Monday, December 07, 2009

forest of dean

Spent a very good three days in the forest last week with a group of Year 8 pupils from school. Very good to see children out of their normal school context (and for them to see their teachers in a similar light). As usual, the forest nightwalks were one of the highlights for most of the students. The facilities at the Dean Field Studies Centre are excellent (including climbing tower, zip wire, Jacob’s ladder, “leap of faith”, eco-trail, orienteering, plus various problem-solving exercises). Just amazing seeing students “having-a-go” at things that they genuinely feel are impossible for them to achieve (and complete reluctance to participate) – and then to witness their sheer sense of pride and self-belief when, against all the odds, they DO succeed. I just wish a handful of the parents could see what their children are capable of doing – with the right encouragement. They’d be completely amazed!
Photo: all they had to do was to ascend a 10m high telegraph pole, then stand on the equivalent of a tiny wooden tray while the pole swung furiously from side to side, then launch themselves into mid-air and try to catch a trapeze bar. Scary or what?

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