What is the purpose of the Junior Challenge?
The aim of the Junior Challenge is to bring children together over the course of a year so that they connect and support their local community, learn new skills and take part in physical activities to keep their minds and bodies healthy. At the end of the academic year, children will complete their challenge by partaking in an expedition. As a reward for completing this challenge, the children are invited to a BBQ and sleepover at the school.
The Junior Challenge is inspired by the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Award
There are three different awards that children participate in.
- Bronze Award – Begins in year 4
- Silver Award – Begins in year 5
- Gold Award – Begins in year 6
Typically, children will take part in the Bronze Award when they are in Year 4. This is an introduction to the Junior Challenge, and children are expected to commit six hours to this section. In the past, children have participated in litter picking, have read with a younger sibling, have helped a neighbour move and in one case ran a 5K run for charity. This is similar to the Silver award, however, here we expect the children to commit eight hours of voluntary work. For the Gold Award, we ask the children to dig a little deeper and go above and beyond with their voluntary work. Thinking carefully of the needs of the local community and the environment.
For this section of the Junior Challenge we require the children to learn a brand-new skill. Here we encourage children to take on a fresh challenge and perhaps come out of their comfort zone to learn something completely new. In the past, children have learnt to play a new musical instrument, have developed their creative skills with sewing, knitting and photography, whilst others challenged themselves in different ways and learnt first aid skills.
For the last section, the children are actively encouraged to get physical. As this occurs in the Summer Term we are enthusiastic about the children being outdoors as much as possible. Whether this is playing in a local football team, joining a skipping club or taking part in some long distance running. This helps to support their physical health.
In the Summer Term, we ask the children to participate in a sponsored Walkathon. Here we ask the children to collect sponsors to raise money for a charity.
- Year 4 – Trussel Trust
- Year 5 – SHOC
- Year 6 – Riding for the Disabled (RDA)
For one day, we ask the children to walk to the perimeter of the playground to see how many laps they can accomplish. We also run tuck shop for the other children in the school to come and purchase a drink or snack.
Last academic year (22/23) the children raised:
- Year 4 – £2,800 (Trussel Trust)
- Year 5 - £1,196 (SHOC)
At the end of the Junior Challenge we take the children on a hike. Year 4 take part in a 5km hike around Black Park, whilst Year 5 take a 10km hike around Burnham Beeches. This is a lovely opportunity for children and parents (if they wish) to come together and get active together.
At the end of the year, we hold a BBQ and a sleepover for the children to celebrate all the amazing things they have accomplished over the year. The BBQ is always a fun experience, with parents donating lots of food and children celebrating all their success. In the evenings, the children in Year 4 snuggle down in the hall for a sleepover, whilst the year 5 children pitch a tent on the field.
This year is the first year of the Gold Award and we are eager to see what the children get up to for each section.