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Adventure School gets a make over

All hands to the pump (or to the nettles in reality)

Ever since a neighbour backing onto the school expressed a lack of enthusiasm towards our outdoor endeavours  – I think the sound of happy and enthusiastic students got a bit too much for him – we started considering our options and eventually we decided to move our Adventure School HQ a number metres along our boundary fence.

Now, this wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it hadn’t been for the fact that the 100m we had to move was home to: nettles, brambles and years of uncontrolled natural growth (no, I’m not talking about Andrew’s beard here).

But rather than seeing this as a problem, we saw this as an opportunity to get the students practically immersed in a hands-on get-stuck-in project that would benefit them and the school in general (for years to come). We set to work removing branches, sticks, nettles, brambles and much more and using freshly cut (and kindly donated) tree chippings.

The result: a safe and usable area… check out the last photo below.

Great job everyone!

The job isn’t finished though (we have big ideas), but as you can see, things are looking a lot better and we’re back to normal with the bushcraft and outdoor hands-on activities which we all enjoy. There’s even a hammock or two for those that just need to lay back, look at the canopy and chill.

DMS Duke of Edinburgh programme

Andrew and I are really pleased that that a number of students have persevered in a determined way towards achieving the DofE Bronze Award – which is no mean feat! Actually, at the time of writing, our first practice expedition is only a few days away and the first batch of DMS participants students will hopefully graduate in time before they leave.

Our second group will take their practice in July and final expedition in September, with a view of graduating before the end of this year’s DofE season.

We’re really proud of all of the students that have taken part this year and really hope to take more students through their Bronze and a group of 2nd year AS/DofE students through the Silver Award during our next academic year.

With the above in mind, we must say a massive THANK YOU to Jackie Bull at DofE Central for helping us secure some important funds to help us get our DofE (and Adventure School) programme up and running. Not only have we been able to purchase the kit we need to run the DofE programme, we have also been able to develop our Adventure School into a key part of DMS; DofE and AS provide valuable opportunities for our young people to get outside, get active and see and reach the potential that is within them (which is sometimes buried and needs uncovering).

Below are a few images of the students organising our kit, and wrestling with one of our expedition shelters when 8 of them were trying to get inside 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again to everyone involved with this term’s Adventure School, particularly Go Outdoors and DofE Central for helping with kit.

The DofE future at DMS is up, but shhhhh… not too much rejoicing – it might upset the neighbour.

Derrymount School