Mrs Fiona Payne, Woldingham's DofE Award scheme organiser (and Teacher of Maths)
On Friday 13 March, students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme spent a day learning important expedition skills. Year 9 students are working towards the Bronze Award, and Year 10 towards Silver.
Tents appeared on the nearest patch of grass to the sports centre as students learnt how to put these up – and how to take them down and pack them away for reuse. They looked at the best food to take on an expedition, bearing in mind that it needs to be lightweight and to provide the right amount of calories. Students tested out the portable Trangia stoves that they will be taking with them for cooking. In true Woldingham fashion they did this by making hot chocolate!
Students discussed essential items on a good kit list, including waterproof clothing, boots, rucksack and sleeping bag and, to be prepared for all weather conditions, to take an unusual combination of a woolly hat, gloves and sunscreen. In the same vein the students tested the dayglo emergency shelters. With everyone huddling together underneath them, they discovered these warm up very quickly.
Year 9 learnt about map reading using compasses and applied this on a walk that started and finished at school. Year 10 also got maps out and planned the routes for their future expedition, writing their route cards for the first day.
Though it is currently unclear when the students will be able to put these new skills into operation on a practice expedition, their commitment to the planning and training day was superb.