Outdoor & Environmental Education Service

Local schools can purchase a package of services including adventure activities or environmental education, training, advice & support for educational visits, along with preferential rates for residential accommodation.

Other schools and organisations can buy specific programmes ‘off the shelf’.

We also oversee and administer Oldham’s Visit planning and approval system.

Outdoor Learning : Educational Visit Support : Training courses : Residential Accommodation : More info

Outdoor Learning

The Outdoor Education team are based at Castleshaw Centre near Delph. Sessions may be based at the centre, or can be delivered on a peripatetic basis.

We can cater for day visits or residential courses.

All our activities are tailored to meet the specific requirements of each group.

Primary Curriculum
Geography, History, Science, Team building, Physical Education
More information on the Castleshaw website

Secondary Curriculum
Field Studies, PE / Adventurous Activities, Team building, PSHE, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
More information on the Castleshaw website

Outdoor & Adventurous Activities
Canoeing, kayaking, climbing, hill walking, orienteering, mountain biking, raft building, high ropes activities, artificial caving, archery.
More information on the Castleshaw website

Use of centre facilities & resources
Residential accommodation, camping field, classrooms, minibus, equipment and yurt.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
We can support DoE Award delivery in a number of ways: staff training, group training, supervision, use of centre equipment and transport, residential facilities, camping field.

Staff Development ‘away days’
We can provide full or part-day activities to add value to your next staff training day. Contact us with your requirements.
More information on the Castleshaw website


An excellent experience – better than any museum visit we have been on. Far better than Chester. Jonathan Seville, Greenacres Primary,January 2016

All had a brilliant time – a great balance of fun, learning, activity and outdoor experience. Caitlin Brarriass, Knowsley Juniors, October 2014

We choose to come back every year for this unit of work because of the high quality of provision and facilities. An excellent learning outdoors experience. Karen Adamson, Buckstones, November 2014

For a more information about our most popular days, see:

Castleshaw Centre website


Educational Visit Support

  • Educational Visit Coordinator & Visit Leader Training
  • EVOLVE online visit planning and approval system
  • Vetting of specified types of Educational visit
  • Advice & support

We provide access to ‘Evolve’ – the ‘best practice’ model for planning, vetting and approving educational visits. This online system can be individualised to your school, with in-house, national guidance and local regulations on your site, available to all staff.

All establishment staff can have their own account, with secure password protected log-ins. EVOLVE guides staff through the planning process, and enables your managers and Headteacher to monitor visit planning, meet health and safety regulations, and produce evidence for OFSTED and other inspectors as required.

Staff benefit from the simplicity and clarity of the process which minimises form filling, red tape and bureaucracy.

We offer training for staff, Educational Visit Coordinators (EVCs) and Headteachers to get the most from the EVOLVE system.

We provide nationally recognised training for EVCs to ensure they are able to meet legal obligations and promote best practice.

We deliver training for visit leaders based on a Nationally agreed syllabus to ensure competence and awareness of best practice.

We offer advice and support for EVCs to enable them to deal with new or difficult situations.

Outdoor Education Adviser support from an expert in the field to vet / approve complex or more hazardous visits.



We can provide training leading to a number of nationally recognised awards.

Leadership Courses
Please note: Some of these awards have pre-requisites or require registration with National Governing Bodies before attending.

  • First Aid – ITC First Aid at Work & Outdoor First Aid
  • MIDAS minibus award
  • Educational Visits Co-ordinator training
  • Visit Leader Training
  • TOP Outdoors Training
  • Outdoor Learning Cards Training
  • NGB Award Courses in Hill Walking & Rock climbing: Hill & Mountain Skills, Lowland Leader, Hill & Moorland Leader, Expedition Leader, Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award
  • Canoe & Kayak 1-3* awards, Foundation Safety & Rescue Training

Youth courses

  • Canoe & Kayak – Paddlepower awards
  • Rock Climbing – NICAS Award
  • Orienteering – British Schools Orienteering Association Explorer Challenge
  • Hill Skills


Residential Accommodation

The Castleshaw Centre provides a base for both day activities and residential courses.  It has residential accommodation for up to 38 people (minimum booking 17). Catering can be provided by arrangement.

Groups may choose to use the centre as a residential base for their own programme, or may supplement their own programme from the range of activities we can offer.

Regular users include School groups, Youth groups, Activity clubs (Running, climbing, cycling, walking) and other voluntary organisations (eg. Search & Rescue Dogs Association, National Trust, Global Grooves music project)

For further information please contact us, or take a look at our external sites:

Castleshaw Centre website

Canoeing was brilliant! Dovestones was also excellent. Camp craft was great too. I’ve been visiting Castleshaw for 18 years and this is the best residential experience I have had. The children developed a great deal of confidence and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.Miss Rebecca Wolfenden, St Hilda’s Primary, April to May 2015

Enjoy the residential every year. Excellent value for money for children. Louise Hayes, Watersheddings, September 2014

Many SEN especially autistic children who got to learn & importantly practice socialising in an informal environment. ….it is our third year running the trip & it meets our needs exactly. Saddleworth School, May 2014


Benefits of the service

The OFSTED report ‘Learning Outside the Classroom how far should you go?’ stated:

When planned and implemented well, learning outside the classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development…


Service standards

The Service is inspected and Licensed by the Adventure Activity Licensing Authority (a branch of HSE).

We hold the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge, the Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee’s award ‘Adventuremark’.

We are an approved Learning Destination for the Children’s University.



Service Agreement

You can download an example Service Level Agreement (PDF)


Enquiries and further infromation

Please telephone Janet Lloyd or Jude Murray on 0161 770 8595

or email using this form:

The council primarily use your data for handling your query.

All information is processed in accordance with our organisational data protection policy (www.oldham.gov.uk/dataprotection).

We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent.