Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School for Scouts; TROOPING IN FOR LESSONS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR YOUNGSTERS

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School for Scouts; TROOPING IN FOR LESSONS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR YOUNGSTERS

Article excerpt

Byline: By NICOLA JUNCAR

REMEMBER your school lessons of maths, English, and science - but how about raft building, camp fires and making shelters?

That is what is happening at one Tyneside school.

All Saints College, in West Denton, Newcastle, has become the first in the UK to set up a school-based Scout troop.

The club has 25 members from Years 7, 8, and 9 and is split into two classes.

For three lessons a week, the youngsters, from 11 to 14, incorporate typical Scout activities, such as team building and citizenship, into their usual lessons of English, maths and IT.

The troop has been set up by teacher Dominick Gray, who realised some of the pupils were lacking in self-esteem and weren't getting the most out of school.

Some of the students had behavioural issues, or problems with attendance, and Mr Gray wanted to create more "hands-on" and interactive classes that would motivate them.

He said: "The Scout troop is still in its early stages, but we are already seeing the benefits in the pupils' behaviour and their confidence is much improved.

"Instead of just setting up a group and doing different activities, we wanted to make sure the skills the pupils were learning were recognised.

"This is why setting up a Scout troop seemed such a good idea, because the young people can work towards their badges. They are learning lots of useful things, like teamwork and planning, and they don't even realise it because they are having fun."

In the short time the troop has been up and running, the young people have learned outdoor survival skills, rock climbing, canoeing and archery.

But as well as the usual Scouting activities, Mr Gray is keen to link what the troop does to the National Curriculum, so the youngsters are also working towards badges in art, IT and cookery.

The students have even made a difference to their community by tidying up the outside area of the nearby church, St John's. …

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