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PRU pupils win green awards

JohnMuirPRUSTUDENTS at Pembrokeshire County Council’s Pupil Referral Unit in Neyland have been learning to care for the environment.
Twelve pupils aged between 12 and 14 successfully completed John Muir Awards over the summer term.
Launched in 1997 by the John Muir Trust, the award scheme aims to promote an awareness and concern for the environment among young people.
Under the scheme youngsters are encouraged to discover and explore wild places and learn how to conserve and take responsibility for it.
To achieve their certificates, the PRU pupils spent at least five days outside over a 12-week period.
The youngsters spent two days geocaching (an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS devices) in Stepaside and Canaston Woods.
They also spent another three days working alongside Tom Moses, the Discovery Ranger for the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, learning outdoor skills such as foraging for food, identifying trees, pond dipping, fire craft and building shelters.
The outoor experience culminated in a week’s camping at Starman’s Hall at Freshwater West, where the youngsters were able to put their newly acquired skills into practice.
The pupils were presented with their certificates at a special presentation earlier this month.
Eleven received their Discovery Award, while Alan Morris also received his Explorer Certificate.
“It has given me skills to use in the future and it has made me realise what I want to do in my future life,” he said. “It made me want to do my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.”
Fellow pupil Brandon Sture said it had been an “amazing experience.
“I tried new things that I wouldn’t have tried before and because of it I became really good at it,” he said.
Staff who worked with the pupils – Claire Sommerville, Vicky Phillips and Matt Reay – also gained their Conserver Awards.
Vicky Phillips said outdoor learning was a very useful tool for pupils.
“We live in a beautiful part of the world that unfortunately many youngsters don’t get to appreciate because of modern day technology,” she said.
“By completing the Award, our pupils have not only gained a qualification, they have learned vital skills that they can use throughout their lives.”