Duke of Edinburgh Award: Student Success on Bronze Expedition.

Forty Year 10 students defied the odds and successfully completed their two day, one night assessed bronze expedition in the scorching Sussex sun this weekend. Temperatures soared into the high twenties and made walking in the heat extremely difficult but with sun cream, hats and plenty of water at the ready, the teams were ready to take on the challenge.

The teams’ set off from the start point at Butts Brow on the edge of the South Downs, taking different routes that crossed open grassland, rolling hills and through wooded areas that gave them a variety of navigational challenges to overcome. The teams, who had worked hard on their map skills since the practice expedition, applied their knowledge wonderfully and were able to follow the routes they had created with relative ease. The sun was a constant challenge however; additional water stations were added to assist the teams and clear instructions were given to ensure they added more recovery stops anytime they came across shade on their routes.

Despite the sun beginning to make its journey to the horizon, temperatures remained high well into the evening. All teams successfully completed their day one route cards and set about putting up their tents and getting their dinner on at the wonderful campsite in Alfriston. Students feasted on a variety of high energy meals, including pasta, rice and couscous dishes before looking at their day two routes and enjoying some well-earned rest time.

As the sun rose, the birds chirped and some of the students and staff snored, teams awoke to swiftly make breakfast and take down their tents. The forecast was predicting even higher temperature so the teams were keen to get as much travelling done while the temperatures haven’t spiked later in the day. Conditions were incredibly difficult, but yet again the determination, perseverance and positive attitudes spurred the teams on. They were superb and all were able to complete their expeditions in extremely challenging conditions. All of us would like to say a huge well done on this achievement; the expeditions are challenging at the best of times so to compete it is such high temperatures is truly commendable.

We must also say a huge thank you to all of the members of staff who gave their time to come and support the expedition; it wouldn’t of happened without you so thank you and well done!

Mr Bartlett and Mr Hunting