The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme has introduced a potential ‘game changer’ for schools wishing to continue with their expeditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and have allowed AAPs, like us, to think ‘outside the box’! These temporary changes will be in place until 31st July 2021 (possibly extended to 2022) and may be of some interest to you!
The expedition element has always been centred on teamwork rather than walking and navigation. We have therefore developed a two day Bronze expedition that meets the 20 conditions (taking in to account the current temporary changes), that does not require the participants to leave the school grounds! This can be completed over a weekend, weekdays or during the school term as part of the curriculum. We can also complete the process without the need for a practice expedition, and our Assessors will complete the assessor reports so that the participants will gain the full award and certificate! Participants can also return home at the end of each day!
How we propose to complete this:
The two days will comprise of a series of team challenges, which will be run by our Assessors, who are highly skilled at delivering these activities, in addition to their normal DofE responsibilities. Participants will navigate their way around school grounds using an orienteering style map of the area.
At each team challenge, our Assessor will be there ready to provide the ‘challenge brief’ and then step back allowing the team to plan, undertake and review the challenge together. At the end of each challenge, our Assessor will debrief the team asking questions such as:
- Which role did each team member take during the activity?
- How did you communicate? (This may have been a blindfolded activity!)
- What were the successes?
- What didn’t work so well?
- Would you do anything differently if you did it again?
- What might you change when you plan for the next challenge?
- Would you use any of the planning skills in everyday life!?
Expedition Aim: “To inspire young people to develop initiative and a spirit of adventure and discovery, by planning and completing a self-sufficient journey, as part of a team”.
What is a journey?
Restricted Spaces Expeditions aren’t just about distance or the outdoors, but about the learning journey that young people will undertake whilst working towards a defined aim. Teams will show progress along their expedition journey by completing a series of team challenges that involve navigational skills and physical movement. We will facilitate challenges that require the participants to make decisions, problem solve and work together as part of a team. Decision-making will have real consequences, in a similar way to ‘traditional’ expeditions! If they make mistakes, they will have to work out a strategy to rectify these errors! - This is the journey!
This Expedition meets the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme timescales for Bronze which states: 2 Days and 6 hours of planned activity each day.
How will we Supervise / Assess these Expeditions?
Supervision should be remote! - Teams must feel that they can work challenges out for themselves, and that a member of staff won’t step in the minute things don’t go to plan! The hour long challenges have been developed to provide enough time for an initial brief and post challenge debrief from the Assessor, however allowing the participants/teams to complete the challenge on their own. Our Assessors are experienced outdoor practitioners and very much used to delivering these type of team building activities. Teams will be debriefed at the end of each challenge to promote growth and development throughout the expedition and avoid long winded discussions at the end of the day.
A sample programme (see below) has been provided to give an overview on how the Expedition will be delivered. This can be adapted for as many, or as few, teams as you have!
If you feel that our Restricted Spaces Expedition Model would suit your Bronze DofE provision during the current climate, please do get in touch. We can tailor the experience to suit your individual requirements!
Download the Restricted Spaces Expedition Model - Sample Programme (Bronze Award) here: