Page 9 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 9

 Focus on DofE initiatives
Sea kayak option
  Exeter School, Devon, pupils are now able to carry out their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expedition by sea kayak.
Duke of Edinburgh Manager Mark Schramm said sea kayaking would provide an alternative to the usual walking expeditions.
“This will involve canoe and kayak training at Haven Banks, a practice expedition on the Devon or Cornwall coast and a qualifying expedition in the Isle of Skye area,” he said.
“As part of the training, the participants will be working towards the British Canoeing 2 star Kayak and Canoeing Award.
“Sea kayaking is adventurous and the only way you can access some of the wild areas of the UK and reach places you cannot by foot. There will be no footpaths to follow so pupils will be camping wild on beaches.”
One of the largest direct licence centres in the South West, there are currently 150 pupils signed
up to participate in the Bronze, Silver and Gold schemes at Exeter School. In the last year, 44 awards were made - 24 Bronze, 14 Silver and 6 Gold.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is an optional activity run on Friday afternoons at Exeter
School. Pupils volunteer, carry out a practice and actual expedition, learn a new skill and undertake a physical activity in order to pass the awards. Expedition locations ranged from Woodbury Common and Haldon Forest for the Bronze Award to Exmoor for the Silver and the Brecon Beacons for the Gold.
Typical volunteering work includes instructing younger
pupils within Exeter School’s Combined Cadet Force Contingent, helping at a local charity shop or being
a friendly face to talk to in
a nursing home. However the opportunities for volunteering are numerous and all pupils  nd something which suits their own skillset. Other examples include helping at the local library and conservation work on Dartmoor.
Assessments with zero emissions!
         In the summer, Oundle School, Northamptonshire, staff succeeded in assessing a number of the School’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award expeditions with zero emissions.
Three teaching staff, who are
all quali ed Duke of Edinburgh Assessors, used a mixture of foot (walking and running), bike, electric car (largely recharged from green energy sources) and even an electric boat to assess the expeditions of over 150 Bronze candidates and six Gold sailors. They covered hundreds of miles checking that the various groups being assessed met the twenty conditions of the DofE
Scheme, whilst themselves avoiding creating any air pollution or adding any carbon to the atmosphere.
Philip Pitcher, who organises the School’s annual Climate Week said, “Since we constantly ask the pupils to be more aware of their carbon footprint, it seems sensible that we try to do the same.”
Alex Brighton, who recently ran the London Marathon said, “The pupils look at me like I’m a bit mad when I turn up in running kit, but considering that we already know the route and aren’t carrying big packs, we’ve got it easy in comparison.”
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Independent Schools Magazine 9
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