Duke of Edinburgh

June 2010

We started the year with 95 girls (18 groups) enrolling at Bronze, 45 girls (6 groups) at Silver and 35 girls (5 walking groups and 1 sailing group) at Gold. As in previous years, the award is not for everyone and a few people have decided not to continue working towards completing their award. Each participant attends one two hour meeting a month for training, in addition they are asked to attend a planning residential at the appropriate level.


For the girls to practice their map skills, they were taken out on a day walk in December or January. 90 of the girls attended the planning residential weekend at Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre, 27 – 28th February 2010, and completed all the paperwork needed for their expeditions. They all did very well considering that they were camping out and it rained for most of the weekend. All the girls attended the practice expedition which took place in the Chalke Valley, 24/25th April 2010. 72 of these girls went for assessment the weekend of 15/16th May 2010, in Savernake Forest and the remainder will be attending the next assessment weekend 19/20th June 2010 in the Marlborough area.


Due to the increase in numbers of young people taking part in silver this year we arranged two silver day walks in the Purbeck area on 14th March and the 28th March 2010. All the girls also attended a residential planning weekend nr Bridgewater in Somerset 22/24th January 2010 to complete their training and expedition paperwork. All of the girls attended their practice expedition in the New Forest 16/18th April 2010, and 11 of them have just returned from their assessment in the Brecon Beacons 28/31st May 2010 , where they all successfully passed their assessment. The remainder of the girls are going for assessment, again in the Brecon Beacons 1 – 4th July 2010.


At gold level, we put on a planning residential weekend and a training weekend for the girls to attend before they go out on their expeditions. We held the planning weekend 27/29th November 2009, again nr Bridgewater, and we stayed at the Hampshire Mountain Centre just outside of Brecon for our training weekend 20/23rd February 2010. The Brecon weekend was enjoyed by all and gave them practice at walking in different weather conditions as we had heavy snowfall whilst we were away. We are due to go out with the gold walking groups to Dartmoor, 25/28th June 2010 for their practice and they are going up to the Lake District 29th July/4th August for their assessment. The gold sailing group are going out on their practice 11/13th June 2010 and 20/23rd August for their assessment. They are going to be sailing in the Solent area. There has only been one other Wiltshire group who have completed a gold sailing expedition and this took place in April this year. Since organising the gold horse riding expedition last year and the gold sailing expedition this year, we have been asked by the Wiltshire D of E Manager to advise other groups who would like to do expeditions other than on foot. We now have a good group of leaders/volunteers who come in on a regular basis to support the young people with their training. We also have several of the gold participants coming into the sessions to help as part of their volunteering section of their award. Due to National D of E changes regarding training for Supervisors/Assessors, leaders have also been busy attending training sessions to update their qualifications.  

Created: Monday, January 17, 2011 | School News Page

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