Budding Bear Grylls at an Ashington school have been honing their survival skills, building shelters, lighting fires, and even enduring their very own ‘Bush Tucker Trial’. The intrepid youngsters from St Aidan’s took part in a 24-hour bushcraft and survival skills workshop at the school, which was run by external events company The Outdoors People.
Sixty children in Years 3 and 4 were involved in the experience, which saw the group spend the night outdoors in the grounds of the school, a member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust.
“We hired a company to come into school and provide a workshop-based bushcraft and survival skills, where the children also slept overnight in tents on the field,” said St Aidan’s Headteacher, Michael Moran. “They had to raise their own camp flag and then put up their shelters. They also had workshops including fire lighting, shelter building, water purification, and they had a bush tucker trial where they tried crickets, locusts and a range of other bugs – they weren’t all keen on this bit.”
As well as the survival skills instructors, several members of staff from St Aidan’s joined the campers, including Deputy Headteacher Julie Teer, Higher Level Teaching Assistants Saira Robertson and Peter Whitelaw, Office Manager Jacqui Shortt, Teachers Sharn Carrie and Chloe Traba, and Nursery Teacher Carly Wright.
“There were a range of instructors from the Outdoors Company, and school staff slept over too,” continued Mr Moran. “They all went and taught the next day as well – there were some very red eyes!”
“It is the first time that we’ve done this, but it will certainly continue,” he added. “For many of the children, it was the first time that they’d stayed away from home with someone that wasn’t a family member, and it gets them ready for being independent later in life. Our five core values when shaping personal development of the children are teamwork, confidence, independence, resilience and leadership, and our motto is ‘Aspire to Inspire’, so these skills all fit with that. We want the children to believe they can make a difference in the world, and things like this really prepare them for what lies beyond our school.”
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