Our mentoring programs were inspired by our recognition of the significant impact that working closely with an individual had on their self esteem and behaviour.
Mentoring Programs are specifically aimed at those requiring extra support in school. They are proving particularly successful with disengaged learners and those with behavioural difficulties and low self esteem.
Mentoring Programs are based upon the Outdoor Learning UK ethos. Learning is scaffolded, gradually building confidence and skills at the learners own pace over a minimum of 6 weeks.
Although we have specially adapted equipment to allow access to all age learners, we feel that this type of program is ideally suited to children aged 9-18 (and upwards).
We currently offer two aspects of traditional craft:
Traditional Iron Forge (Blacksmithing)
Green Woodworking Case Study - Batmans Hill Pupil Referal Unit, Tipton
Our colleague, Alex, has been spending a day a week at Batmans Hill for almost a year. Students struggling with behaviour, concentration or social skills attend the workshops in pairs for one hour but often volunteer to work through their breaktimes too! Teachers have commented on the impact that working with Alex has had:
"Pupils who have very poor social skills in school really come out of their shell, holding long conversations whilst working outdoors. It’s amazing to see the pupils so focused." Kerry, Art teacher
This is what the students themselves have to say about it:
"I find it hard to concentrate in lessons, but outside with Alex it’s different. I concentrate without realising it and I’m really pleased with the things I’ve made." Simon Year 10
"You don’t feel like you’re at school, sometimes when I’m really wound up and angry it calms me down. It’s much better than normal lessons!" Mandy year 10