Posted: Wed 10th Feb 2016

Students learn survival skills alongside lectures to boost career chances /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 10th, 2016

Innovative educators are teaching students to be like Bear Grylls and learn survival skills alongside traditional lectures to prepare them for careers working with children. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A pilot research project led by senior lecturers Duane Chong and Ruth Davies, in conjunction with Natural Resources Wales, saw students on Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s Education, Family and Childhood Studies degree receive accredited outdoor learning training at Felin Puleston Woods, Erddig. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Designed to boost understanding of children’s creativity, play and learning, the programme led to participants collecting an Agored Cymru Level 1 Award in Outdoor Learning. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The award requires students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of outdoor learning and play approaches and their benefits and to acquire and demonstrate a range of practical skills such as knot tying, the use of tools to make jewellery from natural materials, shelter building, fire lighting and the investigation of woodland areas to ensure the sustainable use of the natural environment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The professional qualification will be offered to all students who join the same degree course in future years. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Ruth Davies said: “Outdoor learning field trips that we’ve organised for students over the past three years have been very popular. Students have been provided with first-hand experiences which help them to develop their understanding and skills in supporting children’s learning, play and creativity in a local woodland setting. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We’re very excited to be able to offer the newly-developed Agored Cymru Level 1 Award in Outdoor Learning from this year forward. This will enhance their employability, helping them to pursue future careers in a variety of roles in the children’s workforce.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Staff from Natural Resources Wales’ Education, Learning and Sector Skills Team provided the accredited training and carried out assessment of the award with the assistance of departmental colleagues Alison Woolf, Martyn Roberts, Duane Chong and Ruth Davies. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Natural Resources Wales’ Team Leader Sue Williams said: “We are very happy to be working with Wrexham Glyndŵr University to enable students to gain valuable new skills in the use of the natural environment as an alternative to the indoor classroom. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As well as a good understanding of theory and best practice the students gain valuable practical skills and an awareness of health and safety and risk assessment which will valuable to them in their future careers and ensures the children they work with in the future will be able to learn in this innovative way.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project leaders also worked with Wrexham Glyndŵr University Careers team, which allowed this enhanced aspect of student development to be supported via the National Lottery funded programme, entitled A Degree of Responsibility (ADOR). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For more information about the BA (Hons) Education, Family and Childhood Studies degree, visit or email ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Visit or email for information about learning outside the classroom and the management of natural resources. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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