DofE in the Spring Term
Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions
DofE began in earnest in the Spring Term with Lower Fifth starting out on the Bronze Programme and Upper Fifth progressing to Silver, having completed Bronze last year. I would like to thank Mr Eckersall, Mr Snowden and Dr Pavey for all their time and assistance across all DofE activities and expeditions. This year, we have engaged a specialist external company with expert experience in outdoor and mountain expeditions. Miss Chantel McGregor DofE Coordinator
Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions The Bronze In-School training day On Saturday 20th February, this training was very well attended and received. All pupils arrived promptly at 9am ready to learn the key information needed to prepare them for their DofE Expeditions. We covered first aid, the country code, map skills, taking bearings and the girls started to plan their meals for the upcoming Practice Expedition.
Bronze Training Walk The following day we all met up at Lyme Park to put all the theory into practice and learn a few more essential skills. For example: how to prevent injury during expeditions and how to use a survival bag to do a rescue carry.
After a brief demonstration on how to use Trangia stoves safely, the girls cooked some basic meals. After completing an Orienteering course, they then used their newly acquired map-reading skills, including map orientation and contours, to navigate a short walk around the Park.
The final topic was ‘recommended and essential kit needed for DofE’ and the correct method for packing it in a rucksack for an expedition.
Bronze Practice Expedition
The Bronze Practice Expedition took place on the weekend of 19th – 20th March. On the first day the girls walked in their groups from Hope Train Station in a circular route around Ladybower Reservoir to the Glenbrook Outdoor Activity Centre, a challenging walk with some steep uphill climbs.
On arrival at the campsite the girls successfully pitched their tents with a little help from Staff. They then used Trangias to cook their evening meal, which included many exciting meals such as tortellini pasta and spaghetti bolognaise. The campsite was ideal for DofE, but unfortunately local railway works disturbed most of the girls’ sleep on the Saturday night. Sunday dawned sunny and warm and many girls were up and about cooking breakfast at 6.30am. After packing away their tents and a last check of the route, the girls then walked independently to Grindleford Train Station. I am very proud of the girls for all navigating successfully on their own and walking 11k on very little sleep.
Silver Practice Day Walk
After the heavy fall of snow on the previous Friday, it seemed very unlikely that this walk would take place on the Sunday. However, the weather turned out to be very bright and sunny, melting away any remains of snow on the roads and pathways. After a check of the local area and discussion with the external company, it was decided that the walk from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Whaley Bridge, on 4th March, would go ahead. All girls arrived promptly, many of them by train. The equipment was quickly distributed and the girls then met their trained mountain leader who would be teaching them throughout the day and refreshing their navigation skills.
The walk around the reservoir was very picturesque and the girls saw lots of local wildlife and farm animals. The most memorable included a beautiful, well-kept horse and some very large and noisy pigs. Participants all followed the country code throughout the day and managed to keep warm due to excellent preparation and having the correct kit. It was a lovely and very successful walk.