On Friday the 15th of November, the students of Ditton Park Academy set out on an adventure to Herschel Park – Slough as part of their ‘Play Your Part' day. The Rising Futures Programme uses these trips for the students to collaborate and work with each other and to understand in depth their talent toolbox talents; confidence, communication, resilience and self-awareness.
Even though the sky was overcast, and it threatened to rain, nothing could dampen their spirits as they walked towards the park, excited about what was in store for them.
After a long walk of more than a mile the students were tired, but as soon as they met Ian the park ranger, they forgot all about it! Ian explained in detail about the task which was to cut out all the brambles using shears and loppers and rake them into a big pile. He said by cutting the brambles, the students will encourage other birds to find a nest in the park and how the cut brambles could be used as nests by certain types of bees. The students were very excited and felt proud that they’d be able to help the environment. Ready to go the students chose which tool to use first and got to work!
They soon realised that to get through the brambles they’d need to work as a team. A lesson the students quickly learnt was the importance of communication in teamwork. They needed to talk to other students who may not be their main friends in order to get the job done. The students showed very good communication skills and began to grow their confidence. They broke down the task and realised by focusing on separate parts of the job, they could complete the overall task quicker. It was lovely to see!
Eventually some the students became tired from the hard work. Park Ranger Ian and the Yes Futures Coaches gave the students a new job of hunting for litter. Students had to fight to get through some of the brambles committing to the job despite the challenges. They showed high levels of resilience in this task.
Another group were tasked to rake leaves into piles – which naturally turned into a competition to see who could rake the biggest pile! To see some of the less confident students transform into taking on new challenges and being competitive was wonderful! There was lots of laughter and idea generation about how to support the environment. To finish off, the students had a bit of fun and jumped in the massive piles they made.
After a long day of hard work, the students returned to school in high spirits. All had stories to share of the day’s successes, and we eager to talk to the new friends they made – even with the adult Yes Futures Coaches! The Yes Futures Team then provided lunch for everybody, which disappeared very quickly! The students then reflected on the day.
They identified the importance of teamwork, were thrilled that they made new friends, realised all of them showed resilience against the thorny brambles, and had improved their communication skills by talking to new people. They felt that they were confident when challenged and happy they had supported the local community.
Thank you to Ian from Herschel park for supporting us throughout the day, the students enjoyed their trip and had lot of fun!
To find out more about how your students could get involved with the Yes Futures Programmes, please contact Sophie, Impact Manager: email@example.com, 07908 687779 or visit our website.
If you're interested in becoming a Play Your Part partner, please contact Helena, Head of Programmes: firstname.lastname@example.org.