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Easter is always a busy holiday for those students undertaking D of E awards, with expeditions taking place at all levels. First to venture out straight after the end of term was the Gold group, with 27 students from Year 12 heading to the Yorkshire Dales for their practice expedition. The weather was generally dry and pleasant during the day, but one night in particular was torrentially wet. Over the four days, the group practised navigation skills, campcraft and teamwork in preparation for their qualifying expedition (due to take place in the North York Moors on 18-22 June). The culmination of this process was an attempt to complete the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge. This involves a route of 38 kilometres with ascents of Pen-y-Ghent (696m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (724m) to be done ideally within 12 hours. The groups set off around 0600 to tackle the route and to their great credit, 20 out of 27 students managed to reach the end within the required time. It was a terrific effort and the students were understandably tired, but delighted to make it.
A few days later, it was the turn of the eight Silver groups (47 pupils from Year 11) to set off on their qualifying expeditions, a three day venture which requires them to cover about 50kms in the Peak District. This proved to be quite a challenge due to torrential rain for most of the first day, and continued heavy showers on the second day. Fortunately the third day was dry and quite pleasant, so the pupils were able to enjoy the landscape rather more. All the groups managed to complete their routes successfully, not all without the occasional detour, and they arrived at Ladybower car park to finish the expedition happy and tired. The Assessors held a debrief with each group and also listened to the oral presentations by the group on some aspect of the Peak District. Congratulations to all pupils involved and they can now complete the expedition section in D of E.
The final expedition of the holiday was an additional practice venture for 12 pupils (Year 10) of the Bronze group. They were blessed with beautiful April weather and were able to enjoy being out in the hills refining their navigation skills or relaxing in the campsite while cooking or sorting their tents out. These pupils completed their route in Tissington where they could enjoy a celebratory ice cream. All the Bronze groups will be heading out for their qualifying expedition on Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd May.
These ventures could not happen without volunteer support from Trent staff and sincere thanks go to all those who helped in some way by supervising, assessing or with administrative support (especially transport!). The efforts of the staff have enabled the students to complete and enjoy their expeditions safely.