Sir John Cass’s Foundation is delighted to share the recently published report from our partners at Hampshire County Council celebrating the ongoing collaboration and impact of outdoor learning at the Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre.

The collaboration between Hampshire County Council and the Foundation originated from a shared commitment to outdoor education and a clear understanding of the remarkable impact it can have on both the academic and personal development of young people. In May 2014, the newly named Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre was officially opened by Councillor Keith Chapman, Executive Member for Culture, Recreation & Countryside for Hampshire County Council and Dr Kevin Everett, Treasurer & Chairman of Sir John Cass’s Foundation.

The partnership has enabled students from inner-London schools supported by the Foundation to access a broad range of outdoor learning and adventure-based activities at the Centre located in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park. For many of the Foundation’s young beneficiaries a trip to the Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre is often the first time they have had the opportunity to experience the countryside. The outdoor education offered at the Centre not only encompasses curriculum linked development but also has an important focus on the young people’s personal development with programmes designed to build resilience, self-awareness and confidence and promote team work and communication skills. This focus on transferable skills and student wellbeing, set within the breath-taking surroundings of the Brecon Beacons, has a significant impact on the young people’s engagement with their education. During the past five years over 1,000 students per annum from across the Foundation supported schools have accessed the Centre and benefited from the superb residential stays, taking part in a range of activities from mountain walking, caving, canoe expeditions, to rock climbing, orientation and problem solving team games.

There is also a strong focus on upskilling teachers and trainee teachers on the benefits of outdoor learning. The Cass School of Education and Communities at the University of East London provided access to their trainee teachers to engage with Continuing Professional Development (CDP) training focussed on teaching and learning in the outdoors.

Alongside sharing the report the Foundation is pleased to announce its continued support and partnership development with Hampshire County Council through the confirmation of a further multi-year commitment to the Centre.

The Foundation wishes also to proudly pay tribute to the late Alderman, Dr Ray Ellis (former Chairman of the Grants Committee) for his commitment to fostering the success of the partnership with Hampshire County Council and the impact the Centre has gone on to achieve.

For further information on the work of the Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre please visit https: //www.hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/outdoorcentres/ourcentres/mountain