The Oak-Tree Challenge – A Unique Initiative at the Oak-Tree Group

Whether you are taking part in an initiative like the Duke of Edinburgh Award or enjoying clubs both in and out of school, there is no denying the importance and benefits of extra-curricular activities.

When you are looking for a job or applying for schools, colleges, and universities, it is preferable to have more on your CV than just academic achievements. The world of extra-curricular opportunities is truly limitless, but the Oak-Tree Group have made it easy for their pupils to give new activities a go, and get rewarded for it.

Let’s delve deeper into their unique initiative – the Oak-Tree Challenge Scheme.

The Oak-Tree Challenge Scheme is designed to challenge all pupils, from Year 3 to Year 9, by providing incentives to participate in a huge variety of opportunities inside or outside school.

The aim behind running such a scheme at the Oak-Tree Schools are:

  • To recognise all the skills and interests of pupils – not just academic, sporting or musical achievements.
  • To encourage pupils to try new skills and challenges, including practical skills that are not part of the curriculum.
  • To encourage children to think about others and offer help by providing a service in or out of school.
  • To develop leadership and teamwork skills.

The Oak-Tree Scheme is voluntary and pupil-initiated. Some challenges are achievable during school time, others are designed to be undertaken out of school with parental support. Throughout the nine challenges there is a mixture of skills and activities being assessed, including voluntary work and independent study. For each stage there is a requirement for self-reflection that is intended to become more detailed as the children get older.

Pupils can only progress to each next award once the previous one has been completed. Evidence of the successful completion of challenges will be recorded in a logbook that must be kept up-to-date and completed by the pupils themselves.

Challenge 1 – Public Performance

This challenge aims to encourages pupils to participate in two public performances during the year.

Normanhurst School music

Challenge 2 – Project

This challenge is about completing a project to show ability to research a topic of interest. Pupils then design and present the completed project to their classmates.

Challenge 3 – Voluntary Service

This challenge aims to encourage participants to assist others at home and in the local community.

Challenge 4 – Outdoor Pursuits

This challenge encourages participants to seek adventure by taking part in an outdoor pursuit out of school. The pursuit can be undertaken as an individual or as a group, either as an organised event or with friends and family.

Oaklands School outdoor activities

Challenge 5 – Residential

This challenge encourages pupils to take responsibility for themselves and their belongings, gaining independence in the process. It can relate to any school, or structured out-of-school group trip, staying away from immediate family and relatives.

Challenge 6 – Events

This challenge encourages those involved in the challenge to think of others and work as part of a team, with the aim of raising money to help others less fortunate than themselves. Pupils should show extensive personal involvement in a charity fundraising event.

Braeside School Fundraising

Challenge 7 – Responsibility

This challenge reflects pupils’ ability to take on responsibilities at school, whether that is being selected for an appointment or as a voluntary commitment to fulfil a school role.

Challenge 8 – Skills

This challenge encourages participants to develop new skills – possibly making use of the many clubs both during and after school, but also including any clubs or societies that pupils might be able to attend out of school.

Challenge 9  – Achievement

This challenge encourages pupils to carry out an independent research project on a topic of their choice that relates to current global affairs (news items) and present this research  to their peers.

There is no end to the benefits of taking part in a scheme like the Oak-Tree Challenge. Children will develop the skills and attitudes they need to become more rounded, confident adults. These are all qualities that further educational establishments and future employees are attracted to.

The Oak-Tree Group offers many other extra-curricular activities. You can read more about the clubs at the schools below:

Braeside School Extra-curricular Clubs

Coopersale Hall School Extra-curricular Clubs

Normanhurst School Extra-curricular Clubs 

Oaklands School Extra-curricular Clubs