July 1, 2021

Duke of Edinburgh award scheme expeditions

Last weekend, 25 Year 10 boys were assessed walking around two circuit routes 16 km long over two days on Hadrian’s Wall as part of their Duke of Edinburgh bronze award. There were four bronze teams – Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta.  Nearby, 14 Year 11 and 12 boys were also walking around two different 16 km loops on Saturday and Sunday, split into three teams – Echo (Year 12), Foxtrot (Year 11) and Golf (Year 11). Mr Smith assessed the campcraft, teamwork and map reading of one of those teams (Golf) who were also doing their bronze qualifying expedition.

The three gold teams flew around the route on the first day, whereas two of the four bronze teams encountered major difficulties on their last leg, which made them late at the finish where their parents were waiting to pick them up.

Covid 19 regulations prevented overnight camping and the lockdown had stopped the practice expedition a month earlier.  It was no big surprise that navigational errors were made on the first day and the assessor made it clear to the bronze teams that they had to get it right on the second day.

And they did, so much so that all four teams completed their routes an hour ahead of schedule. Hot weather made the going tougher for everyone and slowed down the gold teams. Both assessors were impressed by the high level of teamwork and map reading on Sunday.

Congratulations to all four bronze teams and to Team Golf for passing the bronze expedition section.  Thanks to all seven members of staff for supervising them at every checkpoint and giving them moral support – and minor modifications to some boots! They were Mr Drax (Silver Fox), Mr Smith (Tarantino), Mr Wells (Picasso), Miss Vitty (Croft), Mr Paterson (Marcella), and two new DofE leaders –  Mrs Innes (Ari as in Aristotle) and Mr Stockwell (Baloo).