Throughout the pandemic, our Sixth Formers have been completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards, making the most of opportunities to volunteer, develop their skills and complete their physical sections within the regulations limiting normal activity.
With recent rule changes, we were finally able to get out for the practice expedition with our Year 13 group last weekend. Although limited to the local area, it was a great opportunity to explore some countryside and get up onto the moors, with plenty of challenging terrain.
Day 1 was the longest, with over 18 km travelled by each group – the groups managed the distance at a fantastic pace, getting up to speed with their navigation and working well in their teams.
Day 2 was a shorter but much more challenging walk – both with the route up, which took groups onto Blackstone Edge, and with the awful weather! By the end of the walk, everyone was very pleased that the adjustments to the DofE expeditions have meant that we didn’t have to pitch tents in the pouring rain.
The rain cleared overnight and the final day was in great weather, perfect for the climb over boulders in the fast-flowing Greenfield Brook at Dovestone Reservoir and into the Peak District.
With such a great group of Gold Award participants, and another fantastic cohort coming through in Year 12, our DofE staff and volunteers are all looking forward to the Year 13 qualifying expedition in a few weeks time.