Bristol CC Outdoor Education Centre situated in the village of Parkend in The Forest of Dean

Friday 2 December 2011

Marking a Huge Achievement - a champion of Outdoor Learning

 The Centre Manager on the right making a presentation to a 'champion' of Outdoor Education

Today we said farewell to a teacher who has been bringing groups to The Dean Field Studies Centre for 32 years! We estimate he has spent nearly a year of his life at the Centre! On some of those 32 years he came for 4 or 5 weeks a year. He has done many INSET courses at the Centre over the years and it has had a huge influence on his career and personal pastimes.

This teacher in many ways embodies the values and benefits of outdoor learning. He started as a young teacher coming to the centre and attending courses such as Mountain Leader Training and Climbing Instructor courses and has since beeen awarded the highest level of leader qualifications in these outdoor activities. Over the years he has gone on to train up many other teachers and leaders in hill walking and rock climbing. At the end of the academic year he retires from his position of Head of Geography and Outdoor Education at a large secondary school.

As he will no longer be bringing students from the school to the Centre, we thought we should mark the occasion and presented him with a book and framed photo of the Centre as a reminder of the good times he has had here over the years. We hope and expect he will still be back to visit us in future years.

The school still continues its long association with the Centre and have another 300 pupils booked in next December for a series of 5 intense 3-day courses during which the entire Yr8 visit the Centre. The middle day of the course is particularly action packed as we manage to fit 6 activities in during the day followed by Christmas Dinner and then a night exercise in the Forest. We estimate that around 8,000 students from the school have benefited from these residential courses in the last 32 years and much of that is owing to the vision, dedication and enthusiasm of one man.

We hope that ‘Deanfield’ continues to inspire ‘champions’ of outdoor learning into the future.

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