Conway Centres Arts and Outdoor Education

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Arts and Outdoor Education

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Mark Harnden

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I have been employed as head of  Conway Centres: Beeston, Burwardsley, Delamere & Tattenhall since 2007 and I am responsible for our watersports centre in Winsford. In addition I also act as The Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer for the authority and run expeditions throughout the year for local schools. I began my career in Outdoor Education as a Trainee Outdoor Education Tutor at Conway Centres: Anglesey before progressing to a PGCE in Physical Education and a career of teaching in schools for 6 years. My passion for the outdoors never dwindled and the schools I taught in were soon enrolled in programmes of GCSE Adventurous Activities, Year Group Residential Courses and Canoeing Expeditions. Eventually the lure of the outdoors was too much and when the right opportunity arose I headed back to Outdoor Education and the job I do today. I see my role as two fold, firstly to improve the quality of the provision available at our centres and secondly to encourage and support schools and young people to access the outdoors and experience the rewards offered through our range of Learning Outside the Classroom experiences. I believe the outdoors is a powerful educational tool and I really love working with teachers to ensure their students have the ‘the best day ever’.