Working as a
Field Studies Instructor
Bring the natural world to life! Fantastic opportunities for geography, geology and ecology graduates to work in areas of outstanding natural beauty across the South Coast of England, and Isle of Wight.
PGL offers residential Field Studies courses to primary, secondary and A Level guests. Using your knowledge from your Environmental Science, Geology, Geography or other relevant degree, you'll work with a group of up to 12 children or teenagers, taking sole responsibility for their Field Studies sessions. With the centre and surrounding areas of scientific interest as their classroom, your group will have the chance to search for freshwater invertebrates, dress up as historical characters or discover fossils of organisms that sunk into the Jurassic mud over 160 million years ago!
All study units are as practical as possible with groups working largely outdoors. You'll work as part of our Study Course Instructor team and may find yourself working across our product range from time to time, assisting with Science, Maths or IT sessions too. In addition, we run Physics and Chemistry based Science courses, Maths courses and ICT courses, all aimed at primary school groups. Together they are known as our Study Courses. Our Field Studies Instructors are also trained to deliver our core land-based activities including abseiling, mountain biking and climbing so you will lead these sessions when not on field studies duty.
We’re looking for people holding a relevant degree, or with experience of teaching Field Studies in a similar environment, with basic IT skills and the proven ability to work as a member of a fast-paced team. If, in addition to the above, you'll have a particular interest or experience in teaching Science, Maths or ICT we would especially like to hear from you. You will ideally also be able to demonstrate experience of working or volunteering with children/young people. We look for applications from people who can demonstrate energy and enthusiasm for education within a range of subject matter and who have the ability to relate to young people and make learning fun.
You’ll need a high level of initiative and commitment, boundless enthusiasm and a true desire to work with children of all ages. You must be adaptable, flexible and have a desire to acquire new knowledge. This role is particularly good for anyone looking to start their career in the outdoor industry, thinking about a career in teaching or for energetic teachers looking to maximise the practical aspects of their job. You'll pick up numerous transferable skills for your CV including group communication, confidence, and resourcefulness, as well as more specific teaching skills focused on presentation, coaching and group dynamics.
Some groups, particularly younger guests, come to PGL on a split course, where part of their week is spent participating in multi-activity sessions. All PGL Field Studies Instructors will also be trained and assessed in PGL’s core multi-activities as you'll be expected to lead these sessions when not working on Field Studies. At certain times of the season, you may find yourself spending all of your time on Study Course sessions, including some off-site excursions. At other times of the year, you may find yourself mainly on activity session delivery, depending on the groups at your centre. Activities include initiative exercises, archery, motor sports, abseiling and more. You’ll also help to deliver our guests’ evening entertainment programme approximately three times a week and act as the Duty Instructor approximately once a week. As a Field Studies Instructor, you may also have the opportunity to become involved in teaching PGL’s Science, Maths and ICT courses.
Our Science programme challenges traditional classroom teaching methods by delivering a range of mainly Physics and Chemistry based hands-on units, such as astronomy, forensic science, rockets, levers and forces. Our dynamic Maths course uses the adventurous activities on centre to show guests the practical uses of mathematics in an exciting environment. Our ICT sessions takes new technology, drags it out into the great outdoors and inspires guests to get the most from their learning experience. Our Field Studies Instructors sometimes get the opportunity to work at our other centres that don't specialise in Field Studies. For groups wishing to enjoy a Field Studies course at an alternative PGL centre, we can set up a course utilising the venue and surrounding area.You may also be asked to perform more pastoral duties, depending on your skills, personality and the operational requirements of the centre. This may involve liaising with teachers, escorting groups to meals and activities, and providing free-time entertainment.
As a Field Studies Instructor you will be able to develop your knowledge, skills and experience whilst working towards nationally recognised qualifications, paid for by PGL. Previous experience will help your application but is not vital. If you are new to PGL and/or have limited experience within the sector you will be invited to attend our 9-day pre-employment selection and training course. Following a successful 9 days, on the 10th day you will start your employment and transfer to the centre you will be working at. Once employed, you will be registered onto our Apprenticeship Programme, which includes the intermediate apprenticeship in activity leadership.
This is delivered and assessed in the work place and is supported by a comprehensive centre induction, regular observations, feedback and performance reviews. You will also undergo training for each study course that you'll be required to teach, covering a range of popular units e.g. Science, Maths or ICT. Full training is given in teaching and fieldwork skills along with all the academic theory behind each unit. Full training is also given in off-site safety skills, emergency first aid and the use of ICT facilities.
You’ll need a high level of initiative and commitment, boundless enthusiasm and a true desire to work with children of all ages. You must be adaptable, flexible and have a desire to acquire new knowledge. This role is particularly good for anyone looking to start their career in the outdoor industry, thinking about a career in teaching or for energetic teachers looking to maximise the practical aspects of their job.
You'll pick up numerous transferable skills for your CV including group communication, confidence, and resourcefulness, as well as more specific teaching skills focused on presentation, coaching and group dynamics.
Jessica Smith, Osmington Bay
As a Field Study Instructor I am responsible for leading study course sessions in geography and biology. I wanted to work outdoors in a fun and active environment and discovered PGL whilst searching on the web. I now teach Field Studies to children aged between 7-18 years.
Working as a Field Studies Instructor has given me the experience of teaching children in an outdoor environment. I have also gained a lot of confidence in interacting with people of all different ages and backgrounds and my teaching skills have improved greatly.
PGL gives you the chance to make a real difference in some children’s lives, and it’s a very rewarding and exciting environment to be in. The friends you make at PGL are people that will be your friends for life and I would definitely recommend it to anyone! It's also a really beautiful setting. I love living by the sea!
Staff Package UK
Details of our staff package is in the table (right).
All new Field Studies Instructors with no or limited previous experience will join our Apprenticeship Programme.
All residential staff will receive free accommodation valued at £42 per week for the purposes of calculating your overall package.
Field Studies Instructors that join us with the relevant experience and Apprentices who have completed 34 weeks of the Apprenticeship Programme will receive the relevant age-related rate of pay and will be offered a 'package' in respect of meals that works out at just £1.90 per meal or £40 per week.
This includes breakfast, lunch and evening meal – even on your days off! There’s always a fresh salad bar option as well as soup and a cooked main course, dessert, fresh fruit and hot drinks.
Apprentices whilst on the Apprenticeship Programme can take advantage of this food offering free of charge.
Staff Package Overseas
Overseas packages are based on the above rates and overall the package is equivalent. Cash salary may appear different as accommodation and food is provided as a ‘benefit in kind’ to comply with local legislation.
Key PGL Facts
Need more convincing to apply? Surely not, but if so – here are a few ‘must know’ key facts:
- we employ over 3,000 people every year
- over 400,000 guests visit a PGL centre every year
- we are old! We have been providing activity holidays since 1957 (almost 60 years)
- we have the most competitive staff package
- we are the employer of choice within the outdoor activity industry!