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Our Outdoor Education team took a group of adventurous students to Ashurst Forest on the East Sussex/Kent border, as part of their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award. This formed part of our Year 10s’ Silver expedition assessment, whilst our Gold DofE Sixth Form students participated in a training weekend in preparation for their expedition.

The scenery was a stunning backdrop for the expeditions as it is currently bluebell season. Silver DofE students were challenged to travel self-sufficiently for seven hours and took off on their journey with rucksacks filled to the brim! On their travels, students were required to carry out a project. For example, one group took part in a ‘rate the gate’ activity. They gave each gate they encountered a mark out of 10 for effectiveness, uniqueness and aesthetics! The assessor was an experienced trek leader who has led treks all over the world. She shared her knowledge and tips with them whilst assessing their knowledge of navigation and camp craft skills.

Our Gold DofE group took part in three days of invaluable expedition training with our Head of Outdoor Education, Mr Pearson. They began with micro-navigation skills and completed their training with an unaccompanied walk. The students all enjoyed challenging themselves throughout the weekend in all conditions. The weather started fine with bright spells but tested waterproofs on the last day when almost a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours!

Congratulations to our Silver DofE group. All students who finished the expedition passed their assessment. And well done also to our Gold DofE group who completed their training ready for their expedition in the Brecon Beacons in September.

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