Sayers Croft in the new academic yearSayers Croft
Zöe, Head of Outdoor Learning, spoke to us about the plans for the new academic year for school groups visiting Sayers Croft in Surrey
Access to the Outdoors for everyone
Sayers Croft Outdoor Learning Centre is a beautiful estate of fields and woodland at the foot of the surrey hills owned by Westminster City Council. We have been in existence since the second world war, starting as an evacuation camp for a boy's school in London, and eventually turning into the 200-bed dorm style residential centre for schools and community groups that we are today. We believe that everyone should have access to the outdoors to improve mental health, instil a love of our natural environment, and increase self-esteem and confidence through outdoor experiences. We provide bespoke programming to allow leaders to capture the needs of their participants in an activity program that could be nonstop action, a relaxed meander through nature, building knowledge and good relationships, or a bit of everything.
What we've been up to during lock down
Here at Sayers Croft we have been busy whilst our gates are closed to the public during this difficult time. There are many refurbishment projects all underway and the team are updating and improving the site ready for when we can accept visitors again. Our Facilities team have managed to bring forward the refurbishment of all the teachers' bathrooms, and our education team as well as providing online resources for schools and families have picked up paint brushes and are busy sprucing up our historic buildings and they look fantastic. We celebrated VE day, resident instructors recreating the photo taken of the evacuees that called Sayers Croft home during the war. We have even seen wildlife coming increasingly close to the centre of site whilst it is so quiet and have nibbled and munched their way through some choice flowers.
How we are preparing to reopen
The team have been working throughout the last few months supporting groups who have been forced to postpone or cancel their visit, and we welcome enquiries to see how we might help those who may have missed out on their opportunity to get outdoors this academic year. We are putting measures in place to ensure we adhere to government guidance and are prepared to have conversations with schools and community groups about what outdoor experiences might look like over the coming months, being flexible in our approach.
When it is safe for us to accept visitors once more, we are excited to be offering our new education delivery programme which will see groups benefit from our team of experienced Instructors who will lead all sessions during the daytime following a menu of over 60 activities to choose from. We have moved from having programs that contained a proportion of self led activities to a daily program of led activities morning and afternoon. There are two menu's, one has all our smaller group sized activities in such as caving, ropes courses and raft building in and one contains all our whole group activities from science and geography, team building and history sessions. Groups can either choose an allocated amount of smaller sized activities and fill up the remainder of the programme with whole group activity, or choose all whole group activities.
If you are interested in hearing a bit more about how Sayers Croft can help you with planning your next school visit then why not get in touch here.
Sayers Croft is nestled at the foot of the Surrey Hills and provides outdoor experiences for 27,000 visitors p.a. of all ages and abilities. We offer bespoke residential and day visits for schools, community groups and DofE Award participants
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