19 May 2021
I.T. teacher and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award leader, Paul Moore, has completed his Lowland Leadership Award, which covers all aspects of group management involved in the DofE expeditions with Gold Award candidate students.
Here, Paul talks through his journey to gaining the award, including logging more than 20 treks across the country:
"Over the past two years, I’ve been preparing for the Lowland Leader Award. As DofE Coordinator at the College, I know how important good navigation and group management skills are on expeditions and wanted to achieve an official qualification from the National Governing Body for walking and climbing and mountain training.
Having completed my own Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards, I’ve been involved with DofE at the College since I started in 2009-10. The DofE is an excellent scheme which allows young people to develop many transferable skills as well as boosting confidence and resilience through sections including Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Residential as well as the Expeditions section that most people recognise.
The Lowland Leader Award is designed as a qualification for leaders managing groups out on walks in the countryside with a syllabus covering leadership and group management, walking skills, route planning, mapwork and route finding skills, equipment, hazards and emergency procedures, environmental and access issues. As a candidate, I had to complete a log consisting of a minimum of 20 walks across the UK of 4+ hours each and complete a 16 hour first aid course before reaching the assessment.
Back in February 2019, I took the opportunity to start my Lowland Leader Award with a training course around Rivington with the DofE North team. I was able to practice navigation and group management skills over two long walks and discuss elements of the Lowland Leader syllabus with the group. My assessment was originally planned for May 2020 but unfortunately, due to Covid and lockdowns, had to wait an extra year.
Last weekend I was finally able to attend an assessment near Barnsley and spent the weekend walking in the lovely Barnsley countryside with the DofE North team again, ultimately finishing on Sunday afternoon after two long walks with the great news that I had passed! I’m really grateful the College have supported me in achieving this qualification to show my skills and knowledge have been officially assessed against nationally-set standards. It’s important in my journey as a DofE leader to continually look to develop my skills for the benefit of the students who take part in the expeditions we run. Now that I have achieved the Lowland Leader Award, I will be continuing my Mountain Training journey by working towards building a log of Quality Mountain Days to prepare for the Mountain Leader Summer qualification."
Posted by The BSFC Blogger