The William Pike Challenge Award
* Alfriston School in Auckland
* Westport North School in Westport
* Loburn School in Rangiora
* Ohoka School, Kaiapoi
* Nelson College Preparatory School, Nelson
* Arohena School, rural Waikato
* Rosmini College, Auckland
* Brookby School, Auckland
* St. Anne’s School, Wanganui
* Whakamaru School, Whakamaru
* Korakonui School, Te Awamutu
* Halfmoon Bay School, Stewart Island
* Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland
* Outram School, Dunedin
* Waimate High School
* ...more schools are set to be confirmed for 2013
The William Pike Challenge Award is an outdoor activity based challenge program run over one school year. Select groups of students participate in outdoor activities, community service and develop a new sport, hobby or skill. The WPCA is a journey for New Zealand’s youth to learn and grow in the outdoors. A gateway to new experiences and opportunities. A way of fostering a passion for the Kiwi Culture, for living life and a means of developing a positive youth culture for the nation.
How the WPCA works
William’s role is to consult with schools and outdoor adventure providers to choose activities and use his teaching experience to offer advice for how the WPCA can work best in each school. This includes tailoring the WPCA to meet schools’ values, goals, staff and the group of students participating in the WPCA. Throughout the year, William works alongside each school to ensure their WPCA is a success.
The WPCA targets (but isn’t limited to) intermediate school aged students; 11 and 12 year olds. The WPCA is based around a pre-determined set of outdoor activities that are completed within one school year. The activities are designed to be of a challenging nature with students participating in approximately 8 outdoor activities during the school year. An emphasis is placed on schools using their local outdoor environment and resources, making the most of the school’s nearby landscape. No two school’s activities will be identical - a unique aspect of the WPCA is that it is flexible and can be tailored to meet the needs and geographic location of each school.
In addition to outdoor activities, students are required to participate in 20+ hours of community service that directly benefits their local community. The development of a new sport, skill or hobby over the school year is a requirement for each student participating in the WPCA.
As an experienced speaker, William is asked to launch the WPCA at each school. This is very successful when teachers, students, parents and the community come together to hear William speak. The audience then has an understanding of the WPCA and has opportunity to offer support for the school and the WPCA.
The purpose of the WPCA
One of the major aims of the WPCA is to showcase the outdoors as a powerful tool for building confidence, building life skills and for the development of personality and character within an individual. The WPCA also aims to introduce more young people to the outdoors and in particular to encourage them to take advantage of the wonderful environments they have in their ‘backyards’.
The WPCA also encourages the goals of keeping fit, making friends, developing a hobby, playing sport and having fun. There is an opportunity for students when, by trying a new sport, hobby or skill, they might discover a passion and/or strength. By participating in the WPCA, students are exposed to potential career pathways and opportunities, outdoor safety and survival skills, and an awareness of the environment and sustainability.
Our youth are vulnerable in their early teenage years, therefore the WPCA gives young teenagers direction and a focus to prevent them making the wrong choices early in their lives.
Although called an award, the WPCA has more of a focus on the learner challenging themselves and participating in a journey of learning. A unique camaraderie is developed between all involved in the WPCA. Over the school year, the students’ journey is shared amongst peers, teachers, parents and the community through journals and online blogs which reach a wide audience. This also provides measurable outcomes for the WPCA.
Through community service, students are encouraged to be active participants in their community. Their journey is recognised and celebrated at the end of the school year with a ceremony to reflect on the students’ journey through the WPCA. William attends each ceremony, delivers a presentation, and hands out certificates and trophies to WPCA participants.
Examples of WPCA activities in school:
Loburn School activities for 2012 in brief:
1. High Ropes, team building day, Rolleston Ropes Course
2. Caving experience - Cave Stream, Castle Hill.
3. 3 day, 2 night tramp Hawdon Hutt, Mt White, (about 24km return tramp)
4. Climb Mt Richardson
5. Kayaking experience - day trip
6. Mountain Biking - day trip
7. Sailing - day trip
8. 10km challenge
9. 20 hours community service
10. Lean new skill, hobby / join a club
Hilltop School activities for 2012 in brief:
1. Summiting the 3 Volcanoes; Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro
2. White Water Rafting – Poutu Canal to Tongariro Trout Centre (Grade 3 River)
3. 2 night camp
4. 20 hours community service (SPCA, IHC, Council, Food Bank, Taupo Ironman etc)
5. Develop a new skill, activity or sport
6. Kayaking (Waikato River and Lake Taupo)
7. Outdoor Pursuit Centre Ropes and Confidence Course Mid-winter lake swim
8. Mid-winter swim challenge
** All students will participate in community service and develop a new sport or hobby over the school year.
As the WPCA grows, it has proved to be a significant milestone in young New Zealanders’ lives. In 2012 the WPCA was running in 4 schools; Westport North School, Loburn School, Alfriston School and Hilltop School. The success of 2012s WPCA schools has ensured each school will run the WPCA in 2013. 20 schools are confirmed to do the WPCA in 2013.
If you're interested in running the WPCA in your school, the next step is to contact William. William is able to send out an information pack, offer suggestions, advice, templates, provide contacts and work with your school's needs, wants, goals and mission to make the WPCA a roaring success in your school.
The WPCA aligns with and supports many of the values outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) and EOTC Guidelines: Bringing the Curriculum Alive (Ministry of Education, 2009).
The WPCA is intended to ‘open doors’ and highlight potential career pathways for students in many different areas and through community-related work experience. There is an opportunity for students when, by trying a new sport, hobby or skill, they might discover their passion and/or strength in a particular area.
Many components of the WPCA promote the development of a healthy and active lifestyle. Establishing healthy nutrition and exercise routines have positive long term effects not only for students, but for their families, future generations and the nation.
Through Outdoor Education comes a better understanding for the outdoors and accident prevention. By actively participating in various outdoor environments, the WPCA has the ability to save lives by promoting safety sense and survival skills.
The outdoors is a big part of our Kiwi identity with one third of NZ set aside as conservation areas and National Parks. Our youth need to have an awareness for the environment and sustainability to preserve our natural heritage. The WPCA encourages students to care for the beautiful landscapes NZ has to offer and think sustainability for the environment and the future.
William's role in the WPCA is to:
- liase with schools
- provide ideas, guidance and exemplars
- provide motivation for an outdoor challenge program for students
- act as a role model
- seek advice for schools from outdoor professionals to design safe, challenging and suitable activites for students
- guide schools and organisations to set up their own WPCA in which they are self-sufficient in implementing year after year
- William is not responsible for the safety of students and teachers. There is an expectation from schools and organisations to follow their own safety plans and/or seek professional guidance and support. William can suggest organisations to help implement safety plans and/or activity leadership.
Contact William for more information, or for a chat about the WPCA.
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