'It's A Disaster Day' Challenge at Adcote School

Students at Adcote School for Girls, near Shrewsbury, were put through their paces in a ‘disaster day’ which tested their team working and survival skills.

Tasks ranged from ‘treating casualties’ of a simulated road traffic accident’, to command tasks set by the Army and building an international disaster shelter. 

The ‘It’s A Disaster’ Challenge Day kick-started the new school year with team building exercises to help students in new form groups get to know each other by working together to solve physical and mental tasks and develop their leadership skills, confidence, resilience and ingenuity at the same time.

Oswestry Cambrian Rotary Club brought along an emergency shelter, similar to ones used for international disaster relief around the world, and challenged students to work in to teams to erect it against the clock.

Rotary International fundraises for ShelterBOX, an international disaster relief charity that supplies the shelters. The ShelterBOX is a sturdy, 10-person tent that comes complete with a stove, cooking equipment, blankets, water containers, filtration, toolkits and mosquito nets.

Senior School pupils were taught by a First Responder how to deal with road traffic accident victims before they put their new skills into practice by ‘treating’ Sixth Form volunteers playing the role of injured casualties in a ‘crashed’ car. The scrap vehicle had been lent by Jarvis Scrap Metals, of Shrewsbury, which bashed it up to make it look like it had been involved in a collision.

Meanwhile the Engagement Team from the 11 Signals Brigade, based at Donnington, Telford, set pupils a series of command exercises.

Senior students were also challenged to construct a rope A-frame to transport ‘heavy ammunition across a ravine’, build a rope stretcher to carry an ‘injured person’ across an obstacle course, get a team of people through a hole in an ‘electrified’ fence, design a barracks on a budget and learn semaphore morse code using flags.

Prep School pupils got to grips with outdoor survival skills including how to build a shelter in the wild, light fires using natural tinder and bushcraft first aid using comfrey poultices.

The Challenge Day was part of Adcote School’s CLEAR Learning programme which has won awards for its innovation. The character-building programme is woven into every part of school life and aims to help all students develop the core skills of confidence, leadership, engagement, achievement and resilience. 

Headmistress Diane Browne said: “Our Challenge Days build character and, importantly, are great fun! For us, as educators, its is enormously rewarding to see girls blossom in character, leadership and, particularly, resilience, as they tackle and conquer the challenges presented to them, forming character traits they will be able to use in the classroom to take their learning forward.” 

Specific Challenge Days are organised at least once a term to immerse students in new experiences and push them outside of their comfort zones.