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Exceptionally busy Service Weekend

13th October 2022

Service Weekend was exceptionally busy this year with an array of broad and diverse expeditions, activities and trips on offer.

The long weekend saw 231 pupils embarking on their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE), 130 were camping with CCF and 54 were working on their Voluntary Action tasks and challenges.

Oakhamians working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE awards enjoyed a variety of expeditions including canoeing down the River Great Ouse and the Grand Union Canal, cycling around the Chilterns or Norfolk and walking around Rutland or the Peak District. On the first day, the Silver cyclists covered 55km with an elevation gain of nearly 800m, which is a very impressive achievement. Gold sailors were at Rutland Sailing Club for four days staying in bunk rooms and cooking on Trangia stoves. They practised sailing on a mixture of dinghies and keelboats and were on the water each day with theory sessions in the evenings. Daniel Greenfield, Teacher of Geography who accompanied the Bronze cyclists to Norfolk said, “Despite being tired they demonstrated great determination and all completed the expedition. The experience and lessons learnt will put them in a great position ahead of their Rutland expedition in March”

A variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, from visiting the LOROS Hospice, and carrying out bag packing in ASDA to raise money for them, completing a First Aid Course and leafleting for Pepper’s Safe place, a local mental health group. Pupils sorted and packed donations for the Foodbank donating 3/4 of a tonne, up 250kgs on last year’s effort and had a ‘Phab’ afternoon inviting young people with disabilities to watch a movie. The volunteers also hosted a Harvest Party, which was much enjoyed by Rutland’s elderly community.

CCF recruits from Forms 4 to 7 ventured to STANTA in Norfolk and the Peaks for an action-packed weekend of military activities. They learnt how to build improvised shelters or bashes as well as handle weapons and fire them safely. They also climbed, abseiled, caved, canoed and scrambled.

Form 6 had an Adventure Day in Derbyshire trying out all kinds of activities and learning new skills.

Meanwhile back at the School 260 Upper School pupils worked with Transform Society UK on a project trying to come up with solutions to the cost of living crisis in Rutland. Seventh-formers also sharpened their public speaking skills with training from Smirk Experiences.

Form 3 had the opportunity to hear a talk by Paralympians Danielle Brown MBE and Jordan J Bryan on equality and diversity. Form 2 went on a Geography/Religion and Philosophy trip to Leicester, Form 1 enjoyed a Middle Years Programme day looking at sustainability and Lower 1 had a visit from Clan Whulfar Vikings.

There was also a Lower School Open Morning and Boarder Taster Weekend!

James Robinson Deputy Head (Co-Curricular) said, “The weekend showcases what makes Oakham School such an incredibly special school. We dedicate so much time to these valuable and exciting opportunities because pupils not only learn so much about themselves from these experiences, but they have a great time and bond with their fellow pupils. The extra organisation, effort and energy from Oakham’s dedicated and hardworking staff, is truly inspiring and helps to deliver an unparalleled breadth of co-curricular opportunities.”

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