PALEOS_1The Professional Association of Leaders in Outdoor Education Schools (PALOES) is a not for profit organisation, which exists to enhance the quality of leadership and management of outdoor adventure education in schools.

As well as being endorsed by The National Mountain Centre at Plas y Brenin they also support the work of teachers responsible for leading outdoor programmes in schools of all types.

On 9th June 2017, they held the Sixth Annual Conference for Leaders of Outdoor Education in Schools at Plas Y Brenin. The day consisted of a morning with a number of lectures and then an afternoon of practical sessions with a more in-depth look at the mornings topics.

The ABCTT was represented strongly at the conference, with Martin Chester, not strictly on ABCTT business and Iain McKenzie there to discuss developments in climbing awards and as the sport prepares for its inclusion in the 2020 Olympics.

The morning session lectures included:

• Adventure Intelligence: the role of the expedition in education with Martin Chester
• Exploring Mindset Through Outdoor Learning: How to Move Beyond “I Can’t” with Kate O'Brien
• The Outdoor Education Advisers Panel – a time of change with Dave Scourfield
• Developments in Rock Climbing for school programmes with Iain McKenzie

Click image to enlarge

Iain’s lecture included a full run down of the current state of the development of Rock Climbing within the NICAS and NIBAS Awards, schools programmes and the run into climbing in the Olympics in 2020. He was also joined on stage by his son who gave a rundown of his introduction to climbing, the facilities his school had and held a brief Q&A session!

The afternoon offered a choice of practical based sessions, and interactive workshops. Iain ran his session in the climbing wall at Plas Y Brenin and broke the assessment criteria down and looked at ways teachers could understand progression and relate it to the GCSEs.

The conference was a great opportunity for leaders of outdoor education to ensure they are aware of recent developments, and to share best practice with their colleagues in other schools and we look forward to future workshops and conferences.

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