Penny Stotesbury, Community Youth Tutor at Thamesview School, explains the impact of Fishing for Schools on the young people taking part.
Thamesview School has been part of Fishing for Schools for several years and our students have benefited from this in so many ways. Young people have developed their life skills and communication skills, and it has helped build self-confidence and self-esteem. It is amazing how students respond to working in an outdoor environment doing something they really like.
We have had some positive feedback from the students and staff about how programme has helped improve patience and concentration, which has also led to the students being more confident in themselves. They have been able to reduce anxieties and build better relationships within the school – both with other students but also students and teachers – helping create a positive attitude to learning.
How are students are chosen to take part?
We work with the welfare team to identify young people who need extra support. We have offered this opportunity to a range of young people experiencing difficulties, including young people who are struggling to engage within a formal school environment.
Fishing for Schools has helped improve behaviour and attendance back at school. For students who have struggled emotionally with anger / anxiety, the programme has provided an opportunity to discuss and work through issues / behaviours with the Thamesview staff outside of school, in a relaxed and safe environment, and gain extra support.
Some young people have struggled to make friends and feel included, and this project has enabled them to build better relationships and to strengthen their feelings of inclusion and belonging.
The students taking part have ranged from year 7- year 10. Young people are able learn a variety of fishing and environmental skills and also gain an accredited outcome, which increases their self-worth.
What sessions have your students particularly enjoyed?
They enjoy all the sessions and love the variety offered of both fly and coarse fishing sessions; they have been able to learn how to make a fly. The lake at Hadlow is brilliant; a group were also able to look around the facilities offered at Hadlow and gain a bigger picture of life opportunities and further training/courses available. We now have a strong link with Hadlow College, and have students go onto Hadlow when they leave school.
Some of the young people were filmed at Grove Farm fishery by Fish TV as part of World Fishing Day. The day consists of a network of global angling community events for charities and other organisations, using fishing to change lives. This was a fantastic opportunity and raised their knowledge and skills further.
"It was fun"
"Want to know of other courses I can do to build my confidence/ self-esteem and feel better."
"the coaches were helpful and knew lots!"
"Thank you for getting me to like being outdoors- even though it rained a lot it was fun and enjoyable."