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St Thomas Aquinas

Year 6 Transition

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Qualification Expedition to the Brecon Beacons - 1st -5th July 2019

Last Monday saw our latest group of students take to the Brecon Beacons to scale the highest mountains in Southern Britain as part of their Gold DofE Award.

The group arrived at the mountains and set off up the slopes to get a recap on their navigation training. When they returned, students began to erect their tents and then the last supper arrived – pizzas all round! Dessert came in the form of a birthday cake as we celebrated Liv’s birthday – what a way to spend your 18th!!!

After dessert, the group then met with their assessor who went through their aim and checked they were prepared for the four days ahead.

Bright and early on Tuesday morning, the groups headed off with one group summiting Pen-y-Fan – the highest peak just shy of 1000m. At the end of a hard day’s navigating for both groups, they pitched tents and were shortly to bed after their evening meals.

Day 3 was mostly spent in the valleys with both groups having to join up. The group spent a lot of time focusing on their aim – the impact of tourism on a national park. On Thursday, the groups headed west across the Beacons to their campsite at Ystra Fellte. The group made good headway with excellent navigational skills coming to the fore.

Friday, the last day of their expedition, saw the group awake and breaking camp by six in the morning. Like the first day, the group had some hills to overcome and navigation at times was tricky but their spirits were high, knowing the end was in sight. 

By 5pm the group had successfully completed their expedition with fantastic feedback from their assessor. They then finished their expedition, sharing their findings on their aim by way of a poem that they had created.

A huge WELL DONE to the students who put themselves forward for the challenge. Within a few months, invites to the Palace will be winging their way through letterboxes inviting them to attend the Gold Presentation ceremony.

I wish them all the very best for the future and congratulate them on this amazing achievement. 

Without the support of staff, we would not be as successful as we are as a school, and I thank Miss Browne, Mr Saunderson & Mr Taylor for their time, effort and support during this expedition.

Mr Flood
DofE Co-ordinator