Public Services students take on storms, sea and sky

30th November 2022

Public Services students from Stratford-upon-Avon College braved the elements on an adventure expedition which they undertook as part of their course.

Both the Level 2 and Level 3 students travelled to Skern Lodge, an outdoor activity centre, on a week-long residential where they took part in a range of activities to hone and develop their skills.

Here’s what they got up to day by day:

Day 1:

The students arrived at Skern Lodge and received a full brief from the tutors and the centre instructors. The groups then split up and started their afternoons activities. The Level 2 students completed some on-site orienteering whilst the Level 3 Year 1’s did team building tasks in the underground tunnels. This task gave the students experience of working in enclosed spaces like the fire service requires as part of their training. Year 2’s did some team building games to promote teamwork and leadership which are essential skills needed for their current unit of study (expedition skills). The evening activities saw the students complete some more team building activities, a night hike and emergency shelter building.?

Day 2:
Day 2 saw the Level 3 Year 2 students out on a coastal traverse walk looking at practical risk assessments whilst the Year 1’s took part in the high ropes course and surfing in the afternoon. Level 2’s participated in rafting in the morning followed by high ropes and problem solving in the afternoon.

Day 3:
On this day the weather was mixed with periods of sunshine and storms coming in from the sea. The Level 2’s completed raft building which allowed them to work on their problem solving, communication and teamworking skills. The Year 1 group also went out on the water on a rafting activity. The Year 2 group had a morning working as smaller teams on the high ropes course and spent the evening expedition planning for the kayaking expedition the following day. The rest of the course completed a night hike and more teambuilding on the assault course.

Day 4:
This day started with very tired students and a damp feel due to persistent rain throughout the night. The Level 2’s had a full day off site at Hartland Bay completing some team climbing challenges and navigation on the coast. The Level 3 Year 2’s went on a kayaking expedition and the Year 1’s did a high rope confidence course and some archery in the morning and spent the afternoon on the coast collecting firewood for the groups evening campfire to finish the week off.

Home time!

The week was enjoyed by all. Student Ed Horsman highlighted the importance of going on trips like this: “Going on a trip allows for different experiences – challenging experiences! It helped build teambuilding skills, life skills and gave me the chance to visit areas of the country I’d never been to before! I really enjoyed it.”

Evie Drinkwater, who wants to join the Army, added: “I can definitely utilise skills learnt and developed on this trip; teamwork and leadership skills to start with. The most challenging aspect was staying positive when conditions were difficult, but it was great to have a chance to face these difficulties and keep a positive perspective!”

Edward Parry also found the trip very useful: “I want to join the military, so I benefited from the fitness aspects needed for a trip like this and also it helps build resilience when you are doing challenging activities in a tough environment with little rest!”

Public Services lecturer, Oliver Wilkins, detailed the importance of such a trip: “It is all about developing transferable skills to use in employment. Working as a team from morning till night is an expectation in the Public Services; long hours, working with specialist equipment, problem solving, working whilst tired and in different environments, all of these things can be practised on this trip. As well as building and honing their skills, students also have the chance to have fun as well as meet essential criteria for their course.”

Find out more about the College’s Public Services courses: Public Services courses