Date: 30 March 2022 Author: Energise Me
A bushcraft club and gardening activities brought new confidence and inspiration to The Chamberlayne Academy. The school shared what they've achieved with these initiatives through the Opening School Facilities project.
The bushcraft club gave pupils the chance to learn bushcraft skills including how to cook on a Dutch oven and the opportunity to camp overnight.
The equipment was delivered early which meant the school were able to run two bushcraft clubs, one last academic year and one this academic year. The first year the club ran, seven pupils took part in the extracurricular sessions. The sessions ran over 3 Saturdays in the summer term and 16 in the autumn term of 2021. This year 23 students from a variety of backgrounds have taken part: nine being Pupil Premium, five being on the SEN register and one having an EHCP.
The gardening club took some time to get up and running due to issues getting resources into the school. However, this academic year seven pupils were able to join the club for a short period before COVID restrictions meant the club had to be put on hold. Six of the pupils were on the SEN register.
Both clubs had a massive impact on the Academy’s pupils. Being outside and taking part in physical activity helped students behave positively. They built new relationships, outside of their normal social circles.
All the pupils started showing more respect for their peers and adults and their confidence and self-esteem improved. Students learnt the impact these activities have on their mental health and reported feeling more positive.
Both clubs had the most significant impact on, Sam*, a student with an EHCP. Sam was able to take part in all the activities with their peers and started to build positive relationships with other students from all backgrounds. Gardening helped Sam learn about teamwork but also taught him independence. He now takes pride in what he has achieved.
Sam has even been looking towards a career in Landscaping/Gardening which has helped raise his confidence and self-esteem.
The students have shown a commitment to the gardening club with one of my students applying to do a tree surgeon course at college.
The teacher running the gardening club
These outside activities have had a long-term impact on how the pupils behave in school. The students have built relationships with the adults taking part in the activities, including the bushcraft volunteers.
The clubs have helped The Chamberlayne Academy focus on respect. The students involved in the clubs have had to demonstrate respect to themselves and others when using equipment such as knives, tools, and cooking equipment. This has led to a decrease in negative behaviour incidents for these students.