse of our site and you will have more than enough information to get started.

I started Venture Team Building because I believe in the value and benefits of experiential learning and team development and wanted to make these activities available for all to experience and enjoy. Whether your learning outcome is to teach goal setting, reflective practice, effective problem solving, you are guaranteed to find a team building activity that will help you achieve that outcome.

All the information you need for each activity is on this site (just type the challenge in the search bar). Everything is covered including a comprehensive breakdown for safety, equipment requirements and suggested learning outcomes.

Team Building for Schools Programmes

So, here are 4 programme templates to use (in PDF format). Just select the most appropriate one for your class, print the programme and follow the links in the PDF document to get more information on the activity.

Example Programmes

  1. Activity Programme – Primary School (8-10yrs)
  2. Team Building Programme – Primary School (8-10yrs)
  3. Team Building – Secondary (11-16yrs)
  4. Life/Employability Skills Programme – Secondary (14-16yrs)

If you have any questions or you’re unsure about anything then either send us an email or write a comment below.

Final hints and tips

For safety and challenge supervision, you should typically try to work on a ratio of 20 students for every teacher. Not only does this allow you to monitor the safety effectively but also allows for better facilitation and group interaction.

The benefits of the Team Building are not confined to just students. Teacher and pupil relationships may improve as a result and you’ll also be able to observe your students interacting with others, outside their normal learning environment – seeing how they relate to others, how they handle pressure and identify any new strengths and weaknesses.

Following the delivery of your programme, make sure you use some reviewing methods to help student’s connect-the-dots and understand how and what they experience relates to, extends, and reinforces their in-school work. You should also get them to write about their experience and again review at a later date.

Don’t forget the flexibility in how these activities can be used in your school day. If you want to fill just the morning, select only three activities from the programme – if you want a 2 day programme, you could perhaps combine two or more programmes providing a greater opportunity for fun and learning. If you have a large class you could even get a little round-robin format going, with your teams revolving around different activities. Alternatively, you could invite other classes to take part and each class/group rotates around the challenge programme.

The opportunities are limitless and extremely cost effective!

What are you waiting for – now’s the time to get team building. If you want something done – sometimes it’s good to just ‘do it yourself’.


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