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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition

DofE Silver Practice Expedition to Clun - June 2018

Bright and early on Friday morning, 10 students and 3 staff left school at 7am to head off to the England–Wales border to commence their initial training expedition. By the time we had got to Clun, the weather had turned, but the students were still in good voice and eager for the day ahead. The students started walking by 9.30am in the rain but this didn’t dampen their spirits and both groups made an impressive start to their navigating, and it wasn’t long until the sun made an appearance. During the first day, the students were taught the art of using a compass to find their direction of travel and also to locate where they were, using features from the landscape. By the time the groups got back to camp, some students ended up erecting their tents as the sun was setting whilst all cooked in the dark. Remarkably, the food was fairly edible too.

We woke up on Saturday to blistering sun which made the second day a little more challenging; however the students dealt with this with ease. With the students now fully independent and navigating the hills of Shropshire, (which was no mean feat as some of the students likened one hill to Everest!) both groups got back to camp much faster than the day before and clear improvements were being made by each and every student.

On the last day, both groups were allowed to walk on their own, making decisions and navigating without the support of staff who tracked them remotely, all this done in the blistering heat. Considering their lack of experience before the expedition, I was blown away by their efforts and determination. Well done to both groups who took part over the weekend; they really showed true grit and determination. We would also like to extend our thanks to the following staff who came out to support Silver DofE over their bank holiday weekend: Georgina Sims, Ruari O’Sullivan and Alex Flood.

Mr Howes & Mr Saunderson
Teachers of Science and Mathematics