Tailor-made Outdoor Activity Programmes in Wales
Recently, we spoke to Clive at Pro-Active Adventure about the outdoor activities they provide throughout Wales, and about how their programmes can be tailor-made to suit any school.
We'll start with quite a broad question if we may. What would you say are the benefits for school children engaging in traditional outdoor educational activities?
Pro-Active Adventure is a respected and experienced provider of Outdoor Activities throughout Wales. The company was formed in 2000 so we have many years' experience of providing an extensive range of outdoor pursuits for a wide range of customers. We provide day activity events for families, corporate clients and adult groups. We also specialise in school residential activity breaks and specialist programmes for youth groups. We are inspected and licensed by the AALS and LOtC. All our instructors hold National Governing Body Awards in the activities they lead and have at least three years post qualifying experience, all are also multi-disciplinary (So they hold more than two qualifications in different skills) This means they can stay with your group for the duration of your activity whether it is a day activity or school residential break. This means your group or school does not have to swap between different instructors. This means a more trusting relationship is developed between participants and instructor which enables a great level of achievement in the activity being undertaken. This means participants tend to try new things more comfortably thus more confidence is gained from taking part in more challenging activities. We cater for age groups from 6 to 66 and all levels of ability. If you are looking for a week long activity programme or just a single day of adventure we can provide the activity for you.
You have activity centres in a few locations in Wales, can you tell us where you are based and how those locations lend themselves to outdoor learning?
We have a range of operational activity locations across Wales, Shropshire and Gloucestershire, you can choose from. All are ideally situated in locations for pupils to take part in genuine outdoor activities that have a tangible link to social and academic learning:
- Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
- St Davids, Pembrokeshire
- Brecon Becons, Brecon
- Llwyn y Celyn, Brecon
- Conwy, North Wales
- Bryn Gwynant, North Wales
- Llanberis, North Wales
- Wilderhope, Shropshire
- St Briavels, Gloucestershire
- Wye Valley, Gloucestershire
There is a trend where school children visit an activity centre in Year 6 to celebrate the end of SATs, and again in Year 7 to engage in some team bonding with their new classmates. Are you able to tailor courses so that a school can offer something different?
All our activity courses are flexible and can be tailor made to suit the individual needs of the visiting school. We traditionally provide courses for school annual camps but we are also very experienced in team bonding for newly formed groups and more advanced courses for established groups who need to develop great cohesion and effective co-working.
At Pro-Active Adventure you offer a long list of activities, can you single out a few examples of the most popular or perhaps those that your instructors enjoy sharing with students?
Some of our most popular activities, particularly at the locations close to the coast is: Coasteering. While further inland gorge walking and bush craft are extremely popular.
Having centres close to the Welsh coastline, do you offer many activities on the beach or in the sea?
At locations close to the sea we offer several activities that are sea/water based. Coasteering is ever popular but body boarding, sit on kayak trips and beach bush craft are also very popular and great fun.
Some activity providers are tempted to take short-cuts in outdoor education provision but offering activities that aren't very challenging, and that could relatively easily be done on the school playing field. Can you tell us your thoughts on this please?
We have never undertaken low level activities that do not present an age and skill appropriate level of challenge. Almost all of our activities are high level national governing body award activities that we deliver at an age and skill appropriate level of challenge. We do not deliver activities that could be delivered in the school playing field. All of our activities are delivered at an appropriate level of challenge to suit the pupils needs.
Which aspects of the curriculum can you link to, and what key stages can you cater for?
We can cater for all key stages and the links we can make to curriculum are:
- Environmental studies
- Physical education
Is your accommodation close to where your activities take place and can you cater for large groups?
The accommodation at our activity delivery locations are all withing a maximum of 35 minutes to the activity, most are much closer. Depending on the location we can cater from 10 – 120 pupils.
Do you have any exciting plans for 2021 that you can share with us?
We have some exciting new activities and activity locations ready for 2021 in Crete and Morocco, see our web site for details.
All activity session's last half a day, with the exception of mountaineering which is generally is a full day experience, so if you want a full day of activities you can choose two activities. Timings can be arranged to suit your group. On school residential breaks, activities normally start at 9:00 stop for lunch about 12:30 and start again about 13:30 and finish in the evening about 16:30. Also on school residential visits there is an optional extra of an evening activity which runs from 18:00 to 19:30.
At Pro-Active Adventure we don't just limit ourselves to activities in Wales. We operate in Crete, Morocco and France. Over recent years we have taken several expeditions to climb Jebel Toukbal in Morocco's Atlas Mountains. More recently they have just returned from Crete after taking over 90 pupils from a respected international school in Switzerland, on a personal development week. The trip was so successful that the school immediately re-booked for next year on their return to Switzerland.
Pro-Active offer seasonal discounts and special rates for out of season and early bookings.
If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Pro-Active Adventure can help you with planning your school's next activity trip then why not get in touch here.
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