4 July 2022
Dr Jessica Dixon, DofE Manager
It has been a busy and exciting year for students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold level. We are delighted have been able to offer a full programme of expeditions this year. Forty-seven students in Year 9 completed their Bronze qualifying expedition in the Surrey Hills on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June – you can read Annabelle’s expedition account below. Following their practice expedition in the New Forest, 14 Year 10 students head off on their assessed Silver expedition in the South Downs this week, as 10 Lower Sixth students return to the Brecon Beacons, Wales for their qualifying expedition.
The DofE programme is much more than just the expedition, of course. Students have been taking part in a wonderful range of activities to complete their volunteering, skill, physical and residential sections, including:
Volunteering - working in charity shops, altar serving, helping elderly and disabled people
Skill: cooking, cake decoration, DJing, art, singing, playing piano, ukulele, and cello
Physical: netball, hockey, yoga, running, ballet, rowing, and tennis
Congratulations to all this year’s participants, who have worked hard and demonstrated an amazing range of skills, talents, and interests. It is a fantastic achievement to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and one to be proud of.
I would also like to thank Miss Arch and Miss Berndt (Bronze), Mrs Lane (Silver) and Mrs Wiseman (Gold) for all their help and support with the DofE programme at Woldingham this year. I look forward to starting it all again in September and welcoming a new cohort of students to DofE.
Annabelle, Year 9 – Bronze DofE qualifying expedition
On the first day of our expedition in the Surrey Hills we did get lost, walking several miles in the wrong direction. However, after studying the map and using our compass we managed to get back on track. However frustrating getting lost is, sometimes good things can come out of it, such as seeing some very cute goats we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
After a long day of walking, with many snacks along the way, we reached our camp for the night. Because it looked like rain, we put our tents up quickly and made sure they were secure before starting to cook our dinner. After dinner we enjoyed hot chocolate and chatted and played games until it was dark.
Early the following morning, with breakfast cooked and eaten and tents packed away, we set off with map and compass in hand. My group started strongly, but later realised we were walking up a hill for the second time. After having lunch with an amazing view across a valley, we worked out the correct route and got back on track.
At the end of the expedition, we were all exhausted but so proud of ourselves for walking and navigating over 17km. That may seem long, but when you are walking with friends the time goes by quickly. I made so many memories doing my Bronze DofE and will never forget it. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had.