The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme continues to be an important part of the school’s wider opportunity programme and I am pleased to report that interest in the Awards is as active as ever at both Bronze and Silver levels. Regular updates on our progress will be given in the termly school newsletter 'Ballard Bugle.'
Mr David Blackstone
D of E co-ordinator
There are a series of regular weekend practice or live expeditions at both Bronze and Silver levels.
Bronze participants enjoy a term of Outdoor Activities, including a day hike in the New Forest, Canadian canoeing on the Beaulieu River, climbing on the walls at Calshot and track cycling.
Organising the D of E programme on the computer (eDofE) is the most recent innovation to the scheme. Participants answer on screen questions about their choices in each section and are then able to upload photographs, assessors` reports, videos and other evidence of their choosing. On completion of an award, participants may then opt for a hard copy of the computerized log book to keep as a permanent record of their achievement.
Although no camping happens during the winter, training days out in the forest provide opportunities for participants to practise navigation, to develop their teamwork skills and to realise their level of fitness! The silver group`s training also included dealing cheerfully and successfully with inclement weather as it rained continuously for seven hours!
In addition to the expedition section, participants have begun to arrange and to take part in the volunteering, skills and physical recreation sections. To date activities range from teaching swimming to playing the guitar, from hockey to helping in charity shops whilst plans are afoot to incorporate working with animals and to assist with conservation in the New Forest.
Camping comes to the fore during the summer term, though the bronze groups will be out before that, immediately the clocks change. Our D of E group is popular and thriving, requiring voluntary adult assistance to keep it running smoothly. If any parent is interested in helping, please do get in touch. You will be most welcome, though longer term volunteering is more practical than short term to make full use of the initial training.