Graham French

Graham French
Lecturer in Education (ODA & Primary Science)
01248 388598
Stables, Normal Site


Graham is a lecturer in education and currently the director for the PGCE Secondary course. He began teaching at residential outdoor education centres whilst studying for his first degree at Bangor, and went on to work for several local authority centres and later national centres, working as a freelance instructor in outdoor education. He has travelled widely and gained experiences on expeditions across Europe, North America and Africa.

Graham returned to Bangor to complete his PGCE in Outdoor Activities and Science, and subsequently worked as a secondary school teacher and latterly FE lecturer in South East London, Wolverhampton, Chester and the West Midlands, teaching a range of subjects including the three sciences, PE, geography, ICT and maths. He has held varying positions in schools from head of faculty, through pastoral director, to being part of the senior leadership team.

Graham joined the School of Education and Human Development in 2013 to work on the PGCE secondary outdoor activities course, and his research activities and interests are within this field. He completed an MA in Outdoor Education with distinction and is currently researching towards a PhD, both with the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, Carmarthen.

Professional accreditation and qualifications

Graham is currently an accredited practitioner of the Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL), and his move to be recognised as a Leading Practitioner of Institute of Outdoor Learning is pending. He is currently the chair of the IOL Cymru regional committee.
Graham holds a range of high level national governing body awards in various outdoor and adventurous activities and is a coach educator for Canoe Wales and trainer/assessor for the Mountain Bike Instructor award scheme. He is a first aid trainer and assessor and regularly runs first aid qualification courses for students and staff at the School of Education and Human Development.

Graham is the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme technical advisor for several national activity providers, and works as a consultant for several schools and activity providers in relation to operating procedures and risk management strategies.

Graham has worked as an external examiner/consultant for Worcester university’s BA Primary education with outdoor education course.

Graham sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, with the specific role of representing the Institute of Outdoor Learning , the professional organisation for outdoor practitioners in the UK.


Graham’s main role is in coordinating and teaching on the PGCE secondary (outdoor activities) but he also teaches on and contributes to the modules below:

PGCE Secondary:

XPE/C 4005 Professional studies
XPE/C 3001 Learning to teach 1
XPE/C 3002 Learning to teach 2

PGCE Primary

XTE/C 3016 Developing teaching skills 7-11

BA Childhood studies–

XAE 3035 Safeguarding children
XAE 2037 The child outdoors

BA QTS Primary education

XCB 2008 Core subject studies 1
XCB 3008 Core subject studies 2
XCE 2009 Non-core subject studies 1
XCE 3009 Non-core subject studies 2

MA Education studies

XME 4095 Placement school experience
Dissertation supervisor


MA Thesis: Models of outdoor education provision in North Wales
PhD (ongoing): How can a pedagogical model for outdoor and adventurous activities be implemented within the physical education curriculum?


£55,000 Sport Wales Physical literacy project

Conference presentations

13-15 October 2016 Institute of Outdoor Learning national conference ‘Pedagogical models for outdoor education’

28th June – 2nd July 2017 16th European Institute for Outdoor Adventure Education and Experiential Learning Seminar ‘How can a pedagogical model for outdoor and adventurous activities be implemented within the physical education curriculum?’


  • French, G. and Phillips, A. (2018) Cultural Education through Outdoor Education: Another way of learning outside? Horizons 80
  • French, G. (2017) Trials for trails: Stretching the more able in mountain biking sessions, part 1 Horizons 79
  • French, G. (2017) The mountain bike leader’s handbook Lightning Source: Milton Keynes
  • French, G. (2016) GoPro or No-no? Horizons 76:18-21
  • French, G. and Galloway, J. (2016) SUPer cool or just a fad? The benefits and practicalities of stand up paddling Horizons 74:20-23
  • French, G. (2016) Going pro: Point of view cameras in adventure sports research Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 19 (1) 2-9
  • French, G. (2015) The relationship between music and outdoor education Horizons 69:6-9
  • French, G. (2014) Outdoor education in Wales: a return to dark days or a brighter future? Horizons 66: 28-31
  • French, G. (2013) Progression in paddlesports activities Horizons 64:16-17
  • French, G. (2013) Does mountain biking have a place in multi-activity programmes? Horizons 61: 8-11