Storey Arms has been commended for the positive impact it has on pupils when they return to school after taking-part in a range of experiences at the Cardiff Council-run outdoor education centre.
Year 7 pupils from Eastern High School have been recently been welcomed back to the centre for the third year as part of their transition into high school. Last year it was said that attainment levels in English improved across year 7 and teachers saw a positive energy and appetite for learning amongst those who visited Storey Arms.
During their stay, children climb Pen y Fan and participate in activities such as gorge walking, climbing waterfalls, crossing rocks, jumping into river pools and completing a forest-based string trail in the dark. As well as being a good way to increase self-esteem and team work, the trip is also used to help develop creative writing skills, using the whole outdoor experience to inspire pupils.
Similarly, a report written by teachers of Michaelson Community College describes how ‘away time’ can re-write patterns of student engagement in their learning.
Teaching staff found that when taking students away to Storey Arms they unconsciously broke out of unhelpful learning behaviours, and increased previously low-levels of self-confidence and expectations. The more informal atmosphere during study time, relaxation time, meal times and activity sessions allowed for an improvement in staff-pupil relationships from those experienced within school.
The supportive environment at the Storey Arms Centre with its clearly defined processes encouraged pupils to work together, with some pupils demonstrating previously unseen levels of support to others. Since the visit in April, three students have contacted the Storey Arms to ask if they can join the staff team for voluntary work experience, inspired by the ethos and services offered by the centre. All three now have ambitions to develop their own skills in helping other children in the future.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said:
“Welcoming Cardiff school pupils since 1971, Storey Arms has established itself as an institute for outdoor adventure learning and has played an integral part in young people’s lives, improving their health and wellbeing.
“The success from schools such as Eastern High further cements the importance of outdoor learning to improve self-confidence, team working and social interaction as well as the positive impact it has on children back in the classroom.”
To find out more about Storey Arms, visit www.storeyarms.com or take a look at the following videos: