The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Added: May 22nd, 2014

After an incredibly wet and windy training walk over the hilltops Marsden, sixteen intrepid Year 10 students participating in their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award were hoping for slightly better weather when they embarked on their two day, one night practice expedition.  

Luck was in and the sun was shining as the weather held for the hottest weekend of the year so far.  Concerns were about sun cream not waterproofs as they navigated through the woodland and fields around Flockton.  Royds Hall staff accompanied each group but rarely intervened as, using compasses and ordinance survey maps, students successfully navigated and arrived at the campsite having met all their checkpoints.  Once heavy backpacks were removed, they quickly assembled tents and began cooking their evening meals before having a well-earned chill out in the evening sun, Mr Bateman proud to see them choosing to play a real sport as a rugby ball was thrown around!

Crawling bleary eyed from their tents on Sunday morning, it was time to cook breakfast, pack up camp and get moving.  After watching enviously as Royds Hall staff returned from a cooked breakfast, students were given the news they would be walking without any staff supervision.  They duly set off, meeting at various checkpoints along the way.  All groups arrived, weary but happy, none the worse for wear bar a few sore feet and aching legs.  With everyone passing with flying colours, the reputation of Royds Hall students and teenagers in general was done the world of good. All we can do now is hope for similar weather for the Assessed Expedition in June.

Assessed Expedition Completed!

The sun was again out for the assessed expedition as the students departed, this time without any adult supervision at all!  On their own, students had to navigate using maps and compasses to a series of checkpoints where staff met them with water and words of encouragement.  Arriving at the campsite, groups set up camp and then cooked their meals, noodles seeming to be a firm favourite!  A football came out so some students had a kickabout, some sat chatting and some got out art equipment to do some great drawings and paintings.  Staff members moved their tents a little further away from the students, in anticipation of some staying up to listen to the England match, but the bright evening made it seem too early to go to sleep.

Sunday morning was the first rain encountered and it certainly made packing up camp more difficult with most students choosing to miss breakfast.  This made staff feel even more guilty as they tucked into a hot full English and cup of tea!

Meeting staff at checkpoints, students navigated successfully, working well in their groups and feeling stronger walking with backpacks and more confident navigating.  Upon arriving at the final checkpoints, students were debriefed.  All had been successful and passed with flying colours.  So, after a final push, the cleaning and handing over of borrowed kit, it was home time for a well-earned bath and bed.