The outdoor environment: How can our children learn to care about their futures?
As children are increasingly removed from the natural environment it has been recognised that it is having a detrimental effect on their health, well-being and learning ability. The Learning Escape has sought to address this concept following on from the National Trust's report - Natural Childhood' in 2012:-
Residential Outdoor Education is a legacy for learning.
The English Outdoor Council has produced an updated research paper on residential outdoor experiences.
Out with the Old and in with the New 'Minibus'
After over 11 years of trusty or is that 'rusty' service the LDV minibus has finally gone to the Car Park in the sky. In order to keep in line with the high standard of provision throughout the Centre we have been fortunate enough to purchase a replacement in the form of a long wheel base Ford Transit 17 seater minibus. 'Sea Badger: Too!' is now sitting proudly in the driveway waiting to take groups to our off-site activity venues.
The Charity would like to thank Mrs Olive Randall who very kindly thought of Grenville House in her will and whose legacy enabled us to make this improvement to our transport provision.
Outdoor learning is in a class of its own
Learning outside the classroom builds children's confidence and can transform their relationships with teachers. So how can schools be encouraged to organise more outdoor activities?
Follow this link below to find out more:-
COASTEERING - now available
As from June 16th 2012 the Centre has extended the range of activities offered to include Coasteering.
What is Coasteering?
Apart from being loads of fun it is an adventurous exploration of the 'littoral fringe' or, put simply, the bit where the coast meets the sea. The experience is ever changing due to the weather, sea state and tidal conditions and combines walking, wading, swimming, rock traversing, low level climbing, cave exploration and jumping into the sea.
What do you need to wear?
A wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet and footwear.
Where do you go Coasteering?
We will be operating from two sites - Brixham and Start Point.
Do you need to be able to swim?
Ideally yes but as long as you are confident in the water we can take you along.
New Prices for 2013.
Once again we have endeavoured to keep any price changes to a minimum in order to keep Grenville House accessible to as many who would like to use us as possible. Outlined below is a summary of the changes. In real terms it will mean an increase of between 4-6% for a similar visit in 2012.
However please remember that the Charity may be able to assist with the financial support of your visit. By making an application to Athina Savva (Charity Secretary) outlining any relevant information we can then consider subsidising the cost of your visit.
Summary of Price Changes
1. Residential Charges
- Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec - £295.00/night
- Mar, Apr, Sept, Oct - £405.00/night
- May, Jun, Jul, Aug - £440.00/night
2. Activity Charges
– Have increased by £3 per session where applicable.
- £13.00 per pupil per day (incl. supervisory staff), for all pupils under 16 yrs old.
- £19.00 per pupil per day 16yrs plus + supervisory staff.
Booking for your next visit in 2014!
New bookings for 2014 can be made as of THE FIRST MONDAY OF DECEMBER – 03/12/12. Booking enquiries can be made in whatever way you wish. Confirmation of your booking is required by returning your completed and signed booking form along with your deposit within 14 days of making a provisional booking. Please be aware that we have also made some amendments to our 'Booking Terms and Conditions'
Major Investment in Grenville House
'A new roof over our heads'
After almost four months the Centre is now visible again having been shrouded in scaffolding a la St Mark's Basilica in Venice, since January. It is only with hindsight and having seen the contrast between the old and new that the necessity of the replacement could be appreciated. Brazilian slate has been used to match the natural beauty of the roof of the adjacent Chapel building which looks fantastic from every angle and even up close. (Never thought I would get to get up onto the Centre Roof which was an experience.)
The Sail Loft roof, which made a colander look watertight, has also been replaced during the Easter break. It is a bit bright but will soon weather in to blend nicely with the rest of the Centre.
Our last roof replacement will transform the Wetsuit store bringing it up to the standard of the rest of the site. Not only will it improve the condition of the room but will hopefully stop the rain coming in especially now it is full of holes which were made to accommodate the scaffold poles.
2013 Course dates
All of our RYA courses are available on request, subject to availability, throughout the year. Any courses currently scheduled can be found on the specialist courses page. Courses can be set to match your work patterns and other commitments. Please contact the Centre with your enquiries. or to arrange course dates to suit you.
GRENVILLE HOUSE OEC GETS TOP MARKS FOR EDUCATIONAL VISITS
Grenville House Outdoor Education Centre in Brixham, Devon has shown itself to be at the top of the class for educational visits by being awarded a Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge. Awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the LOtC Quality Badge combines for the first time learning and safety into one easily recognisable badge for all organisations providing learning outside the classroom experiences.
Centre Manager Kurt Mockridge said “Being awarded the LOtC Quality Badge is a real coup for all the staff here as it shows that we offer young people the type of high quality learning experiences they really benefit from. We're thrilled to get official recognition for our efforts and we look forward to welcoming even more children and young people from the local area to our Centre”
The LOtC Quality Badge was launched in 2009 as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, a national initiative to ensure young people are given more opportunities to have these experiences as part of the curriculum. The LOtC Quality Badge is awarded by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, the national voice for Learning Outside the Classroom, who also provide free online guidance and information for teachers on how to plan and organise high quality activities. The badge is designed to make it easier for teachers to identify providers of quality educational visits. Organisations will display the badge as a signal to schools that their venue has met required standards, so teachers do not need to carry out their own risk or quality assessments.
There are two routes to the Quality Badge. Route 1 is for organisations offering activities that are considered relatively low risk and activities that take place wholly in controlled areas used by the public, such as museums, galleries, places of worship and zoos. Route 2 is for organisations providing activities that require a degree of technical knowledge and experience beyond the lay person. For example, adventurous activities such as rock climbing and river and coastal fieldwork, where young people enter the water to make measurements.
Providers looking to gain the badge will need to meet a set of six quality indicators and will be supported through a developmental process by a package of on-line support materials, which will include guidance, good practise exemplars, down-loadable templates and training materials.
Beth Gardner, Chief Executive of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom said:
“Educational visits are among the most memorable experiences in a child’s school life. Quality Badges offer teachers a guarantee that not only is a venue providing the sort of educational value that they can build on in class long after the visit but they also have the appropriate risk management structures in place.
Learning outside the classroom has many proven educational benefits. The LOtC Quality Badge will reduce red tape and provide assurance for schools, thereby ensuring that many more young people have memorable, exciting and valuable learning outside the classroom experiences. I congratulate Grenville House Outdoor Education Centre on being awarded the badge.”
The LOtC Quality Badge is available to large and small organisations providing quality learning outside the classroom experiences and managing risk effectively. Over 670 organisations have already been awarded the badge, including museums, adventurous activity and field study centres, places of worship, art galleries, visitor attractions, student travel companies and farms.
For more information about the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, please visit www.lotcqualitybadge.org.uk
Residential outdoor education is a recognised and powerful learning and developmental experience, the English Outdoor Council believes that:
- There should be a formal entitlement for all young people to a progressive range of learning outside the classroom opportunities, including at least one residential experience.
- There should be a ring-fenced source of funding to support those young people who would not otherwise be able to afford this. (May be move to wards guidance on use of funding such as Pupil Premium? FOR DISCUSSION)
- Initial Teacher Training should incorporate how outdoor education opportunities benefit child development and learning and that training opportunities should be available as a part of ongoing professional development.
- There is crystal clear and incontestable evidence in support of learning outside the classroom in that it raises educational standards in schools, often leading to a dramatic change in self-confidence.
- Within the broad sphere of learning outside the classroom, challenging outdoor activities and environmental studies are particularly powerful learning opportunities. They contribute to a range of important societal targets across education, health, anti-social behaviour and community cohesion.
- There is ‘evidence that the number of schools that offer residential experience is increasing but fewer opportunities are available for schools with more deprived catchment areas’ and as a result, not all young people benefit from these.
- To redress this unfairness, there should be an entitlement to a progressive range of learning experiences outside the classroom, including at least one residential experience, for all young people.
- This view is shared by much of society, including many MPs.
- There is a clear economic case that the entitlement should be publicly funded.
- However, in the current climate, it is recognised that this is unrealistic.
- Nevertheless, an entitlement is achievable without additional net government funding.
- Parents recognise the benefits and are willing to contribute. This is justifiable.
- But there is a need to support those young people who would not otherwise be able to afford the experience.
- The modest cost of such support would be balanced by savings resulting from the societal benefits.
- This document lists the evidence and explains how the government can, even in the current economic climate, create fair access for all by creating a simple entitlement to a range of progressive outdoor learning opportunities.