Duke of Edinburgh News
The summer term was incredibly successful for the DofE Award at Cheadle Hulme High School with the Qualifying Expedition for the Bronze Award taking place in July and the Qualifying Expedition for the Gold Award taking place in September. In total we have had 49 students completing the Bronze Award and 24 completing the Gold Expedition section. It was fantastic to see all of these students collecting their certificates at our Presentation Evening in the Sixth Form Auditorium on 6th October. We are very proud of these students and we wish the Gold Award participants luck in their final 12 months completing their Awards.
After a year of intense training and anticipation, our 9 Year 13 intrepid explorers embarked upon their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Expedition in a bid to introduce a little bit of Cheadle Hulme High School to Snowdonia.
On Thursday 25th September, when all of our other student’s days were done, our team set off in search of Conwy, North Wales. This was to be our home for our acclimatisation evening before an early start on Friday morning. Priorities were soon established and with a Pizza Hit order placed, the teams went about setting up camp. Dark soon came upon us and an early night was called for with the promise of an early start in the morning.
At 9am the adventure began. Both groups headed out of camp, some barely visible over their rucksacks but all were ready to face the challenges they were bound to face over the next four days. After some questionable navigation and a few 40 minute ‘breaks’, both groups managed to make it to their picturesque ‘wild camp’ destination. Tired and hungry, the groups didn’t seem to notice the beauty of their surroundings until the darkness drew in and they could lay back and appreciate the stars like never before!
Day 2 brought a new set of challenges with plenty of hill climbing and some tough terrain. Yet again the groups rose to the challenge and made it to camp in good time and, after rustling up yet another carb-filled feast, another early night was called for in preparation for the penultimate day of trekking.
Day 3 provided an opportunity for our groups to work on their aims. For Group 1 this involved a lot of singing, dancing and amateur dramatics whilst out in the great outdoors. For the other, a more conservation-based aim kept them occupied and engaged in their surroundings. Eight hours after leaving camp, both groups arrived at the idyllic Llyn Gwynant at the foot of Snowdon. With only one day to go and the promise of McDonalds on the horizon our hikers spent the night under the shadow of their final and toughest challenge of the weekend.
Snowdon. Two groups. One peak. The groups had decided to attack the ascent from opposite sides. All that remained was to see which group reached the summit first. At 3pm after a lot of blisters, sweat and tears both groups reached the summit and could absorb the breath taking views Snowdonia has to offer.
All 9 of the students who embarked on the expedition were successful in completing this section of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Each and every one of them gave it their all and did both themselves and the school proud. They have set an incredibly high standard for Qualifying Expeditions to come and we look forward to the coming year and the adventures it has in store!