Old Buckenham Explorers

OBE’S, or Old Buckenham Explorers was founded three years ago. Its aim, very simply, is to develop all the skills – both physical and emotional – that children possess, and bring them to the fore at an earlier stage in their development. Children may excel in the classroom, music hall or on the sports field but not all children are given the chance to enhance those natural talents which play such a key part in their future lives. These skills – leadership, problem solving, self-reliance and teamwork – are the foundations of our curriculum-embedded OBE programme. We as teachers are all too familiar with pigeon holing students into being good at sport or academics or music, but do we really know the potential of every child and what they can achieve?

The OBE programme is broken into three modules which increase in challenge as the children progress through the year groups, starting in Years 3/4.

The first module, ‘Skills’ covers the acquisition of specific skills such as  map reading, orienteering, basic shelter building, fire safety, food preparation, first aid and swim survival. The second module, ‘Physical’ entails challenges such as biathlons which include a swimming, walking and climbing component. The third module, ‘Community’ sees children undertaking fund raising and team building projects, helping local community projects. all children participate in the programme and all children receive a Diploma at the programmes conclusion.

Children undoubtedly struggle at some stage during the OBE programme, yet this is a huge and planned part of their development. Their character and ultimately their leadership skills will emerge, confidence will grow, and they will learn through experience the highs and lows of outdoor education. Some may find that particular skills will aid them in the future both in their senior school and in the work place, some may just use their skills on the family holiday or in school. Irrespective of this, they all know that at some point in the programme they will be challenged both physically and emotionally more than they ever have been before. Knowing ones limits is a useful tool to acquire and one we purposefully include in OBEs – knowing how to push past those limits is the key to self-confidence and huge personal development.

Our belief is that the enrichment children gain from the OBE programme filters down into other areas of the school, giving the children more confidence in the knowledge that they have already gained some very valuable life skills.

“I never thought I could push myself so far, this has been the best experience of my life”

“I can’t believe that I have just done it! Even my parents have never done that before!”

“I will never forget this experience I feel so proud of myself”

These were all quotes from year seven boys and girls who had just finished a 26mile walk in sub-zero conditions last year.

 

Nick Drake

Director of Sport

 

Year 8 OBE’s Training Expedition

18.5 km in six hours.

Year 6 work together to complete their Bronze OBEs Expedition

Year 6 complete orienteering challenges, build shelters and solve navigation problems during their overnight expedition in Thetford Forest.

Swim and Survive

This week the Year 7 boys and girls have started their Silver Swim Survive and Save badges as part of their OBE diploma. They will be learning new rescue techniques, learning about basic first aid and after care, whilst also improving their water based fitness […]

Year 8 20 mile Training Walk

On Friday last week Year 8 set off for their first of three training sessions for the summer expedition. The aim was simply to cover the distance whilst practicing their basic camp craft and navigation skills. At 08.45 the group mounted the mini busses ready […]

Food Preparation

Question: How do you poach an egg on the camp fire? Answer: With a potato!   Some of our young an old OBE’s had their first chance to do some camp fire cooking , using a potato and  an egg. This makes the perfect poached […]