Second one of these courses I ran for Glenwin Academies luckily situated next to the Velodrome where I will be working again in 2016 went better than I could have expected. Heres a round up for the last post of the year 2015. With a much bigger group of Year 11 (15/16 year olds) this time my classroom teaching abilities were challenged keeping the group on task and interested. Luckily Ive coached a few of the group on track bikes in the Velodrome so had a rapport with them, if they can ride brakeless fixed gear bikes they must be able to navigate! Maybe not… Reflecting on the way the first course ran I added more preparation for the solo competition on day 2, adding more compass use and activities that I’ve used this year in situations with Adults and older children. Combining the knowledge of how St Aldhelms Academy did on the same map course recently and by taking away some of the uncertainties students have- like explaining the control descriptions and sequence order better, has helped lead to a much better result set that Im sure the group, and the P.E staff will be happy with. After a day in school and visiting the course area, despite being dreadful weather Tuesday competition day yesterday had fully prepared them for the challenge.
Having said this when after warm-ups I started to assemble the keenest runners to go off at minute intervals, I still never really know whats going to happen and if they can focus enough to complete the courses well. Something about the fact its a solo challenge has to impact on them, and Im happy to say that whilst not beating the 30.50 time of fastest in the January event more of the group than last time completed all 22 controls on the 3.3 Kilometer course with 100% accuracy. Wessex Orienteering Club held an event over the same course in July 2014, heres those results the Top 8 of those Club runners out of 22 overall completed in 30 Minutes or less , with another 7 slower, and 7 with incorrect sequences. If we look at the results from Yesterday, 14 Year 11s from funnily enough also 22 competitors made no errors. Within a lot closer 20 minute finishing time frame than the Club event these students proved they can navigate independently around an Orange Standard Orienteering course and I congratulate them on their efforts. Thats four Secondary Schools and Seven groups from them in my network having enjoyed Orienteering sport for P.E assessments, weve only unfortunately 2 Terms left before the P.E curriculum changes again, maybe the Govt Education Secretary will see how Awesome Orienteering is and change that around to help me enable more groups to enjoy outdoors sport and adventure. Have a great Christmas Holiday everyone.