Forest Ranger Leadership Enrichment course at Samuel Ward gets off to a flying start

September saw the start of our new Forest Rangers Leadership enrichment programme at Samuel Ward Academy in Haverhill. The 12 week programme is aimed at pupils year 9 and above who have previously taken part in our ECOS (Environmental Curriculum On Site) programme, or have a history of participation in scouts or similar outdoor clubs.

The course is open to pupils who already have a basic knowledge and understanding of activities such as fire lighting, tool use and shelter building. The emphasis of this particular enrichment being to develop the leadership skills required to empower and enable others to safely engage in outdoor activities.

The course is made up of 12 sessions as follows:

  1. Introduction –What makes a leader?
  2. Fire – What fire needs safe fire laying and lighting, how to put out a fire safely.
  3. Tools – knowledge of bow saw, axe, peeler, (frost knife), fire strike. What would you use each for and how to use safely, accidents that might occur using each tool, how to clean and maintain.
  4. Risk Assessing – importance of knowing your site, thinking ahead, PPE
  5. Exploring – How to use a compass, what do we need to remember / ensure?  Boundaries, climbing, ditches.
  6. Plant ID – how to encourage others to find out for themselves (empowering / enabling) value of knowing what you can and can’t eat, what makes good firewood / cooking sticks, medicinal plants eg dock.
  7. First Aid – Basic outdoor first aid advice inc bumps and bashes, minor cuts, stings.
  8. Shelters – inc ropes and knots, debris shelters and tarp shelters.
  9. Games – inc blindfold and trust activities, how to encourage others to use their imagination to develop games – role play / educational/ competitive / sensory etc  What can games teach us?
  10. Camp fire cooking – What’s quick, what would be most nutritious if you were stranded, what can you forage, think about how you need to cook, (boil/ fry/ cook on a stick) and how much equip you need.
  11. Rope work – rope swings, balance ropes, blindfold rope walks
  12. Basic equipment – what do you need and how do you care for it.

School are providing ‘Rewards’ such as a fire strike, peeler, gloves, compass; for each stage the student can prove that they are safe and can help others to be safe.

It is hoped that the programme will develop into students receiving Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates based on hours spent training / assisting with other ECOS or enrichment groups / talking to other groups or in assemblies as an Ambassador for Outdoor Learning. There is also potential for Work Experience placements with Green Light Trust during year 10 /11.   

For further information or to get involved please contact Bec Edgar by email or telephone 01284 830829

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