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Supporting Future Generations through our Education Programme

26 January 2023

The demand from schools to support future generations through our education programme has never been higher, with over 50,000 pupils taking part in a session between April and December 2022. These inspiring sessions offer valuable industry insight, foster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) interest, support teachers in the delivery of the new curriculum and offer pupils further opportunity to learn about key environmental and sustainability topics. Jo, a seconded teacher who is involved in the delivery of this comprehensive programme, talks about her experiences of working with pupils:

Reflecting on my first term as a seconded teacher for Dŵr Cymru has made me take stock of the experiences I have had so far.

After teaching at St Mary’s in Chepstow for 8 years I was, as all teachers can be guilty of, starting to feel comfortable and looking for the next challenge. At St Mary’s we have a saying: ‘Ein Teulu Santes Fair’- Our St Mary’s Family. I was not ready to say goodbye to my St Mary’s family so the opportunity to work for Dŵr Cymru for a year on secondment was a dream come true. With the encouragement of colleagues and family, I applied in the hope I would get an interview. This in turn lead to a offer of the secondment and the most amazing start to a new academic year.

My daily routine has changed from working in the same school with the same colleagues, children and parents to teaching new faces, in different environments, using a variety of newly acquired water industry knowledge. I’m still doing what I love, and what I’m good at, but really enjoying the challenge of being pushed out of my comfort zone – from delivering sessions at our outdoor environmental education centre at Cilfynydd or delivering our school outreach programme.

I enjoy visiting lots of different schools in a wide range of settings from large inner-city schools to small rural schools to deliver assemblies about the Water Cycle, Water Efficiency our Stop the Block campaign. Each day, I am greeted by enthusiastic children who can’t wait to get involved in the various workshops I provide. Inspiring future generations of customers, through curriculum-led topics is what it’s all about.

Alongside visiting schools across Wales and Hereford, I love welcoming groups of children to the Discovery Centre at Cilfynydd. With stunning early morning, dew-covered views by the River Taff, who would not want to work here? This is such a peaceful place where I often just pause for a few seconds to take it all in and think how lucky I am to have had this opportunity. In just one term, I have learnt so much about outdoor education delivery and have witnessed so many magical moments of discovery for children on our site. I have grown so much as a teacher in developing ways in which the curriculum can be delivered in a practical way, in an outdoor environment - where children can thrive the most.

I have been extremely lucky to work with children and young adults with a variety of Additional Learning and Behavioural needs. I have really enjoyed adapting outdoor sessions to suit their needs and tailoring it to the support their learning back at school.

Fresh air does wonders for the health and wellbeing of children and adults and my goodness I am feeling the benefits as I breathe deep the fresh air of this beautiful country and all it has to offer. We aim to bring the benefits of our education provision across as many communities as possible, which had led me to work with schools from far and wide, with the added benefit of seeing some of the most beautiful scenery and meeting some fantastic people and new colleagues along the way. When I’m not surrounded by groups of eager and excited children, I sometimes pinch myself on the occasions when a meeting takes me to the magnificent Elan Valley or a school visit takes me to the sublime Pembrokeshire coastline.

This is just the experience of one term– I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year will bring. I’m looking forward to developing my outdoor education skills and qualification further. I believe that I have so much more to offer in this new role and with every day I am pushing myself outside my comfort zone to discover something new.