This is a Conference for all involved in the delivery of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities in schools. As the value of these activities comes under pressure of time and cost in schools, it is important that its benefits can be convincingly articulated, rather than simply assumed. This Conference programme looks carefully at what the impacts on participants really are, and how they might transfer into other areas of life, including academic achievement. It captures the real value of learning through the outdoors, as well as learning within it.
10.00am: Introductions. Paul Bond
“Is the Outdoor Character Building?” Martin Smith
This presentation examines the evidence behind the frequent claim that outdoor activities build “character”. It will consider the development and transfer of skills such as resilience to learning, academic outcomes and life chances.
“Developing Resilience – and making it Stick” Martin Chester
Martin’s keynote session will look at all aspects of how resilience is developed - and measured - in young people, and the contribution that Outdoor Activities might make to this. He will consider how experiences might develop lasting behaviour change, and how this can transfer into other environments.
“What is the Impact of Sail Training?” Lucy Gross
This event considers the real and lasting impacts on participants of sail training, and similar activities. It considers how lessons learned on water can transfer into other environments, and how schools can get involved in achieving these experiences and benefits.
Interactive Workshop. Facilitated by Martin Chester
“That was cool – but so what?”
A chance to map and review current practice, reflect on how ideas presented in previous sessions can be implemented and share ideas with peers. Martin will also consider the practicalities of implementing more far-reaching outdoor programmes
Compliance and Regulation Update. Paul Bond
An update on legal changes, National Governing Body initiatives, recent case studies and implications of events over the last 12 months. A chance to stay informed and abreast of the most current compliance issues
Martin Smith is Chair of the English Outdoor Council. He is currently head of academic resilience at a large academy chain, and has published academic research into how the Outdoor Education offer can influence achievement in the whole school. He was previously Outdoor Education Adviser for Nottingham and Chairman of the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel.
Lucy Gross is General manager of the Association of Sail Training Organisations, the umbrella organization of sail training organisations in the UK. She is a qualified Yachtmaster Ocean and Yachtmaster Instructor and has worked extensively within sail training. This includes two seasons on board Gordonstoun School’s “Ocean Spirit”. Sail training uses the experience of being at sea to foster teamwork, tolerance, leadership skills and resilience.
Martin Chester was formerly Chief Instructor at the National Mountain Centre at Plas-y-Brenin. He is mountaineer of worldwide experience, and a specialist in the ways in which adventure experience improves performance, mental robustness and wellbeing. As an adviser, he conducts research, provides critical evaluation and gives guidance to National Governing Bodies across the sector.