Woodland wilderness teaches survival skills

Hundreds of Bedford school children learnt basic outdoor survival skills thanks to a pop-up bushcraft site.

The site opened in the woodland behind Beauchamp Middle School, to allow children to develop a range of soft skills outside of the classroom.

Woodland behind Beauchamp Middle School will allow children to develop a range of soft skills outside of the classroom PNL-151116-102923001

Woodland behind Beauchamp Middle School will allow children to develop a range of soft skills outside of the classroom PNL-151116-102923001

More than 500 children from Beauchamp Middle School and Scott Lower School visited during the week beginning November 9.

The children, aged 10 to 13, spent a full day outside learning bushcraft skills including shelter building, fire lighting and first aid, developing core character attributes including leadership, team building, resilience, communication and motivation.

Through doing so they earned points towards their year-long Challenger Diploma, an award given in July to those children who have made positive strides forward in improving personality traits and character attributes.

The Challenger Trust, through the Challenger Multi Academy Trust, recently sponsored two schools – Robert Bruce Middle School and Hastingsbury Business & Enterprise College, in the Kempston area, as part of ongoing commitment to developing a compelling vision for education in Kempston.

Charlie Rigby, founder of the Challenger Trust who launched the site, says the move reinvigorated learning by allowing children to enjoy quality time outside of the classroom.

He said: “We’re delighted to open the bushcraft site and hope hundreds of children in Bedford gain both enjoyment and an improvement in skills such as teamwork, concentration and problem solving, from participating.

“Bushcraft is something different from the typical curriculum and teaches a range of valuable soft skills have less time to focus on when in the classroom. In exploring, understanding and manipulating the natural world around us, students become not only more curious and inquisitive but also more focussed on the task at hand.

“More widely, we look forward to those children completing their Challenger Diploma at the end of this year and welcome more school taking an active focus on developing character traits through learning outside the classroom.”