Over the past 4 months, 152 students from the Transforming Education Norfolk group have working together on a project titled Ten Out of TEN, a project unique in it's design in that it was not only created for students, but also created by students.
This novel approach was the bright idea of Camouflaged Learning, an education engagement company based in Dereham, and it's one that has proven to be very successful with both schools and students, with schools reporting significant increases in student behaviour, attitude and attainment.
Sessions delivered over the last 4 months have included techniques to create courage and confidence, rigour and resilience, and co-operation and communication, with every aspect being delivered in an atmosphere of 'doing differently.' And today, after 17 heats, 52 students from Wayland Academy, Fakenham Academy and UTC Norfolk headed off to Eaton Vale to put to the test all that they had learned, in the most extreme way possible. In fact, it was literally sink or swim!
The Grand Final event at Eaton Vale was deliberately designed to position the students as far outside of their comfort zone as possible, and tasked them to solve an emergency survival scenario, namely being stranded on a desert island, with no food, no water, no shelter and no means of escape! To survive this challenge, students first had to use orienteering skills to forage for food, drink and supplies, before preparing their own food on self-engineered cookers (made from fizzy drink cans, scavenged from the bins!), then build their own wilderness survival shelter, in readiness for a coming storm. And, if the students survived the 'storm'- actually a soaking from Camouflaged Learning staff armed with high-powered water pistols- the students had to make their escape along Eaton Vales river in make shift boats made only from the cardboard boxes, bamboo and bin-bags they had found hidden around the site.
Ten Out of TEN has been a transformational experience for the students at Wayland. This project was a superb opportunity to build relationship between students and work as part of a diverse team rather than friendship groups, thereby overcoming barriers of age difference and forge inter-year friendships. 100% of the students involved have communicated a significant improvements in their confidence, some by more than 50%, and it has also resulted in a globally improved desire to want to come to school. Student surveys have also shown significant improvements in students’ perception of their own ability to problem solve and more importantly their ability to cope when things go wrong, which greatly supports curriculum changes and the new generation of GCSEs, which have significantly increased the emphasis on problem solving and independent thinking. This has been our second year involved with what has been a life changing opportunity for the students