Outdoor Education

Penrice Academy sits on the stunning Cornish coast, just 10 minutes walk from Charlestown. With extensive grounds, woodland and sea views, our staff and students take advantage of outdoor education at every opportunity.

Outdoor Education Centre

What is the OEC?

The Outdoor Education Centre caters for students who enjoy learning outside and get hands on with their learning. The sessions that we run offer students the chance to express themselves through practical constructive activities, set within the environment that surrounds them.

What do you learn?

We are currently teaching WJEC’s Constructing the Built Environment, a three year course, with our current Year 9 class being the first to study this qualification. The students receive three lessons a fortnight and we spend as much of this time outside as possible.

An average lesson will start with students putting on their Personal Protective Equipment, like overalls and steel toe cap boots. We’ll then have a quick activity linked to the topic of the lesson. This could be identifying hazards, planning a construction task or describing how to use a specific tool. After this we will start the main task for the lesson.

The WJEC course is split into three parts:

  • Health and Safety – students will need to be able to identify hazards, risks and controls for them. They will also need to be able to recognise safety signs and write risk assessments.
  • Construction – students will learn a range of skills for a variety of trades, including building brick walls, post and timber fencing and dry stone walls. There may also be the chance to learn how to paint and tile a room, build stud walls and erect plaster board.
  • Design and planning – students will be able to create and follow plans. They will also be able to identify and describe the different roles played by the different trades on a building site

Why is Outdoor Education important?

The benefits of the course are that it is a vocational qualification not only the equivalent of a GCSE, but it also offers a direct path into one of the many building trades. It also requires our students to develop a sense of autonomy and to be responsible for their own actions, as they will be using a variety of different tools and materials, ranging from power drills through to bricks and mortar.

With 50,000 new homes planned in Cornwall by 2030, students completing this course will be perfectly placed to take advantage of the increased number of jobs available in this sector.