John Muir Award – New Forest Exploration

Mar 14, 2022




This is the Sixth year Vandyke Upper School has organised this trip to obtain the John Muir Award and it still remains the Geography department’s favourite trip.

Once again the students were a pleasure to spend 4 days with. They conducted themselves in a respectful and fun manner throughout the experience; showing consideration to each other and building their team work skills. The instructors and staff for the centre commented once again on the polite nature of our students and their respect for all staff.

To explore the wild spaces of the New Forest, staff and students carried out morning and night time walks, high ropes, low ropes and scavenger hunts, as well as learning how to survive through shelter building, bush craft and the campfire. After the storms last week there was lots of conservation work to be done with clearing ponds and moving fallen down trees. Students did this with enthusiasm and without complaint, despite it being hard labour and physically challenging.

Each evening students completed their conservation booklets before their evening activities which helped them to consolidate how each activity met the criteria of the award.  On the final night our presentation section of the award was delayed due to intermittent powercuts, but each lodge occupied their time in the dark with fun activities such as hide and seek, the cup song, ghost stories and just dance.

Congratulations to all the students and staff who completed the award this year; Vandyke Upper School is the only school in Central Bedfordshire currently achieving this award; it is something students can all be very proud of.

Mrs Moore, Miss Smith, Mrs Lord, Miss Ilyas, Mr Heley and Mr Lee

Post by Angela