Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award Challenge – Cycling Practice Expedition

On the 20th – 21st October 2016 students from years 10 and 11 participated in an overnight practice cycling expedition in Hertfordshire.  Prior to the trip six students were taught how to ride a bike with experienced staff from Urban Adventure Base in Mile End Park who also led the expedition along with school staff and a parent governor. The group also undertook a day long cycle ride as part of the trip preparation.

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The group set off by public transport to Broxbourne where everyone was equipped with a bike, helmet and equipment before setting off on their cycle ride along the canal route and through a section of Lee Valley park to Cheshunt Youth Hostel where the group were staying for the night.

Some of the Passers-by gave way to our 24 bikes long snaking formation as we weaved our way along the narrow tow paths.  The boys learned how to be more respectful in the quieter natural environment by limiting their noise levels by not shouting to each other.

After lunch the group was divided into smaller groups to participate in an orienteering cycling exercise where they made use of their team work, mapping and navigation skills.

Back at the lodge some of the group members helped prepare the evening meal. Later on, others helped with the washing up, drying, cleaning and putting away.

The final event of the evening was a walking orienteering activity within the local area using flashlights before returning to the lodge, performing the final congregational prayer of the night, and having hot chocolate before bed time.

We rose early for Fajr salah and suratul Kahf.  We had a hearty full vegetarian breakfast before packing up, stripping our beds and ensuring that the place was left clean and tidy before getting back onto our bikes for a ride to historical Waltham Abbey followed by another orienteering cycling activity.

We returned to the Youth hostel to have our packed lunch, listen to the khutbah delivered by the head teacher and perform our salah in an enclosed grassed area.

We then embarked on the final leg and f our cycling journey back to Broxbourne where we returned the bikes and kit, and had a debrief before setting off for our train journey home.

The trip provided a good opportunity for students to develop their confidence, team work, cycling, navigation, problem solving and life skills in new and challenging environments.  They will continue to work on and improve their learning leading up to a longer assessed expedition planed for July 2017 in shaa Allah.

Zainab Abdullah – Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator