Pendle Vale College

Developing a different school experience

Case Study

Pendle Vale recognised that to give their students the best chance of success, they had to diversify their offering and develop a series of real life experiences that students could pin their learning on.

Pendle Vale commissioned Maximising Learning to equip students with real life experiences by developing a sustainable programme of outdoor education for their school. Tim has been working alongside designated members of staff to motivate, inspire, advise, train, shadow and then keep the project moving forward by recommending associates, further trainers, advisers and activity providers.

Two staff residential events have taken place to explore the possibilities provided by learning opportunities outside the classroom, to experience and examine a range of activities which are not provided by the traditional curriculum and to start the process of building self-reliance, resilience and team work skills amongst students.

Adventurous programmes for each residential gave a context to look at a syllabus, which included:

  • Experiencing and evaluating activities – exploring and developing ideas.
  • Examining and discussing the variety of roles the teacher might need to take when implementing a programme of outdoor and adventurous activities.
  • Designing and developing your own programme, commissioning and liaising with providers and managing a programme.
  • Identifying relevant significant hazards and the importance of implementing control measures.
  • Supervision and group management strategies whilst on and off activity; on an off-site walk; on non-planned activities.
  • Principles and theory of outdoor education – comfort zones, support versus challenge, leadership continuum.
  • Experiential problem solving and team development tasks.

“70% of students from private schools with the same grades are generally admitted to top universities compared to 50% from state schools. The key difference is personal statements, testifying to vast differences in cultural capital and experience.”

Will Hutton – Former editor of the Observer, journalist and Principal of Hartford College, Oxford – 2014