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SQA at Pinkston

a group of people standing in a room

Last week saw the start of our SQA SCQF level 5 course with a group of young people from St Roch’s school. We are working closely with the outdoor education team at Glasgow Kelvin College to deliver this, and Pinkston’s Fraser and the college’s Crawford have hit the ground running with these young people.

This course started in our newly developed “classroom 3” – don’t worry we’re not hiring this one out! This was real outdoor learning in action. Following an introduction to the course and the sport of kayaking these young people were soon kitted out and on the water. This wasn’t without a swimmer or three (4?!) but this quickly led to figuring out when a boat will and will not tip! This was the start of 12 weeks focused on skill development that will culminate in a journey along the canal to explore North Glasgow from a different angle.

Kayaking is a great way to build confidence and resilience, and a key strategic objective for Pinkston is to offer this as widely as possible. Our aim is to provide life skills. By facing the challenges that kayaking throws at us (Why won’t it go where I want it to?! How do I make my boat do what his/hers is doing?! Why do I keep falling in?! Oh my the water is cold!) we all learn a little bit about ourselves, a bit about the people we are working with, a bit about following instructions, and a whole lot about trial and error. For every little challenge we overcome we get a little bit stronger. This course is designed to offer those challenges, but also to provide participants with the toolkit to overcome them. It is particularly, but not exclusively, targeted at young people who might be finding the challenges of school too difficult to overcome. Our vision is that the confidence and problem solving skills enhanced and built during the following 12 weeks will not only allow these young people to complete this course, but also to go on and face other challenges in their future. As part of this course young people will have the opportunity gain their SCA 2* and an SCQF level 5 qualification. This can be used as a prerequisite for going onto study outdoor education, can help gain entry to college, and could even potentially count towards a college course.

To the young people who took part – thank you so much for coming and for being such good sports. We are looking forward to working with you on this course!


By Pinkston

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Our Start Kayaking sessions are all about getting you on the water and experiencing the joys of kayaking in a safe and fun way. These adult sessions are for anyone over the age of 16 who want to get on the water and learn the basics of kayaking with basic skills and challenges. We use our great sit on top kayaks meaning that we have the best platform for learning skills without the challenges or fears of ‘getting stuck’.

This session includes your British Canoeing Paddle Start Certificate.