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Thirty Public Service learners from the Public Services BTEC National Diploma Level 2 course at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London learnt a range of skills during a recent three-day trip to the Mersea Island outdoor centre in Essex.

On a separate day-long excursion, a group of young learners aged 15 and 16 in Key Stage 4 Public Services BTEC Level 2 had to work as a team to complete an assault course. Every element of the course tested the learners’ communication and team work skills. They included a 15ft wall, ropes course, swings and even a ‘leap of faith’ from a 100ft tall pole.

The National Diploma students are preparing for careers in public and uniformed services. Their weekend included caving, an assault course and an 8-hour hike around the island.

The students were also required to be self-sufficient, camping outdoors, cooking their own meals and navigating with maps and compasses. They were assessed by qualified instructors from the centre, who marked them on practical demonstrations of the skills they had learnt in the classroom.

Learner Burcin Gedik said “We had a great time on the trip, and I learnt new skills like cooking on a camp fire, putting up the tents and orienteering.”

Public Services tutors Neil Templeman and Nihaad Kapdi were especially proud of the students who had found the activities challenging and tried new things. Neil Templeman said: “Our learners slept in tents through a very cold night, produced their own menus for the weekend, and overcame their fear to get through the caving activity. They really threw themselves into every challenge.”

Nihaad Kapdi said: “It was brilliant to see the students gelling as a team. Some ended up enjoying themselves so much they didn’t want to leave!”

The students also had some time to enjoy the natural beauty of Mersea Island and to study the local wildlife.

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