All of the children at Wings Cumbria are given the opportunity to take part in the extensive and adventurous Outdoor Education offer. They offer the John Muir Award as an introduction, with a focus on exploring, discovering, and conserving wild places.
They explore a wide variety of wild places, from forests and woodlands to open fellside and there’s even opportunities on the school grounds; where they have a dedicated space to practice Bushcraft and Forest School skills including fire lighting, tool use and cooking.
They currently hold the RHS School Gardening Level 3 Award for their work on the school garden and are building on the Bronze Green Tree Award and aiming to complete the Gold Award by the summer.
Building on the success of last year where 3 children achieved their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award; children in Year 9 are offered the chance to complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award consists of 4 sections: Physical, Skill, Volunteering and the Expedition. As part of the Volunteering section, children from Wings have been assisting the Wardens at Haybridge Nature Reserve in the Rusland Valley carrying out valuable conservation work across the reserve. Children from other year groups have also visited Haybridge and together with DofE participants have helped to build steps on a woodland path, maintain hides, coppice hazel and have made a meaningful impact on the reserve. Activities for the other sections this year range from Football and Rugby to practicing their cooking skills. All the children involved are particularly excited for their Bronze Expedition and spending a night in a tent!
Wings Cumbria is lucky to have both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales on its doorstep. Using this natural playground students have developed their leadership, fitness, teamwork as well as navigation skills working towards a Bronze NNAS Award. Together they are working through the Wainwrights (214 hills that were featured in Alfred Wainwright’s Guidebooks) having climbed Loughrigg, Coniston Old Man and Pike of Blisco this year already. To improve navigation skills needed for the higher fells they have been practicing on lower-level Orienteering courses. Although Outdoor Education teaches the children practical skills that can be used in the real world and in their later life the real value comes from the effect it can have on their self-esteem, mental health, and behaviour. The children regularly feedback in assemblies about their achievements and are rightly proud of them. Some of this feedback has included one young person calling the day we climbed Pike of Blisco “The best day of his life”.
We are thoroughly inspired!