Students in Years 10 and above have been working hard over recent months on the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections of their Awards, demonstrating dedication to a range of activities. We look forward to marking their achievements as a new year gets underway!
It must be said, however, that for most students it is the expedition section of the Award that generates the most excitement, and last summer’s were particularly successful. For 120 Year 10 Bronze students (one group pictured below), two days and one night away in the North Downs brought some unique challenges. Not only were their assessors checking on their navigational and culinary abilities, but they also had to contend with soaring temperatures over the course of their six hours of walking each day. They did fantastically well and should be proud of what they achieved. It must be stressed that participants were never in any danger in the heat; members of staff were in constant contact with their assessors, providing water and removing heavy items from their bags as needed in order to maximise their chances of success.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the final week of term, Year 11 undertook their expedition on the South Downs, meeting at Amberley station on the Wednesday morning. They were equipped and ready to deal with three days of similar weather conditions. These 64 students were tenacious indeed, not least because they had to interrupt their well-earned summer holiday to partake in this adventure! A rewarding experience was had by all, in spite of what the elements had to throw at them.
Finally, during the summer break, nearly 40 Year 12 and Year 13 students set off to the Brecon Beacons for four days and day nights of gruelling terrain, enjoying glorious weather conditions. The Gold Award is a considerable step up from Silver as the expedition must be undertaken in "Wild Country" away from built up areas and usually in unforgiving landscapes. Students were able to relive their Year 7 experience of climbing Pen-Y-Fan, albeit now with longer legs and heavier packs. We are pleased to report that they were a little faster than in Year 7!
While the Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator, Mr Elwood, was instrumental in organising each of these trips, none of them would be possible without the support of the teaching and support staff who come away on these adventures, giving up their weekends and school holidays to ensure that students have as enriching as time as possible whilst at Wilson's. Thank you!