D of E Gold Expedition Practise

May 20, 2022

Students outdoors orienteering with staff

Our students have returned from their Gold Expedition Practise to the Langdale Valley in the Lakes District!  The groups were made up of nine students aged 18 – 25,  from our Lancaster campus and from our Cumbria satellites in Barrow and Carlisle.

Rachel Diss (Occupational Therapist & DofE Manager) said:

“The students from Beaumont College have a range of additional needs including physical mobility difficulties and have to use a wheelchair to participate, Autism Spectrum Disorder, finding it difficult to adjust to the changes and not being in their usual routine.  Some students have Downs Syndrome and can find expedition physically and emotionally challenging.  Having said all that, these groups absolutely achieved their aim.  They were keen to carry out the tasks independently, working in groups with unfamiliar people.  They each developed their navigational skills, their self-care motivation, their camping skills, putting up tents and setting out their sleeping areas, and always a team favourite is preparing and cooking their dinner.  Many of these skills they practise through their college timetable in outdoor adventure and cooking sessions.  The students greatly supported one another and completed their practise expedition with confidence and pride.

The staff team were able to back away and facilitate the students developing their expedition skills, their relationships as a team and their self-belief.  Great Langdale campsite was a fantastically accessible location for the teams, being safe and user friendly for their additional needs.  Langdale Valley is also well developed with accessible pathways along the whole length of the valley, sat in the middle of one of the most spectacular ranges of mountains in the world.  The students are now keen to return and achieve their final 4 day Expedition next month, helping them complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award whilst at Beaumont College.  The benefits of doing this programme, cascade far beyond these few days into the skills and independent capabilities our students can use in their future lives.”

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