5th January 2021
Following yesterday's Government directive, we will unfortunately no longer be able to open to groups until after the February half- term.
For any schools that have days booked at the centre before then, we are currently working to find alternative dates before Easter.
We're all looking forward to better times - stay safe out there!
Well 2021 has now arrived, and one of the biggest changes in a generation has taken place.
After more than 28 years with the Oldham Outdoor Education Service, our Head of Centre Dave Faulconbridge has decided to call it a day.
The Castleshaw team would like to pass on their thanks and best wishes for the future. We hope we can continue Dave's legacy by providing opportunities for the young people of Oldham to engage with the outdoors.
4th November 2020
COVID Secure status
With another lockdown fast approaching, the Council has undertaken a full inspection of our centre and COVID procedures.
This has resulted in the granting of approval by Oldham's Director of Public Health to remain open for educational groups.
This will be subject to any overarching restrictions which may yet be implemented at a national level, but it looks as though we will be able to fulfil any school bookings on our programme over the coming month.
With all the other goings on this year, we almost forgot to mention that we have been chosen to be an Ambassador Centre for the Peak District National Park.
Ambassador Centres work in partnership with the Peak District National Park primarily to deliver a commitment for youngsters to learn more about the UK’s original National Park, how to care for it and how to inspire others about the area’s special qualities.
For further information just follow the link opposite:
Back to School!
As our most popular Holiday club ever draws to a close, we now look forward to finally welcoming back school classes to our centre after a much longer than usual break.
Schools booked to attend in the coming term should already have been sent information regarding changes required to ensure we keep everyone safe from the risk of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, we will be restricted to day visits for the forseeable future. Those classes who have been planning to attend for residential stays this term will already have been contacted to see how we can best meet their requirements.
See you all soon...
Holiday Activities 2020
After much uncertainty in recent weeks, we have now been given the green light to proceed with our annual Holiday activities programme from Friday 24th July.
We've had to make a few tweaks to our usual format to ensure that we guard against the risk of COVID-19 infection, so we hope you'll bear with us if we need to make any requests regarding social distancing, handwashing or sanitising.
Contact the centre for further details and a booking form.
COVID19 Update - 9th July
Due to the recent easing of restrictions and revised guidance from the Department for Education, we are now working towards re-opening to day groups from the week beginning Monday 20th July.
Additional measures are being put in place (eg. hand washing & sanatising, social distancing. quarantine of equipment) to ensure safety & compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
We are still awaiting further guidance regarding resuming use of the centre's residential facilities.
Covid19 Update - 1st June
Many primary schools are beginning a phased return for selected classes this week, though the Department for Education is still advising against school trips.
We are awaiting further guidance as to when it may be appropriate to reopen the centre to groups.
In the meantime we are continuing our support for the Oldham Foodbank, and using the opportunity to carry out the various maintenance jobs that are required around the centre and grounds.
Due to tightening restrictions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have now been advised that the centre should be closed to all groups for the forseeable future.
We will continue to have staff on site, and we can still be contacted by phone or e-mail. Castleshaw staff will also be continuing to support the work of the Oldham Foodbank.
We hope this period of enforced hibernation won't last too long, and we look forward to seeing you all out & about here soon.
Well, it's been quite an unusual week to say the least....
As things stand (March 20th), the centre is still open. All programmed school visits are currently on hold until further notice. There is a possibility that we may continue to provide outdoor activity days to support the curriculum of those schools where pupils of key workers are still attending, but that has yet to be agreed. As we're sure you are aware by now, this is a rapidly changing situation.
In the meantime, we have volunteered our staff and minibuses to assist with the Council distribution of food throughout the Oldham area.
If anyone else out there is interested in either volunteering or donating any items then please follow the link to the right.
Stay healthy folks...
We're all booked up through to the end of the year now, but we still have availability for day visits and residentials in 2020.
So if you're planning a study weekend, or just a general get together - why not take a look at our winter special offers, both for school visits and for our residential accommodation.
Have a great Xmas, and we hope to see you in 2020!
Well it's been another busy term, we haven't even had time to update our News page!
As things are now beginning to calm down a little, perhaps we can mention a few of the things we'll be looking forward to this autumn & winter. We have a number of school linking projects coming up during November, along with our now annual visits from our friends at schools further north. On the residential side, we have a range of groups returning for winter gatherings in the run up to Christmas.
In early 2020 we will once again be running our winter warmers - days where we have options to combine indoor & outdoor elements to suit the weather conditions outside. Our Victorians day, which includes bread making, always seems to be a favourite in the colder months.
Hope to see you then!
Holiday club ...holiday week!
We're now half way through our holiday club programme. While the weather may not have been amazing, feedback has been very positive...it seems that being wet hasn't really been much of an issue!
Matt is off recharging his batteries ready for the final fortnight, so he should be back up to full speed (& volume) by the 19th!
Places are filling up for the final two weeks, with some days now fully booked.
The busy school summer term has now drawn to a close. This allows us a few quieter days to make prearations for next weeks Summer holiday programme. Fortunately for us the weather is being kind - tests and checks on our climbing and canoeing equipment are much more pleasant to do when the sun is shining!
Let's hope we continue to get some good weather for our holiday activities!
Holiday Activities 2019
Once again we are will be running four weeks of outdoor and adventurous activities for 9-13 year olds during the summer break. Please follow the link below for further details.
24 April update
Castleshaw valley fires now appear to be under control. No air quality issues experienced this morning. All centre activities expected to take place as scheduled.
Reports of further fires in Knott Hill area (Delph) which may affect road access if approaching centre through Delph village.
Moorland fires (23 April)
You may already be aware that Oldham Council sites went smoke free at the beginning of the month. Unfortunately the Castleshaw valley was far from smoke free this morning as the fires which began on Marsden Moor over Easter weekend had spread across to our valley. Firefighters have been working hard in the valley today and things now appear to be largely under control. There has been fairly extensive damage to the moorland at the head of the valley, but we are hoping that this has not caused major upset to some of our local ground nesting birds.
We expect activities at the centre to continue as usual, although some re-routing may be required for some of our river studies days which access the head of the valley.
New training courses added
30th April - Training for Management of visit Emergencies (MoVE)
15 May - Training for Educational/ External Visits Coordinators (EVCs)
For further details of these and other training courses, such as ITC First Aid and MiDAS minibus training, follow the Training Course dates link, or contact the office.
It 's behind you!
Last month we hosted the cast of Jack & the Beanstalk here at the centre (...oh yes we did!). Castleshaw was used as a base during both their rehearsals and performance, though we were sworn to secrecy at the time in case the paparazzi might descend, or in case people might upset the giant.
The show received excellent reviews, and the company are already planning to return again next year.
We've just aded a link to some useful resources for teachers - So far there a mixture of id charts that we commonly get asked for, and a number of links to external sites that can provide further information for follow up work back at school.