Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Bronze Award is offered to pupils in Year 9. Participants engage in a skill, sport and volunteering activity for a three month period and then choose one in which they would like to carry on for a further three months. They also take part in a two-day, one-night expedition to the Ashdown Forest. Prior to this they must take part in a practice expedition and training day in which they receive training in first aid, navigation and camp craft.
Trip to Dorset (Year 7 & Year 8) May 2019
The Year 7 and Year 8 trip to Dorset afforded the children wonderful opportunities to try new activities and improve on those already experienced. Above all, the week allowed them to demonstrate their ability to challenge themselves, conquer trepidation, enjoy the unknown and be the positive and resilient young people they are growing into. These are important life skills all too often over-looked in our heavily structured, desk bound, lives.
We walked 5 miles along the coast from Swanage to Studland Bay. Not ever 11-13 year old’s idea of a great day out but a good challenge met head on and in beautiful sunshine. Along the way there was time take in amazing views, a quick Geography lesson at Old Harry Rocks, on coastal erosion, taught by Year 8 to Year 7 and a stroll through the ‘garlic wood’ with some snacking on wild garlic leaves. Studland Bay Beach was reached in time for lunch and the coach appear to return us all to Wimbledon.
Comments from the children:
“Rock climbing and body boarding were really fun because it gives you time to do activities that you don’t often do with your friends.” Rodrigo
“I enjoyed the bushcraft and the archery.”Fergus
“I liked the jumbo boarding because it was a team exercise in the water.” Jack
“The bike ride was a great way to start the trip instead of sitting on a bus.” Mathieu
“I loved the hike on the mountain and I loved the facts it was great.” Artin
“I liked when we had free time since we could play football, pool or basketball on our own, which gave us some sense of freedom.” Arnie
“I really enjoyed bushcraft, playing with knives and archery and lighting fires were the highlight of the trip.”
“I liked the bodyboarding because it was thrilling and fun in the big waves.” Luisa
“I really enjoyed the cycling as I’d never been to the New Forest, it was a beautiful experience.
I liked the body boarding and the food was delicious.”Sandy
“I really enjoyed the high ropes because you could hand off tall structures while feeling safe.” Sean
“I found the high ropes very exhilarating and exciting since this was new experience for me and I found it quite nerve racking as well!” Lavinia
Trip to Isle of Wight (May 2019)
A pleasant trip in a very luxurious coach to Portsmouth; a delightful 40 minutes on the Isle of Wight ferry, having lunch and admiring the view, and a short journey upon arrival, we arrived at Kingswood. Daisy chains were made, cartwheels were executed, games of chase took place. We were then given a tour of the Centre and shown to our warm and welcoming accommodation. Beds were made, children changed out of uniforms and organised warm up activities began. An early supper was consumed with delight, followed by further activities. Tired and happy, we enjoyed a Movie Night ( Spider-Man), a hot chocolate and bed!
Wednesday began with inclement weather which happily did not last too long. However, fortified by a huge English breakfast and suitably attired, the children set off to start their busy day. There are three groups and they rotated around and enjoyed many and varied activities: Obstacle Challenge , Aeroball, Tech Team, Abseiling, Lazer, Nightline, Leap of Faith, Problem Solving and finally a Campfire before bedtime. Communication, team building and having fun were implicit in all of the activities.
The main excitement of day 3 was undoubtedly the Bodyboarding on the beautiful beach. Learning how to don a wetsuit with speed and grace was character-building in itself.
After returning to hot showers and a hearty lunch the children had a wonderful afternoon. They were launched into the air on the 3G swing and shot at by laser guns.
On the tamer side, they built buggies, problem solved and learned some archery skills. The day was rounded off with some birthday cake and a ‘Scrap Heap Challenge’
The children woke up on Friday, sad to be leaving. They were kept busy all morning learning the graceful art of fencing. Our bus home had been delayed on the mainland, but ever ready to find a silver lining, we took the opportunity to enjoy a picnic lunch in the sunshine and a play on the beautiful beach.
43 tired but happy parents were delivered back to their waiting parents eager to share their stories and triumphs.
In the children’s own words:
‘Bodyboarding was great. I’m going to do it again soon’ Rory 5F
‘The Isle of Fun has lifted me off the ground’ Ahaan 4G
‘Faith really came to me at the right time in the Leap of Faith’ Edward 5F
‘Problem-solving was fun. We all worked as a team. Those who were more confident helped the others become more confident’ Oscar 6E
‘All of the activities were amazing!’Leonardo 5F
‘I’ve never had this much fun’ Ines 5F
‘Sitting around the campfire made me feel like part of a family’ Daniel 5F
‘I haven’t stopped smiling!’ Ilias 4G