The Effectiveness of Outdoor Education Provision
For this assignment I am going to identify the principles and benefits
that outdoor education has to offer.
After taking the time to think about what a principle and a benefit is
I have come to the conclusion that a principle is the ethnics and
morals and a benefit is the outcome and something you gain such as a
new skill or completion of a task.
People provide outdoor education for many reasons. The principles of a
national skills centre are as followed.
Ø To increase the level of skills
Ø To run courses
Ø To train coaches further
Ø To allow clients to gain qualifications
The benefits of a national skills centre are as followed.
Ø To learn new skills
Ø To learn the benefits of outdoor education
Ø To have fun
The principles of outdoor educational centres
are as followed
Ø To build up teambuilding skills
Ø To build confidence
The benefits of outdoor educational centres are as followed.
Ø To increase self esteem
Ø To have a go at new things
Ø To experience outdoor activities
Ø To have fun
Other benefits of outdoor education are your own personal development
by learning new skills and to be able to manage various tasks out of
the normal work place or environment. Outdoor education offers a sense
of achievement and can also help with social behavioural problems and
My next part of this assignment is that I am going to describe and
explain the goals and principles for three different outdoor education
The three providers I have chosen are as followed.
Ø Plas Menai
Ø Bishops Forum
I am firstly going to tell you about Plas Menai. It is the National
Watersports Centre located in Wales.
Plas Menai try to deliver the ultimate day out making sure that it is
a quality, fun and rewarding experience for everyone.
Their aims are as followed.
Ø Teambuilding to be an important outcome
Ø Training and development in learning new skills
Ø To gain new qualifications or further current knowledge
Ø To gain invaluable hands on experience
Ø To be able to experience outdoor activities
Ø To have fun!
Plas Menai is a good place to learn, train and play. They provide a
good range of facilities and a large range of activities on offer all
year round and at every level.
They also provide careers advice to give you the initiative to further
your qualifications. They have a relaxed and informal approach to
ensure you have fun. Because they have a low instructor to client
ratio is quite low to ensure a more personal approach with high
standard tuition. Plas Menai caters for many events and has a highly
qualified and experienced team of staff.
Their target groups include the following.
Ø Schools and colleges
The principles of the activities run at the centre are to ensure you
get the most out of your activity and they believe that your safety is
very important and their commitment to safety is amongst the highest
you will find anywhere in the UK.
The benefits of the activities run at the centre is that they want to
see you leave feeling a great amount of adventure, to feel refreshed
and to feel involved with outdoor education.
I am now going to write about Bishops Forum. The centre is charity
funded and deals with clients with behavioural difficulty problems.
Bishops Forum operate from many centres throughout Cornwall but mainly
work from their Goodygrane centre located near Falmouth.
At Bishops Forum they aims are as followed.
To provide participants of all ages and abilities to feel challenged
but not phased
To gain an enormous sense of achievement but not over reaching
They provide people with courses that are tailor made to meet the
requirements of the individual or group and can be arranged as one off
visits or regular sessions. They try to make every effort to help
develop the individuals self esteem and confidence.
All their instructors are fully trained and experienced to deal with
disaffected children. All their qualifications are recognised by the
NGB's relevant to their discipline.
This is an Ariel view photo of Bishops Forum centre in Goodygrane.
Goodygrane.jpg (110618 bytes)
They also reflect their standards by having a licence with AALA.
They provide young people with the opportunity to participate in
outdoor education and developing their self-motivation, thinking and
social skills to assist with their integration into education or the
world of work.
They try to encourage the following.
Ø Participation in tasks and challenges
Ø Stimulation and concentration to the mind
Their target groups are the following.
Ø Disaffected and disadvantaged young people aged 11-19 years
Ø Young people with disabilities
Ø Girls and young women.
They also cater for the following.
Ø Stag and hen nights
Ø School and college groups
At Bishops Forum they focus mainly on personal development.
The principles of participating in the activities at the centre are to
provide a safe, enjoyable learning environment for disaffected people,
and it is a charity run on a break-even basis that targets
The benefits of participating in the activities at the centre is that
they reach out to young people who need help, it is cheap to clients
as it is charity run and the way they deliver the activities build
relationships over a period of time allowing trust.
I am now going to write about PGL. This organisation has many
different centres located worldwide. It is privately owned so it funds
itself. They offer residential activity courses and adventure holidays
in the UK and overseas. They also offer summer camps for kids,
children and teenagers as well as family activity holidays.
School and group travel service including educational school tours,
curriculum based activity, adventure and study courses and
watersports. 47 years of experience.
Their principles are to provide young people with the opportunity to
develop both personally and socially beyond their classroom
environment. They have a dedicated group of leaders who are fully
trained and qualified and all activities delivered are fully risk
There are quite a few benefits associated with PGL. They offer
educational programmes tailored to suit the group's individual's
requirements. The quality of staff are dedicated to bringing out the
best out of all their clients, and have a strong lead in the
development of standards. With a huge variety of centres and locations
across the UK and abroad they are real value for money as they always
have offers on and free places. PGL covers areas of the curriculum
that people may find most difficult in school. All their centres are
LEA approved and accredited and they see the safety of their clients
as a top priority.
Their target groups range from school groups, families, college groups
After writing about the three centres I am now going to compare them.
They are all different in more ways than one. Plas Menai is Government
funded, Bishops Forum is charity funded and PGL is a private
corporation. As you can see they all fall into different categories.
Plas Menai uses outdoor education as a steering wheel to allow people
to learn, train and play. Bishops Forum uses outdoor education as a
steering wheel to tap into people's inner self and to produce the best
in their personal development and PGL uses outdoor education to allow
people to experience adventure and have fun. Plas Menai offers courses
whereas Bishops Forum and PGL haven't got the option. Although PGL
doesn't offer courses they do train people to work for their centres
and will train you to their standards and regulations. Bishops Forum
would be a bit different because working with disaffected and
disadvantaged children is preferred if you have already had experience
with that sort of target group. They also have a very flexible
approach to their clients and deliver very flexible activities. If you
were to work with PGL you would be required to be very enthusiastic in
what you would be delivering to your target groups that are mostly
I think that out of my chosen outdoor education providers I would have
to choose Bishops Forum as they are using outdoor education to allow
disadvantaged children explore their inner selves as well as exploring
Here I have shown a map of the UK and how many outdoor education
providers they provide in each arrowed regions.
South and West England
The map you have just seen is showing outdoor education providers
across the UK. The outdoor education centres have been positioned to
link in with their surroundings. In Scotland they have beautiful
surroundings such as lakes and hills so it is a good location for
hiking, walking and sailing. In Wales they have mountains that are
ideal for rock climbing, skiing and abseiling. A large amount of
centres are located in the South and West of England and the Midlands.
This is because of the weather and the warmth. People often go to
Devon and Cornwall to do watersports, as it is a good coastline.
Key historical developments have also impacted on the location of
outdoor education centres. The Town and Country Planning Act in 1947
restricted locations of the countryside to where people were and
weren't allowed to go. This was further developed in 1948, when the
National Park and Access to the Countryside Act was brought about. It
allowed access to all locations and areas in the countryside, which
was why a lot of centres then started to develop around the National
Parks. Many centres were relocated to higher grounds such as Scotland
or North Wales. This was because the production of crops was to be
highly unlikely to happen. Another impact on the development of
outdoor education was the Education Act in 1944, which wanted to see
all LEA's provide the opportunity for inner city children to explore
the principles and benefits of outdoor education, and to explore the
countryside. This is why there aren't many centres that operate near
The outcomes of outdoor education provision
are different depending on
their sector. The private sector uses outdoor education as a money
making scheme and can be very expensive, whereas charity run voluntary
centres aim for their clients to feel a sense of achievement and ask a
low price for it, and government funded public centres are there to
offer people with new skills and courses to further their
qualifications and give people the chance to learn a new skill.
Here are some examples.
UK Sailing Academy
www.aala.org.uk - information about the map work 11.11.03
www.bishopsforum.org - information about Bishops forum target groups'
www.PGL.co.uk - information about their benefits 10.11.03