Year 10 Duke of Edinburgh Training

A group of more than 70 year 10 students spent last weekend in the wilderness, trekking through Epping Forest in preparation for the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award.

Split into small teams, the keen adventurers set off from school early on Saturday morning, armed to the teeth with walking, cooking and camping equipment.

After a restful tube journey to the farthest reaches of the Essex countryside, they were quickly briefed by a team of outdoor experts before embarking on their expeditions.

To avoid error on the challenging walk, the students had to work well together and make effective use of their map-reading and compass skills.

With just a little help from the officials on the first day, they all made it through the forest and to the campsite in good time, where they prepared their own meals and settled down to a night under canvas.

Despite a heavy midnight downpour that continued into the morning, the students arose with an air of determination about them, knowing that the next challenge would involve going it alone.

The teams showed a huge amount of grit and perseverance during the demanding walk back through the dense forest. They made it to the train station with minimal difficulty, which stands them in good stead for the real thing in May.

All of the accompanying members of staff commented on how impressed they were with the students’ attitudes and overall performance.

It was great to see everyone enjoying themselves and showing off such a vast range of positive characteristics - looking out for one another and getting to grips with some unfamiliar territory.