School Outdoor Activity Course Training
Yesterday the office was at Woodlands Primary Academy in Bradwell delivering the 2nd of a 6-day course. The course is for teachers, TA’s and Nursery practitioners and the school is developing its staff by undertaking the leader CPD course. Training in the holidays means a large commitment from the staff. As they will be trained Back to Basics Bushcrafters Leaders and ambassadors for our outdoor learning programmes its fantastic to work with engaged professionals.
We got out the knives and developed personal knife skills by making tent pegs and a couple of wands as all outdoor leaders know if you can make a wand EYFS will love you!!!! As you teach older than year 4 the tent peg is the winner as wands are not cool unless you tell them it’s a Harry Potter wand!!
The planned training activity was to develop skills using sharp tools including axes, bow saws, Laplanders and buck saws. Also, one of the key skills was how to use the and utilise the outdoors effectively. Sharp tool from www.survivalbushcraft.co.uk
I am in schools during school holidays a lot and the atmosphere is still and calm and you almost miss the rumbling noise of activity. However, this is the BEST time for staff to look outside and take in the area without worrying if anyone has wandered off, needs the toilet or finds a small spider screams or needs persuading that Mummy won’t want a pet spider!!
That’s exactly what we did we went for a walk and looked about, took in the environment & checked for a bit of shelter from the wind. I was not expecting to do 16,039 steps yesterday but I’m taking it as a bonus along with finding a wonderful new location to house a Bushcraft area.
Biggest problem was it was not clear and over grown with lots of trees dumped right in the middle of the area. I remember finding my first outdoor area it was covered in brambles and nettles and needed clearing by HAND and the weeds weighed in at 20 tonnes! However it’s all about the feel, location and when you find the area you just know and your head then moves at 100 miles an hour and you want it to be started NOW!!!!!! The excitement takes over and you are a big kid again and you want to play and that’s exactly what happened yesterday. The staff had found there ideal spot given its a school grounds. We all would love a mountain range with snow on top with a warm breeze, south facing and weed free! But we are in the UK and not in an Alaskan documentary.
I decided that we could start work on the area as we would be using all the skills needed. We would be using sharp tools and making a bespoke area for the teachers to deliver their sessions. We built fire with a good cooking and drying area, seating and the start of a new natural fence.
The staff all enjoyed the hands-on training and enjoyed watching the area being transformed. Their confidence in using sharp tools improved as did the understanding of how to utilise an outdoor learning area. It good to think outside the box and make outdoor learning personal, informative and have fun!!
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The Bushcraft Man runs Back to Basics Bushcrafters CIC.
Please visit our main website for information on our Bushcraft Clubs, Community Projects, Curriculum linked Outdoor Learning for Schools, Training Courses and Volunteering opportunities.