C26 (Y9) Bronze DofE

C26 (Y9) across both schools have made a the first steps toward achieving their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award!

Students, with the support and guidance of dedicated DofE Leaders and Crew Leaders, will spend time each week working on a programme of activities which include:

  • Skills: students will be undertaking a 3 month First Aid programme.
  • Volunteering: students will spend 6 months raising money for their Crew charities, becoming reading mentors to younger students and litter picking around our community.
  • Physical: 3 months of undertaking any sporting activity done as part of an organised club out of school, or by joining any of the after school clubs which will be launching soon!)
  • Expedition: planning for and undertaking 2 days/1 night hiking expedition (dependant on Covid restrictions at the time).

Find out more here!

By the end of the academic year students should have done enough to have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Students are expected to achieve all sections of their Bronze award programme unless they have a valid reason not to.

The DofE programme forms a crucial part of the Trust’s Outdoor Curriculum, and we are extremely grateful to the FXP for their continued support and fundraising efforts to ensure that we are able to purchase the Bronze welcome packs and enrol every student onto the DofE award scheme.  The welcome packs will be delivered to your home addresses after students have registered on the eDofE app and include a handy discount card for outdoor specialist shops!

If you have any questions specifically about the Bronze award, please contact your child’s Crew Leader, or you can contact me (Angella Parker) direct: [email protected]

*Just a note to add we have plans in place for C24 and C25 to complete the expedition element of their DofE award later this year! 

DofE: Walking on Sunshine!

What a wonderful start to the term for our Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Walking Group! We have finally been allowed to stretch our legs beyond the school grounds so this week we ventured out for a brisk walk around the lake, where we spotted ducklings, cygnets and some massive Koi carp!

We managed to walk the full lake loop in just over 48 minutes… I wonder if we can beat that time next week?

This is Week 7 of our DofE physical activity programme which our Bronze and Silver participants take part in every Friday afternoon.  The other activities on offer are football, dodgeball, rounders and basketball.

As a general update: last year’s Bronze participants (current Y10) are in the process of having their voluntary, physical and skills sections signed off. They will receive a Certificate of Achievement. Once they complete their Expedition, they will receive the full award (their practice Silver walk qualifies them for the full Bronze award).

We are currently planning how both groups can safely complete the Expedition element of the award and will provide an update soon.

A massive appreciation to our Y10 families who donated items and gifts for our Christmas Hampers.  Here are Silver DofE students Mackenzie and Thomas sorting out the boxes, which will be delivered to St John The Evangelist Church in Balby and The Trussell Trust at Christ Church next week.

We’re still accepting donations, but anything received after Monday 15th December will be donated to our school’s Kindness Boxes instead.

Thank you.

Y10/E24 Christmas food hampers

Our Y10 Silver DofE students have been unable to undertake their usual charity fundraising activities this year, so they’ve decided to create food hampers for our local food banks.

We’re all very aware of the financial impact the various lockdown/tier 3 restrictions have had on our community, especially on those who have been furloughed or are self employed and unable to work.  So, in addition to the staple non-perishable items (cereals; tinned and packeted foods; tea/coffee/juice) we are specifically asking for donations of those ‘treat’ items that some families may have to go without this year.

For example:

  • nice biscuits
  • chocolates/selection boxes
  • Christmas crackers
  • mince pies, cakes, etc.
  • small gift sets (e.g. hand cream/deodorant)

If you are able to contribute, please can you send items in to be passed on to your child’s Crew Leader by Monday 15th December.

The hampers will be donated to St John The Evangelist Church in Balby and The Trussell Trust at Christ Church during the last week of term.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Kindness boxes:

The school are also collecting items for our kindness boxes, which we’ll be putting together to support families within our XP Trust. See this blog post for more information and, again, please donate if you can.

Thank you.


XP16 Crew Day

What an amazing day we had on Tuesday!

We started the day with a check in, by looking at images of friends gathered around fires, images of marshmallow being toasted over campfires and commenting on the feelings these images evoke. Most students thought of friendship, happiness, and a sense of togetherness. And this is exactly what I was hoping to achieve by bringing all the XP16 students together for the day as crew.

Our task for the day was to build XP & XP East’s very own fire circle. An outdoor area where crews (staff & students) can come together to engage in shared experiences outdoors.

Our aim for the day was to have FUN! I wanted the students to work together, communicate, grapple, and grow in ways other than just academically but that are just as important.

2020 has been tough for A Level students and it doesn’t look like its going to get any easier as we get closer to the final exams. There’s a sense amongst them that the road ahead is a long and tough one and with the added pressure of the pandemic, feelings of isolation and loneliness and in some cases, what’s the point?

So the reset button was pressed. The student got a day to recharge, laugh, learn new skills, play with their friends and sit around a campfire that they designed and built, drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.

And what a fire circle they built! A legacy for the XP16 students to say they helped creat the beginning of Forest School for staff and students of XP & XP East schools. Well done guys, I enjoyed every minute with you all, and look forward to spending more crew time with you.

We even had some of their teachers come and join us for a brew and a chat.

Check out the photos below which really sum up our day.

Bronze and Silver DofE update

Here’s a quick update on how our Bronze and Silver students are progressing with their DofE award.


Both groups are well on their way to completing the skills section, and will be demonstrating their First Aid skills and knowledge at the end of term to their other year group bubble Crews at a mini Presentation of Learning event (hopefully they’ll not have to use their skills in ‘real life’ anytime soon!)


Students are also about to start work on their volunteering section, where they will be undertaking various school community service activities, such as litter picking.  In addition to this, all Crews have chosen a charity to support this year. There would usually be various fund raising activities planned across the year, but CV19 restrictions mean that this is going to be a bit of a challenge as they can’t do the usual things like bake sales, etc. But we’ll do what we can!

DofE aside, we as a school think it’s very important to support our wider community, so Silver students across both schools will be collecting items for Christmas Food Hampers, to be donated to our local food bank.  They’ll also be designing/sending Christmas cards to local care homes. These activities will be done during Crew’s Mindful Monday sessions.


We are more than aware that many out of school clubs that would usually count towards the physical section have been disrupted.  Students will still be able to submit evidence of what they’ve done so far, and we will support them by providing in-school activities so that everyone is able to complete this section.


We are hopeful that we will be able to run the outdoor expeditions next year, depending on the situation and national restrictions in place at the time.  The DofE have made changes to the qualifying criteria meaning that participants will be able to gain the full award without the need for overnight stays, and hikes will probably start and finish at school.  The Expedition Team are excited to start planning and exploring some local walking routes!

That’s all for now, but if you have any questions about the temporary adjustments to the Bronze and Silver awards please visit the DofE website or contact [email protected] (Outdoor Expeditions Lead) or [email protected] (DofE Activities Coordinator)

Thank you.

DofE Bronze Award Update

In April we told you about changes to our DofE delivery in this blog post.

We now know that students won’t be able to complete the Outdoor Expedition within the original timescales set.

Unfortunately, this means that our Y9 students won’t be awarded the full Bronze Award this academic year.

However, DofE still want to recognise and celebrate participants’ achievements so far – and rightly so! – and will be awarding a Certificate of Achievement to all those who complete the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections before the end of the year (31/12/20 is the official date but we will be setting our own school deadline, which is likely to be much earlier!)

Students will receive the full Bronze Award once they have completed the Outdoor Expedition, and we already have plans in place to get this done as soon as we can!

It is important to note that students will NOT receive the full Bronze Award if they don’t have the 2020 Certificate of Achievement before the end of the year.

We really hope you continue to support and encourage your child through their DofE journey.

Here’s the WHY:

Outdoor Education is a huge part of the XPE experience; it starts with Outward Bound and carries on through fieldwork and the DofE Awards we offer from Y9.

DofE in particular helps students build key life skills – not least compassion, resilience, and teamwork – reinforcing what our CHARACTER TRAITS, HOWLS and CREW.  We want our students to be the best versions of themselves, and truly believe that DofE helps them to achieve this.

So, here’s a quick summary of where we’re at at XPE:






Students have completed the Volunteering section.  This was done in school with Y9 students becoming Volunteer Reading Mentors for Y7.


We have asked all Y9 students to complete the St John Ambulance First Aid Course. Details have been uploaded onto the DofE Google Classroom.

I’d like to give a massive appreciation to the the following students who have been working through the weekly First Aid tasks that are being set for them:

Thomas H, Ben, Aran K, Rhys, Summer, Maclaren, Kaiden, Keisha, Theone, Eleanore and Chloe

Thank you all so much – I’m really impressed with what you’ve all done so far and would definitely feel safe being out on expedition with you guys!   

There are still quite a few of students who need to join the classroom, or who have joined but have yet to start – it is really important that they make a start as soon as possible and get these tasks done!

Many students were using out of school activities as evidence for this section.  However, once we went into lockdown, these activities were stopped and some students haven’t been able to collect enough evidence to complete this section.

However, students still need to continue with evidencing some form of physical activity and we have made some suggestions of what they could easily be getting on with: walking, running, gardening, Joe Wicks’ daily PE lesson on YouTube to name a few.

These sessions can be added to any which were previously recoded before lockdown (so you don’t have to start the 12 hours again!) but you MUST agree this with your Crew Leader. New evidence sheets are on the DofE Classroom.  

Submitting Evidence

All evidence will be submitted via the eDofE mobile app.  It’s really easy to use and I’ll be in touch with each Crew to talk them through the process.

Thank you. 

DofE with a difference

Following on from this previous post about continuing with the DofE Award at home, we’d just like to explain some changes we’ve made to our programme delivery.  This information is mainly aimed at those doing their Bronze award (Y9 students) but it might also help those doing the Silver and Gold awards, too.

As you know, the Bronze Award is made up of 4 different sections:

  • Physical
  • Volunteering
  • Skills
  • Outdoor expedition

Obviously, the outdoor expedition is on hold but students can still carry on working towards achieving the other 3 sections. We would like all Y9 students to follow this adapted programme – Crew Leaders will be in touch to discuss.

In the meantime, click through the slides below to find out more:

DofE Update: getting ready for the outdoors!

We’re getting to the exciting part of our Bronze DofE – the outdoor expedition!  A few of the DofE team attended a 2-day Outdoor First Aid course at Peat Rigg, tackling different emergency scenarios right in the middle of Storm Ciara (we’re hoping for better weather conditions on our actual hikes!)  You’ll be pleased to know that we all passed.

So far Crew Finch have completed their skills section and are well on the way to completing their volunteering section (reading with Y7 students.)

Crew have already chosen their hiking groups – they’ll be walking in two groups of six rather than all together – and the nice part of this for me was hearing them say that they wanted to be in groups with those members of Crew who they wouldn’t usually spend time with so that they could have the chance to bond with them a little bit.

We want to make sure that students are fully prepared for the qualifying expedition element, so our Friday afternoon sessions are now fully dedicated to preparing for the outdoor expedition and will cover such things as:

  • Basic first aid (including CPR)
  • Menu planning
  • Stove safety/cooking
  • Packing rucksacks
  • Route planning
  • Codes of conduct

Key dates:

  • 14th Feb – Medical consent forms to be returned to me please!
  • 3rd April – Kit check (we’ll send a list home with students)
  • 23rd April – Practice hike (day only)
  • 9th-10th July – Qualifying expedition (overnight)

I’ll be handing over the DofE blogging to Crew so that they can keep you updated on their planning and progress.

Crew Shackleton: that floating sensation!

What an amazing day abseiling in Monsal Dale, Derbyshire. Feeling a little sore from the 8 mile walk yesterday, Crew Shackleton tackled the short walk to the bridge we’d be abseiling from and then confronted their fears with courage and compassion for each other.

For many, this was a new experience, so hats off to everyone who gave it a go!

See the highlights from our morning…

Orienteering was excellent in the afternoon after a brief lunch stop. Unfortunately we were too busy dodging cyclists, checking out lime kilns, reading maps, looking for clues and attempting to trick Crew Ali with cunning decoys….that I forgot to take photos. But take my word for it, it was a great afternoon.

Well done, Crew Shackleton!