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Whole Day Enterprises

Whole Day Enterprises

It was heartening to be able to run Whole Day Enterprises once again in person after the lockdowns, with pupils getting involved in a range of activities including CCF exercises over the whole weekend, community action projects and onsite challenges. 

Based in Dorset we are fortunate to have so many opportunities for outdoor pursuits within our reach. Over 120 cadets from the Army and Marines sections of the CCF travelled to the infamous training ground of the Royal Marines in Lympstone for an exercise overnight patrolling into “enemy territory” and receiving lessons on army rations and living in the field. Camouflage and concealment skills were practiced along with close target recces and patrolling with snap ambushes with paint ball guns were all rounded off with the legendary Royal Marines Assault Course!   Meanwhile the Royal Navy contingent travelled to Portsmouth on Sunday morning, staying overnight at the Thornley barracks near Portsmouth which gave an opportunity for our NCOs to develop their leadership skills through drill practice.  Kayaking on the Chichester Canal was a new skill for some of the cadets and it was great to see their progress under the expert tuition of the RN instructors.  On Monday the group headed to HMS Collingwood where we undertook a series of leadership tasks on the low ropes before finishing with a daunting assault course.  Again it was great to see our Fourth Formers being challenged but succeeding.

Other enterprises included a mountain biking expedition for 25 pupils in tandem with the pre-Gold DofE training and a DofE Bronze expedition in the New Forest, whilst a further eight pupils were in the Purbecks walking, camping and kayaking, fifteen pupils enjoyed Clay Pigeon Shooting in Blandford and seventeen pupils travelled to Dancing Ledge in the Purbecks to hone their climbing skills whilst a further seventeen were secreted into a Dorsetshire wood to practise some survival skills.  Seven pupils took part in preliminary diving in the pool for the PADI Open Water course which starts in earnest in early November.

Community activities included pupils spending the morning in four different schools acting as a ‘task force’. They visited Hillbourne School and helped to pack away their library into boxes prior to them moving to a new building over the half term break, Heathlands School where they weeded and planted bulbs in their nature garden, Christ the King School where they painted parts of the school that were in need of a new coat of paint and Wimborne First School where they worked on a memorial garden for a student who had passed away.  These were in addition to all the regular weekly Monday afternoon community action projects, with pupils out and about in the local area helping at hospices, charity shops and schools, plus the popular Bridge Club held in the Old Library.  Also staying onsite, our new Shells enjoyed taking part in a whole day Crystal Maze activity including lateral thinking, research skills, team working challenges and a quiz to help them learn their way around more of Canford.  

As part of our work with school, the Global Connections Monday activity group saw nine Sixth Formers travel to Castle Court school to run a junior Model UN event introducing pupils to the function and work of the UN with a focus on the situation in Afghanistan.  Each Canfordian represented a delegate state and was joined by junior pupils.  Nine groups worked together to write a resolution to resolve some of the issues before each nation then signed the resolutions which they felt best suited their needs and the wider world's. In the afternoon the main debate was held and South Korea's resolution provided the starting point as it received the most signatories. Overall, there were three amendments to the resolution before it was successfully passed.  This was an excellent way to support local pupils in their knowledge of global political issues, develop skills in constructing an influential argument and the power of effective presentation.

It was another varied, challenging and rewarding Whole Day Enterprises for all our pupils, and wonderful to be able to involve so many members of the wider community.

Dr David Neill, Deputy Head Co-Curricular, commented:

“Seeing our Whole Day Enterprises in action once again reminded us of just how valuable this twice yearly off timetable programme is, both for our own pupils and also as part of our extensive community action work.  It is a clear example of Canford’s vision for every pupil to explore, to express and to excel and to make a difference to their own lives, and to the lives of others.”