- Apply links menu
- Adult learning course list
- Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
- Allotments list
- Jobs at the Council
- Bus pass
- Library membership
- Carer's assessment
- Council housing services
- Planning applications
- Council tax and business rates
- Property licence
- Disabled parking
- Recycling and waste services
- Free school meals
- School places
- HomeChoice Bristol
- Social services assistance
- Pay links menu
- Report links menu
- My Account links menu
Celebrating 40 years of outdoor education
Release date: Thu, 20/09/2012
Celebrating 40 years of outdoor education
The Dean Field Studies Centre is celebrating 40 years of giving Bristol children and teenagers a taste of the countryside and adventurous activities this month.
Purchased by Bristol City Council in 1972 from the Forestry Commission, the former iron works building hosts residential trips for up to 3,000 Bristol children and teenagers every year.
The grade two listed building study centre has been self-funded since2009 and offers rock climbing, abseiling, mountaineering, hill walking, caving, canoeing, kayaking, raft building, environmental activities, field studies, team building, gorge walking and orienteering in the heart of the Forest of Dean.
The centre will be celebrating with a anniversary reception for friends, supporters and the Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Peter Main on Saturday 29 September.
Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Cllr Clare Campion-Smith said:
“The Dean Field Studies centre has been a vital asset for Bristol schools for the last 40 years. Generations have been able to expand their problem solving, teamwork and physical skills through the challenges of the great outdoors which is only one hour away from the city.”
Centre Manager Ian Healey said:
“We are not just celebrating the last 40 years but are looking forward to the next 40! We are presently building new classrooms and an Environmental Laboratory over our pond that will provide excellent new learning environments. However our greatest asst is the superb learning environment that the great outdoors has to offer. In our modern world it is likely that this is going to be even more important to future generations than it has been in the past”
Dominic Sealy has worked as a teacher at the Centre for the last 15 years. He said:
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside so many children and inspirational teachers over the last 15 years. The tenacity, courage and compassion displayed when faced with new challenges and the environmental sensitivity displayed by so many students leaves me optimistic for our young people’s future. I’m looking forward to meeting many more of them in the years to come.”
This week children from Ashton Gate Primary School and Lockleaze Primary School have been enjoying challenges at the centre.
Simon Partridge a class teacher form Ashton Gate said:
“We have been bringing children to Dean Field Study Centre for 16 years and have seen some great changes over the years. Many years ago, I was invited to go on a teacher's preview weekend where we were able to sample some of the activities, food and accommodation on offer at the centre. Totally enthused by the zip wire, abseiling (down a wet, muddy cliff deep in the forest - not like the smart modern climbing wall they have now!) and food,
I took my first group of Y6 children later that year and we haven't missed a year since.
“The greatest success of the centre is the enthusiasm and skill of the staff however if you ask any child that has been there with us they would probably say it’s the food! We have continued to visit because the camp offers great variety and excitement for the children and great value for the parents. It is never difficult to sell the camp to the Y6 families or the staff at school!
We are looking forward to visiting again in a couple of weeks and fully expect to have a fantastic time once again.”
Pete Goldsmith used Dean Field Studies Centre over a 32-year teaching career:
“The Dean Field Studies Centre has had an enormous impact on young people within the local area.
“Staff training and outdoor pursuit courses not only had a huge impact on me, my life and career but also on thousands of youngsters that I taught over the years. As a result I have been able to run a successful outdoor pursuits programme in my school (including an annual visit for the whole of year 8 to the centre) but also run staff training and assessment courses for many of the teachers and support staff that are now working in local schools. This would not have been possible without the Centre.”
Notes for Editors
1. The centre can accommodate up to 60 students and six or more staff at any one time.
2. New classrooms and laboratory are being constructed for opening in Spring 2013.