About the Course

To begin with, students will gain experience in different methods of angling at various venues. They will also learn about fish welfare and watercraft skills.  During the courses, as well as developing  practical skills in the  outdoor environment, students will be given the opportunity to build literacy, numeracy, communication and IT skills whilst completing the coursework.  Angling sessions help to teach important environmental and ecological lessons as well as helping to improve the confidence and  self-esteem  of students. This can all provide a springboard for students to continue on to BTEC Level 2 and Level 3 and eventually work in the fisheries industry or associated workplaces.  During the BTEC Level 2 and 3 the students will participate in providing estate maintenance and undertake work experience in the land based industries. They will also gain experience in CV and application writing and  searching for relevant jobs.

Possible Progression Routes

In recent years, students have progressed onto higher level courses in Fishery Management at college.  Others have gone on to secure a Level 1 Angling Coaching qualification and have progressed onto the A4S coaching team. There is a huge variety of jobs within the angling and fisheries industry including tackle shop assistant, fishery worker, angling coaching or working for the Environment Agency.

Environmental Maintenance

About the course

Environmental maintenance work gives students the chance to gain some valuable work experience in the outdoors. This could be working at a local fishery, angling club or Country Park. The  sessions give students the opportunity to work with a range of tools while contributing to the upkeep of the environment. They learn how to plan the job, safe transportation of equipment, safe use of tools and gain an understanding of the importance of health and safety. They are also encouraged to recycle materials and use what is already available. The job may involve creating platforms, walkways, barriers and fences. It is good to visit a place long after we have completed work and be proud to say ‘we made this and it is still being used today’! Environmental Maintenance  helps to improve the students’ teamwork skills, communication, confidence and understanding of the natural environment.

Possible Progression Routes

If students have particularly enjoyed the environmental maintenance work they could go on to study Countryside Management, Fisheries or Land-Based Studies at college. Students have also moved on to achieve their CSCS Card in order to work in the construction industry. The practical skills learnt during environmental maintenance sessions could help students secure employment in a variety of industries, this could be working as a tradesman, estate worker, park ranger or in fisheries management.


Arts and Crafts

About the Course

Students are given the opportunity to transform a variety of basic materials into all sorts of things,  using skills they didn't know they had as well as picking up new ones along the way. By using paper, yarn, fabric, paint, glue and photos to name a few, the end product is sometimes practical or wearable but always interesting!

Possible Progression Routes

Should students wish to gain a higher qualification, different colleges offer various Arts and Design courses suited to different learner interests. Future job prospects include graphic design, media and marketing.

Aquarium Systems

About the Course

Students will learn about tropical and coldwater aquarium systems. They will be involved with the maintenance of the tanks, water quality testing and feeding of the fish.  Our fish tank area is a calm relaxing environment for students to learn and certainly has a positive effect on those who may normally find it hard to concentrate in a classroom.

Possible Progression Routes

Students that have a strong interest in aquarium systems could go on to study a Fisheries Management course at college. There are other higher level OATA (Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association) qualifications should students want to further their studies. There is a range of potential jobs within this industry including working as an aquatics assistant, fish tank installer and maintainer or in fish farming and breeding.


A4S Bedford is an outdoor educational project delivered by ProgressAbility.org - a Social Enterprise based in Bedford and active in Beds, Bucks, Cambs, Herts and Northants.

Registered Address: ProgressAbility.org, 129A Barker's Lane, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 9RX.
ProgressAbility.org is a charitable company limited by guarantee (Reg'd company # 07678748 & reg'd charity # 1142732).