This post is written by Curtis Howson and Peter Baker; we are trainee teachers at Leeds Trinity University and have been working at Skelton Grange Environment Centre for the past two weeks as part of our professional placement.
Why choose Skelton Grange for your placement?:
Curtis: “I chose to do my placement at Skelton Grange as I have always enjoyed working and being outdoors. I feel that you can learn far much more outside than inside.”
Peter: “I chose to be placed at Skelton Grange due to a passion for outdoor learning and getting children (especially those in inner-city schools) out in nature (joining in as well has been a nice bonus!)”
As we arrived for our first day, we were welcomed as if we were already part of the team. We were introduced to the volunteers and staff and were briefed on what would be happening during the week. We were never short of tasks to complete: working with staff, volunteers and people who came to visit. Our time was filled with engrossing and interesting experiences.
During our time here at Skelton Grange, we have developed an entirely new set of skills; for example, wood working, knife work and rope work, and also found new interests such as whittling and bushcraft. The placement has helped us learn that children don’t always need a classroom when you have the outdoor environment. The outdoors are filled with rich learning opportunities not available in the classroom.
We have worked with schools that came to visit, helping children expand their knowledge on specific topics in a friendly and safe environment. We have also worked with visitors who attend Skelton Grange every Monday. This has shown us how all people can benefit from the outside, both in learning and wellbeing.
It is has been an absolutely amazing experience to be part of the Skelton Grange team and we encourage anyone considering volunteer or placement work, to not think twice about it. Just go for it and we can promise you, you will make some fantastic memories and have some of the best experiences in your life.
We know we have.