DofE Bronze Award
Training for Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Practice Expedition
Over the past few months, 51 of our (new) Year 10 pupils have been taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Bronze Award, which consists of 3 months of Volunteering work, 3 months of Skill work, and 3 months of Physical work. The 4th section of the DofE is Expedition, which is done with school, and pupils have spent a number of weeks getting ready for their two-day, one-night Practice Expedition, gathering their tents, rucksacks and other supplies.
The first day of Enrichment Week (1-5 July 2019) was spent with No Limits Development, learning about map reading, first aid, tent pitching, safe cooking and distinguishing between Needs and Wants in their rucksacks!
After a walk with heavy packs (time to rethink those Needs and Wants) on Tuesday, pupils spent a night camped on the school grounds, as a practice for their Practice Expedition later in the week. On Wednesday morning, having packed down their campsite, pupils completed route planning for the training expedition and began route planning for the final qualifying expedition in September. This was followed by games on the Sports Field as unfortunately the Outdoor Pool was temporarily closed. Pupils appreciated their own beds that night!
On Thursday morning participants were dropped off at Stratford Park in Stroud to embark on their Practice Expedition - 16 hours walking over 2 days, pitching a tent to sleep in overnight and cooking both evening meal and breakfast. The expedition was run by No Limits Development and members of school staff, who accompanied the pupils throughout the trip, leading the expedition and giving support to all our pupils.
Max: "DofE was such fun. I really liked walking, working as a team and getting lost... very lost!"
Jaden: “Really good experience; really good fun! I made new friends and learnt some new skills!”
Eleanor: “It was a really good team building experience. Good because it helped me to get closer with the rest of my team, map-reading and trying to find our way!”
Lydia and Floss: "It was quite challenging at some points but we all had a good time in the end and are all still friends!"
Scott and Henry: "DofE was challenging. We had a few arguments, we worked as a team and stayed determined. We enjoyed the countryside and slept ok most of the time. It was good socially and all round good fun!"
The activities done during Enrichment Week and the Practice Expedition are excellent preparation for their final assessed Expedition which Year 10 will be doing in September.
“I was hugely impressed by the pupils’ maturity, resilience and resourcefulness during Enrichment Week, and shared their sense of pride and relief when they arrived back at Stratford Park on the Friday, having drawn upon the training and guidance they were given throughout Enrichment Week. I was also extremely grateful to the staff who supported and coordinated the movement of pupils across the 2 days of the Practice Expedition; it was a huge challenge for all those concerned; a challenge which was met head-on!” Mr Reed, DofE Manager