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At Woodhouse Grove, we champion individuality, understand that every Grovian is different and value the uniqueness of each and every one of our pupils. With this in mind, we nurture Grovian Values in our students in a number of different ways. This week, we have the first of two blogs – each discussing the values of Enterprising & Resourceful – but approaching them from very different perspectives.
Liz Farley teaches both English and Outdoor Education. In her blog she describes how the great outdoors offers pupils a wonderful opportunity to develop and grow into their best Enterprising & Resourceful selves.
Enterprising & Resourceful
Liz Farley, English and Outdoor Education
My favourite time in the academic year is D of E (Duke of Edinburgh) expedition season. Dotted throughout May and June, you will find be-rucksacked, and possibly bedraggled, students trudging through the Dales looking up quizzically from their OS map at the hills around them. Then pointing meaningfully at contours and symbols as if to suggest that they know where they are.
In D of E season, a group of Year Ten students, some more willingly than others, carry everything they need for two days and walk for six hours a day on a route that they have planned. They have to function outdoors. They are away from: amenities, necessities, motorised transport and [gasp] broadband, wifi and 4G for 48 hours. For 48 blissful hours there are no quick answers on Google, no immediate entertainment on YouTube and no gossip or drama on Snapchat.
For many, “Resourceful and Enterprising” may mean setting up a business from the pennies in their pocket, or building a raft from twigs and twine to escape a desert island. What it essentially means is, the timeless British quality of – making the most of it. Using what is available to solve a problem, create a solution or generate interest. And it is in D of E season that year after year I watch increasingly digitally-dependent teenagers generate humour, shared experiences, invent games, make three course dinners (and breakfasts!) on a camping stove and re-route navigational ‘misreadings’. Being outdoors peels away the layers of teenage school life and allows their human spirit of enterprise and resourcefulness to sing through. Being away from the classroom and away from the internet, their innate qualities, unfettered by modern technology come to the fore.
They are inventive in their solutions to dealing with forgotten kit, lost kit, wet and muddy kit. They deal with broken bits, lost footpaths and an evening of entertainment on a campsite with no screens. They work together; for each other. They struggle together, find solutions together and smile together.
So, the next time you’re out in the Dales and see a gaggle of rucksacks on legs wobbling about, you can know that these young people are having the time of their lives – they just might not know it yet!