THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD
Gold award - volunteering
Having completed my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh awards, I am now working towards my Gold, and have found the volunteering section the most interesting. It has meant putting myself into unfamiliar situations, which at first can be very challenging! However, volunteering has proven to be a very rewarding experience, and I have gained leadership skills and had fun. You can include anything from helping coach athletics to presenting a regular radio programme. I am currently a member of a Girl Guides Senior Section, helping out with a local Rainbow pack. My volunteering has also included being a Room Guide at a National Trust property, A la Ronde, where I met some interesting people and improved my communication skills through talking to visitors. So my advice is to give it a go!
-Anna M 
SILVER AWARD - PRACTICE
On a weekend at the end of June 2014, two teams of Year 11 students set off to Dartmoor to complete their Silver DofE Practice Expedition. The first team all had a great time, setting off from Bovey Tracey at just after 9am. We had carefully planned all our routes, and thought we knew exactly where to go. However, we soon realised that we had mistaken a boundary line on the map for a path, meaning we had to make our way through about half a mile, uphill, of 2m tall gorse. To make matters worse, it started to rain really heavily as soon as we got into open moorland. However, we continued along, continuously going up and down over the moors. After a long day we finally reached our campsite, where we put up tents, had tea, and after a lovely evening of playing cards and ball games we went to bed.
The next day went much better; it was a much shorter walk to the next campsite, only about 10 miles, and with mostly good weather it was a great day. This night we all went to bed earlier, tired after the last two days. However, it was an early start at half six the following morning, as we had to pack up camp, and set off on another long walk to the finish. After some amazing moorland views, and a highlight being a beautiful reservoir, we finally arrived at the finish, all tired, with many blisters, wet feet; all pleased to be able to take off our heavy rucksacks for the last time. All in all, we had an amazing time and are currently busy planning for our final expedition, which we will do on Exmoor in September, which we are all really looking forward to.
Team 1 consisted of Tristan A, Andrew T, Eloise C and Elle C.
Gold DUKE oF EDINBURGH Team Completes First Practice
Autumn Term 2013: Six Year 12 students completed their first training expedition for their Gold DofE award, walking 55 kilometres around Exmoor National Park over the course of three days.
The team had to carry all of their equipment and food with them in backpacks, including two tents, stoves and fuel bottles. The expedition involved navigating a pre-planned route through footpaths and bridleways, as well as open moorland and spending two nights camping out. Team member Susannah F said: “The learning curve was steep, and so were some of the hills.”
Enduring wind and pouring rain on both days, the team’s supervisor, Mark Haward added: “I'm glad the team have experienced these adverse weather conditions, now they will be ready for anything on their final expedition.”
This final expedition lasts for four nights and will take place on Dartmoor or the Brecon Beacons.