Aims of the Visit
About Standon Bowers
Standon Bowers is an Outdoor Education centre run by entrust Education. It is situated in the Staffordshire countryside between the villages of Standon and Bowers. The main building was a Victorian home for waifs and strays which now serves as home for our pupils for the weekend away. All of the activities we complete during the weekend are set within the grounds of the site and there are many exciting areas for the children to explore.
On this residential visit we have a minimum ratio of one member of staff to every ten children. Our staff take care of the pastoral care of the children and accompany the children as they take part in their activities during the day. Greswold staff are also available throughout the night if there is a problem.
The day activities are led by centre staff who are all fully trained and very experienced. Safety is always the first priority and the Standon Bowers staff always ensure that activities are both enjoyable and safe.
The children sleep in separate dormitories for boys and girls. Each dormitory has its own toilet and wash facilities. Greswold staff sleep in rooms nearby and available in case of a problem during the night. One of the staff from Standon Bowers is also on duty all night in case of an emergency.
Standon Bowers requests that parents supply their own duvet cover and pillow case for their child for their stay at the centre.
Children eat their meals together as a group. In the morning they have the choice of a cooked breakfast or cereal. For lunch, there is a choice of sandwiches which are served with fruit and crisps. A selection of hot meals is available in the evenings. A very welcome mug of hot cocoa is available before bed. Arrangements can be made for vegetarians or children with other specific dietary requirements.
Standon Bowers is an outdoor education centre and most of the activities take place outside. There is provision for the majority of activities to continue in case of poor weather.
The children are split into three groups and rotate around the activities throughout the weekend. The whole group meet together at breaks and for the evening sessions. We realise that children may be nervous about some of the activities. Each activity develops through a series of steps and ensures that every child will go home with a sense of achievement. We encourage all children to take part and often children surprise themselves with what they can do when they put their minds to it.
The safety of the children on the visit always comes first. All activities involve a safety briefing and the children wear appropriate safety equipment.
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that focuses on going sidewards rather than up. The children get to develop their climbing skills just a few centimetres from the ground. They get to play a number of games and complete some challenges. Hard hats are worn for this activity and a crash mat ensures that there is a soft landing when trying some more difficult traverses.
This activity encourages cooperation and communication. The children need to work their way around the course while one of them is blindfolded. Good instructions are vital to complete the challenges.
Standon Bowers has a man-made caving system which is purpose made for learning how to cave. The caving systems features a large 'cavern' complete with plastic stalactites which is suitable for even the most nervous children to go into. More confident children can explore the tunnels with a partner and complete a series of challenges. Sections of the system are also removable to allow easy access. A caving suit and helmet are provided by Standon Bowers however we request parents send a torch with this activity.
The ropes course features a series of low obstacles and a large cargo net. During their time on the course, the children complete a number of challenges working with a partner and as a team. There is also a chance to venture to the top of the cargo net and down the other side - with help from the Standon Bowers staff. Helmets are worn for this activity.
During the archery session, the children learn how to hold a bow correctly and develop their accuracy when hitting the target. There is a challenge to see who can get the highest score (and sometimes even a prize for the best archer).
This activity focuses on cooperation and requires all of the group to work together. The aim is to get from one side to the other and not fall into the water below. Everyone has to play a part in order for the team to succeed in the challenge. Falling in the shallow (but rather murky) water is fairly rare - but wellies and helmets are worn just in case.
Before the fun can begin, the children have to play their part foraging for wood to build the fire. Later, as the sun goes down, the staff from Greswold and Standon Bowers lead a variety of action songs and encourage the children to join in. It's a great way to bring everyone together.