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As usual, the October half-term break was a busy time for those involved with the D of E scheme.
In the first week of the holiday, fifteen pupils from Year 11, supported by four staff, spent four days in the Hope Valley and Edale practising their expedition skills. This concentrated on improved navigation and more organised campcraft with the groups moving location and setting up camp three times. The weather provided a great variety of challenges, being warm, dry and sunny on the first couple of days before changing to very windy and quite unsettled for the remainder. The groups acquitted themselves well, generally navigating accurately and working effectively as teams to establish their camps.
In the second week, fifty-six pupils in Year 10 travelled out to the Hartington area of the Peak District on their Bronze Practice Expedition. In stark contrast to the stormy conditions experienced in October 2015, this group was lucky to have generally dry and mild weather throughout. Over three days, they also learned about campcraft and navigation, emergency action and how to behave in the countryside. The pupils proved to be very positive and engaged with the process allowing them to gain lots of valuable experience, which will set them up well for their Qualifying Expedition in May 2017. It turned out to be a particularly wide education for some groups. One group was lucky enough to watch the birth of a calf and the amazing reaction of the other calves and cows in the field which gathered around the new calf and mother. Another group observed earlier stages in the process with the full splendour of a powerful bull!