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'Gold Standard'​ Outdoor Education

Published by St David's College on Tuesday 18th of January 2022

Following a period of rigorous inspection by the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC), The Outdoor Education Department at St David’s College has been issued with their prestigious ‘Gold Standard’, which represents the highest award for quality Outdoor Education provision and Outdoor Learning.

St David’s College is now one of only three schools in the United Kingdom to have ever gained the Gold Standard Award.

We always knew that St David's Outdoor Education Department and our instructors are world-class but to have it confirmed by the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres is a wonderful achievement.

In total, the inspection process looks in depth at 55 different areas of how Outdoor Education operates - from safety to facilities, to quality of teaching and everything in between. On a scale of one to five, (with five being excellent), St David’s College scored 'five' in almost all the criteria of the 55 areas of inspection! St David’s College is now one of only three schools in the United Kingdom to have ever gained the Gold Standard Award.

The Gold Standard is AHOEC’s quality scheme, developed to go beyond the levels set by standard regulations, such as the ‘LOtC Quality Badge’, ‘Adventure Mark’ and ‘AALA’. The inspection and assessment, encompass not just safety but also the quality of teaching, facilities, and educational aims.

The inspector’s remarked:

"The facilities in the Outdoor Education Department are excellent and a facility that would be the envy of many establishments"

The process has involved a long-term analysis of the quality of the entire Outdoor Education provision at St David’s, not just the delivery of lessons. As well as ensuring compliance with the AHOEC professional code of conduct, the Gold Award ensures high standards in the following areas: learning and development, customer care, safety management, facilities, leadership and management, environmental sustainability, as well as ensuring the process of continuous improvement.

Commenting on the quality of the lesson they observed:

"It was an excellent session with particular attention paid to good questioning technique and a good balance of practical and classroom-based work"

Head of Outdoor Education, Mr Ian Martin said

“We’re delighted to receive the recognition of the Gold Award from AHOEC.

“It’s a testament to the dedication, commitment, and quality of the teachers in the department and a real vote of confidence for parents, whose children will be benefiting from what we offer here.

“Outdoor Education is embedded in the founding ethos of St David’s College, so we’ve all felt very proud to showcase what we do to the inspection team and the wider world.”

Well done to everyone in the Outdoor Education Department!
'Gold Standard'​ Outdoor Education - Photo 1'Gold Standard'​ Outdoor Education - Photo 2'Gold Standard'​ Outdoor Education - Photo 3
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