From the 10th to the 12th of July, Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh participants took to the New Forest to do their qualifying expedition. After a difficult practice expedition, the sun and nice weather was a lovely contrast to our previous experience with the torrential rain and our group set off feeling more optimistic than we had expected. The practice expedition was a valuable learning experience and we can confidently say that on the qualifier our teamwork skills and navigation had improved drastically, which further boosted our team morale and made us want to make the most of our experience. For us personally, the fact that we arrived early at most of our checkpoints most definitely drove our ambition to do well.
However, despite being drier than before, the weather was definitely a struggle. We had to face constant heat and ensure that we were keeping hydrated and safe, which added an extra element of challenge. To try and avoid the worst of the days’ heat, we left earlier in the mornings and tried to take breaks in whatever shade we could find. In addition, in areas where there was little shade, we powered through to make sure that we weren’t in the heat for too long. The challenges that we faced in the qualifier were completely different to those from the practice expedition and though we had learned from our mistakes, the conditions were opposing. For example, on the practice many people learned the difference between shower-proof and rain-proof coats. However, on the qualifier this was obviously not applicable as we were walking in 30° heat.
Our good start made us even more eager to do better than we had done previously. Our experience in the practice was a huge contrast against the qualifier, however, it was one that was welcomed. We believe that we can speak for most groups when we say that we enjoyed the qualifier far more than the practice. This may also have been a result of our assessors’ endeavours to make it run smoothly and be more enjoyable.
Charlotte A, Charlotte B, Lucinda C, Imogen E, Flora S, Kimran S
Executive Headteacher Mrs Linda Wybar
Associate Headteacher Mrs Katie Marchant
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