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Bronze and Silver DofE Expeditions October 2022 

On the first weekend of half term, when many staff and students were enjoying the start of the holiday, twenty four students and four staff were gearing up for a weekend of hiking around the Island as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

The students endured torrid weather conditions. We had one year 10 team and a mixed year 10/11 team from Medina College as well as a year 11 team from Carisbrooke College.

The intention of the expedition section of the DofE award is to give participants a chance to learn and use skills such as map reading, route planning, preparing and cooking a meal, first aid (to learn but hopefully not needed), time management and the country code. This is all done whilst learning to work well as a team, improving personal fitness and developing stamina.

Day one saw the explorers walk along the Tennyson trail and across to Brighstone Forest giving them some much needed shelter from the wind before continuing onto Calbourne Mill where they were ferried back to school. A few groups got lost in the forest but soon managed to find their way through.

Day two started at Calbourne Mill. The students took in the sights from the long stone before heading down to Tapnell Farm, crossing the middle road before climbing Compton Down and Westover Down to return to Calbourne Mill. Most of the groups managed to cover almost 20km during the day whilst one member of a group took a particular liking to a cow pat.

Day three, the Carisbrooke group braved the heavy rain for their final day. Starting at the Island VI Form they soldiered through the rain along the old railway line out to Newbridge before finishing at Calbourne Mill.

At the end, students gave feedback about something that they enjoyed and something that they learnt. The most popular elements of the weekend that students enjoyed were the cooking, the views, being in nature and playing games with others. In addition to the skills learnt, students also reported that they had learnt a fun-fact about a team-mate; got to know others from their year group better and learnt to never give up and trust in themselves more.

Congratulations to all students involved. A huge thank you to Mr Burnett, Miss Young and Miss Bryan as well as Ms Ryan and Mrs O’Callaghan for being our home based contact.

Mr Norman