On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, the Lower Sixth CCF Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who are undertaking the BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development in the Community, headed out to their Adventurous Training Unit practicals.
This consisted of a day’s canoeing and a day’s climbing, under the guidance of Rock the Boat Activities. Epsom had 18 pupils taking part on each day, providing them with an opportunity to develop their team dynamic, stretch and challenge themselves with adventurous activity, as well as complete the practical requirements of the qualification. They also had the opportunity to reflect on their leadership styles and consider how best to support their respective teams in a given task.
On Tuesday, students travelled to Shepperton Lock, where they paired up and took to the water to develop their paddling skills and to practise how to rescue a capsized canoe. Their efforts were being assessed across the day, and everyone met the criteria for the British Canoeing Discover Award, which certifies the development of their decision-making and practical skills on the water.
The group worked hard and supported each other enthusiastically, with some great teamwork on display in the dynamic ‘Red Arrows’ formation challenges and the frisbee pursuit. Three students nobly volunteered to take a dip on the final home stretch and were able to put their re-boarding skills to good use!
On Thursday, the group travelled to the K2 climbing wall in Crawley, where they had a full day on the climbing and bouldering walls, learning how to boulder safely and navigate the auto belay systems. They then built on these initial skills and learnt the correct knots for tying on and manual belay safety procedures, in order to then act as belay for each other on the walls.
Each element provided a superb range of challenges, from traversing all three walls of the bouldering room without coming off (especially tricky over one particular slab, but they persevered!), to the timed challenges of the auto-belay walls (8.6 seconds was the record) and head-to-head competitions on the face-to-face wall, to the demands of scaling the full 12 metres of the higher sections. The group were unswerving in their good humour and support for one another and impressed the Rock the Boat staff with their enthusiasm and tenacity.
Mrs Jeens, who accompanied the group, said: “They were a tremendous two days of teamwork, and the group should be very proud of their efforts and resulting performance.”