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Drumbeat School & ASD Service

Challenger Troop is a Department of Education organisation which was set up to support students in South East England who find education difficult or have a diagnosis of an additional educational need.

Challenger Troop delivers a uniformed,  extensive and a flexible  range of programmes to suit every individual student.

The staff use  challenging personal development activities with a military ethos, in a stimulating outdoor environment.

Please click here for photos. 

These programmes are designed to engage young people, enhance their self-discipline, responsibility and attitudes towards others. They enable young people to develop confidence, self-esteem and life skills, while attaining nationally accredited qualifications.

The  programme has been devised to offer an alternative approach to learning and create new opportunities and experiences. We aim to challenge and stretch pupils emotionally and physically, maximising their potential.

With positive role models, high self-esteem and a belief in themselves, our students really can achieve great things.

Drumbeat School has been working with Challenger Troop since July 2013. A number of our secondary students have experienced a taster day at Woolwich Barracks and in school here at Downham. An initial group of 10 students are currently working towards their BTEC Level 1 and 3 of those students have been selected to return in the summer term to begin working on the Level 2 qualification.

The programme uses a mixture of survivial and army themed activities, eg: shelter building, cooking in the wild, first aid, camouflage, laser guns, and archery as well as problem solving, navigation and maintaining uniform. These activities  have proved successful at improving students ability to self-manage their own behaviour as well as enhance their self –esteem, confidence and  teach them to work together and support each other to achieve.

The programme has enabled all the students to experience new situations and prove to themselves they are capable of overcoming these challenges.

There will be a second group beginning the programme after Easter, so keep checking to see how they are progressing.

The students were asked:

What new skill has challenger troop helped you to learn and what did you enjoy the most?

“Given me confidence to talk in font of other people and learning about safety with laser guns and using this in battle when defending and attacking in the woods”. KB – YR 11

“Challenger troop has shown me it is ok to lose sometimes and to have good sportsmanship. I really liked the laser guns at the residential trip” SL – YR 11

“I learnt archery and I most liked the overnight residential trip” WL – YR 10

"I think Challenger troop has helped me to behave better because I remember to calm down and walk away. I liked all the activities they make me happy."  JL – YR 9

"Challenger troop has helped me to be more confident at speaking up and I enjoyed cooking." MT -  YR 9

"Challenger troop has given me new crawling skills and resistance to undergrowth, my favourite activity was camping. I love the survival stuff, even though I love laser guns."JS-YR 9

"Challenger troop has helped me improve my social skills by giving me confidence to talk to new people about myself." BB – YR 9

"Challenger Troop has helped me be more confident and improved my team work, I liked the laser guns best." – JN – YR 10

"I like learning about new things, before I didn`t have much confidence but nowadays I do. It`s wicked because it helps people learn, communicate and be more confident outside of school. Challenger Troop is good for all ages and abilities because the friendly staff change the things they do and make it fun. It helps with education, qualifications and future life." - CS YR 10