The power of the outdoors
One cannot under estimate the power of the outdoors.
Picture this: a sunny Autumnal day, a bunch of students who prefer being outdoors doing practical things to being indoors sat still, a school therapy dog who also prefers being outdoors, staff who again also prefer being outside, and an outdoor space that is an exciting and stimulating natural learning space. Add to the mix an opportunity for students to get ‘hands on’ to further develop this learning space to make it even better (as part of their DofE work), plus the opportunity to show responsibility, trust and the chance to demonstrate their abilities to work with others to prepare for, light and manage a small fire; and you have the perfect educational scenario:
- students intrinsically motivated to work collaboratively
- a stimulating learning space
- enthusiastic learning facilitators
- and … well, a therapy dog that quite simply just needs a trim.
You could call it the ‘perfect storm’ for a successful timetabled option where students who need outdoor time get their fix and soak in the therapeutic benefits as much as the vitamin D they get from being outdoors.
Maybe not bums on seats (in the traditional sense), but certainly smiles on faces 🙂
Derrymount’s Industry Day is being held on Wednesday 28th November between 1.30 – 4.30.
We will have a host of visiting colleges, professionals and experts on hand to give up-to-date information and advice. It’s the ideal time for parents, carers and students to find out about the options available at Post 16 and beyond.
Please come along for some or all of this event.
For more information please ring the school on 0115 9675020.
On 10th October Derrymount School went along to St Mary’s Church in Arnold to celebrate our Harvest Festival.
We collected an amazing amount of food which will be taken to the local food bank. The fresh fruit and vegetables will go to Emmanuel House and a refugee centre in Nottingham.
Some of our pupils performed on guitars as part of the service and others had brought their paintings of vegetables, salt dough, Harvest Sheaves, and Harvest poems to decorate the church.
Parents and carers also came along, and some came back to school for coffee and biscuits afterwards.
Margaret, the Vicar was really impressed with Derrymount and said we had given more than 20 big bags of food! A big thank you to everyone who helped and contributed something towards those who are in need.
We will be visiting Margaret again at St Mary’s in December for our Christingle.
Well done everyone!
Thanks to our new tent stove (bought with funds from DofE Central), we have a warm and less smokey environment – with an extended covered area – that will help us keep working outdoors during the colder months.
Already enjoying the benefits
A lunchtime visit from students from our junior site resulted in smiles all round: archery, some moving of bark chippings, relaxing in the hammocks and bellies full of hot dogs all helped create a very enjoyable lunchtime for all. Speaking of dogs, Gryff played his part too.
With the rescheduled second group of Duke of Edinburgh final less that a week away we would like to wish all the students good luck in completing this monumental task and that we hope the weather stays great for you, and as a reminder that this will take place on 18th & 19th September.
For the parents and carers of the young people please find below copies of all the letters that have been sent home with the young people. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mr Tuckwood or Mr Meek.
DofE Bronze Final Itinerary
All timings are subject to change throughout the day dependant on how well group are doing and other external factors.
Tuesday 18th September 2018
09:00 Arrive at school
09:15 Leave School in Minibus
10:15 Arrive at Carpark at Mining Low (Derbyshire)
10:30 Begin Expedition
AT & SB to walk with Group, TM to meet at checkpoint throughout the day
17:00 Arrive at campsite (Rivendale Campsite)
- Set up tents
- Cook food
- Debrief on Day
- Relax & Sleep (Pupils may contact parents if they wish too)
Wednesday 19th September 2018
07:30 Wakeup call
- Cook Breakfast
- Pack rucksacks
- Drop and pack away tents
- Brief for the day
09:00 Leave Campsite
AT & SB to walk with Group, (If the group have performed well on the Tuesday then AT & SB will drop back and supervision will become close rather than Direct.) TM to meet at checkpoint throughout the day (If the group performs well whilst in close supervision they will complete the last section of the Tissington trail with remote supervision.
16:00 Arrive at finish point (Tissington Trail Carpark)
16:15 Set off for school – Pupils to contact parents once on way home to let them know ETA
17:15 Arrive back at school (Time subject to change)
EXPEDITION KIT LIST
- 1 pair of walking boots (broken in)
- 2 pairs of walking socks
- 1 to wear 1 as a spare
- 2 t-shirts
- 1 to wear 1 as spare
- Thermal t-shirt (optional)
- 1 fleece tops or jumper
- 2 walking trousers (warm, NOT jeans)
- 1 to wear 1 as spare
- 1 change of
- Flipflops/trainers/sandals etc (optional for camp site use)
- Warm hat &/or sunhat (as appropriate)
- 1 pair gloves (if appropriate)
- 1 pair shorts (if appropriate)
- Waterproof over-trousers
- Jacket/coat (waterproof & windproof)
- Rucksack liner (or 2 strong plastic bags)
- Sleeping bag (School can provide)
- Torch (handheld or head torch and spare batteries)
- Personal first aid kit
- Expedition food
- Lunch time meals for both days and and any snacks wanted for the day time and evening
- Water bottle
- At least 2 litres of water (several small bottles okay)
- Knife, fork, spoon
- Wash kit/personal hygiene items (some items could be shared as a group)
- Sunblock (if appropriate)
Flu vaccinations are on Tuesday 9th October
Children included in the programme are Reception through to year 13.
Consent forms will be bought in to school early September 2018 and should be returned to school by parents 21st September 2018 for the team to collect week commencing 24th September 2018.
Further information about the flu vaccination programme:
Children will not be able to receive this vaccination at the GP unless they have an identified health problem. We will be holding clinics throughout the season for those children who have consented and were absent on the day.
Each child vaccinated will receive a record card on the day of the vaccination to take home.
DIY Adventure School improvements
In preparation for the autumn and winter (hard to imagine during the amazing run of weather we’ve had this summer), we decided to make a few adjustments to the Adventure School layout; nothing major but hopefully the tweaks will make a difference.
1. ‘Dry area’ extension
We’ve moved the spare frame we had in the old AS area up to our new base, and used it to extend the covered over area by the fire pit. We used a tarpaulin and some canvas scraps to try and give us increased cover and protection: we needed to improvise with a bucket (see if you can spot why and how in the photograph).
2. Removed the fire pit!
Yes, that’s right the fire pit has gone – well, not gone… just moved.
3. Added a wood burning camping stove and chimney
Yay, we’re so excited by this. We used the old tiles from the fire pit to create a base for a new stove and chimney, which will mean:
- No more smoke in the eyes (or on the clothes) – well, not as much as before anyway!
- The stove will give off a lot of heat ensuring we’ll be snug and warm all through the winter (that’s the plan at least)
- Hot water will be a lot more readily available
- We’ll be able to cook outdoors more easily
We have more DIY planned going forwards, as well as developing the wider space that we have to work with – but that will be the job of the DofE group as this is their volunteering project.
End of update!
Please complete this 8 question Nottinghamshire County Council survey.
DofE Bronze Expedition 10th – 11th July
It’s going to be a hot couple of days, so here’s a bit of guidance for those taking part.
Please bring with you:
- Two bottles of water – refillable types are best as they can be refilled throughout the day
- A packed lunch for Tuesday lunch
- A packed lunch for Wednesday lunch
- Sauce to add to a pasta meal – school will provide the pasta, but students should bring a packet of stir-in sauce, tin of tuna or tomatoes, cheese sauce etc to flavour the pasta to their taste. NB we can work around any concerns around food and cooking, so please don’t let this be a worry.
- Trainers or trail shoes to walk in
- shorts or light trousers to walk in
- t-shirt or long-sleeved top to walk in
- sun hat, sunglasses
- sun cream
- jumper / hoodie for the evening
- clothing to sleep in
- spare clothes (if participants don’t fancy walking in worn clothes on day 2)
- spare trainers / footwear for in the evening
- wash bag and towel
- waterproof jacket / trousers (just in case)
- sleeping bag (if you have one – no problem if you don’t, we can loan you one)
NB school will provide camping mats and tents, and rucksacks where needed.
Participants will only have to carry the things they need during the time they are walking e.g. water, sun cream, snacks, waterproof jacket/leggings. Everything else will be left in the minibus and transported to the campsite. With this in mind, participants should bring a small day bag to carry with them on the walk and a larger holdall for the items they want to leave on the bus.
We will have a cool box, so items of food / drink can be left in that during the day / evening.