DofE Scotland runs its first additional support needs specific DofE Expedition Skills course

Photo of a group walking away on a forest trail      Photo of Amiee, Alan, and Chris of the DofE Scotland Operations Team all smiling

DofE Scotland recently delivered an additional support needs (ASN) specific DofE Expedition Skills (DES) course in Clackmannanshire and Fife. Nine leaders from across Scotland took advantage of this unique opportunity to network and learn about expeditions in a way that was relevant to the young people they work with. 

The DofE leaders who attended, brought to the course their passion and experience of working with young people with additional support needs. The DES course allowed us to put this into a DofE expedition context and have a lot of fun along the way. Simple navigation tips, picture route cards, games, and useful resources were among the key takeaways from the course. Additionally, they gained a broader understanding of appropriate expedition terrain for various types of additional needs.

The leaders came from a wide cross-section of the network and included representatives from school ASN departments, mainstream school provision, and from the voluntary sector. Over the three days of the course, much learning took place covering topics such as personal navigation skills, adapting navigation teaching for the young people, route choice, overnight options, and how best to fulfil condition 18 with young people who have particular needs around food and eating. 

As participant Simon Lees described it:It was a fantastic experience we had over the two outdoor learning days and the online event. The conversations that we had with the trainers and the other participants were invaluable… The whole experience enhanced my confidence with regards to navigation and taking pupils out on expeditions (whether ASN or non-ASN). It also gave me a lot of food for thought with regards to how literacy and numeracy outcomes can be achieved via DofE.

This course emphasised that no matter what a young person’s ability or background may be, anything is possible. Contact details were shared, and many meaningful connections were made. It is hoped that following this successful pilot, an ASN specific DES will become a regular feature of the DofE Scotland training calendar. Please register your interest by emailing [email protected].

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