Survival skills

Survival skills

Year 10 Bronze Group - boys


Year 10 Bronze Group - mixed



Year 11 Silver Group - mixed

Mr Parfitt

Year 11 Silver Group expedition


Map skills

Survival skills were put to the test in the great outdoors as Tupton Hall's Duke of Edinburgh participants completed two successful expeditions.

As the clocks changed in October, two camps in the Peak District also brought the 2014 expedition season to a close. The first was the Bronze qualifier which began at Bakewell and finished in Hartington. Two groups of Year 10 students demonstrated how well their navigational skills had developed.

"Both groups camped, cooked and walked very efficiently and survived a very cold night which brought icy tents the following morning," said Mr Ian Parfitt, Tupton's DofE Co-ordinator. "Their practice session didn’t go too well but they pulled it around and navigated very well for their qualifier – they were good.”

A few weeks later came the turn of the Year 11 Silver group. Their expedition spanned three days but was completed in much warmer weather. Again they started in Bakewell, finishing in Hartington, and had an extra day in the Staffordshire moorland.

“As normal the group were excellent in every respect – navigation decision making, teamwork, camping skills and behaviour,” said Mr Parfitt. “They were a pleasure to be with.”

Year 10 Bronze participants were: Leanne Mark, Becky Gerard, Ben Whitton, Georgia Bradley, Ellie Wallis, Ted Adlington-Stringer, Joe Bray, Jack Bray, Dom Bramley, Josh Fisher.

Year 11 Silver participants were: Bethan Roper-Jones, Eben Mellor, Adam Inskip, Rae Griffiths, Anna Stevenson, Emma Dando, Amy Barnett.

The next expeditions will be in Spring 2015. But in the meantime, Tupton DofE participants have a packed programme of activities planned. In November alone there will be four Bronze training days at Lea Green Development Centre and a Gold day walk in the Dark Peak.

Sixth Form student Matthew Atkins now explores what the Duke of Edinburgh Award is, and how it is flourishing at Tupton Hall School…

The DofE programme was founded by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in 1956 and he remains its patron today. The programme is described as ‘a real adventure from beginning to end’ and anyone can take part between the ages of 14 and 24. The ultimate goal is to give all young people the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.

Three awards make up the scheme – the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, each more advanced than the last. The expedition, although an integral part of each award, is just one of four sections. Participants also take part in a hobby activity, a sporting activity and do volunteering. This gives young people an important opportunity to contribute to their local area by helping individuals and groups in the Chesterfield area.

The Bronze Award, as well as containing these four sections, also requires participants to do map work, cook outdoors, plan routes and create route cards, and identify and use the correct kit for expeditions.

This collection of skills will be carried with them into their adult lives. What’s more, DofE expeditions give our school’s young people a great opportunity to experience and appreciate the lustrous Peak District which lies on our doorstep.

Mr Parfitt believes the response to the programme is a credit to Tupton Hall School. “DofE is very healthy at Tupton Hall with around 50 new Bronze participants from Year 9 currently being trained up,” he said.

“Thirty Year 10s are finishing off their Bronze, with many going on to Silver. And a large contingent of Year 12 students are preparing for their Gold practice expedition next Easter – possibly in Snowdonia.”

Making it to the Gold Award is a real achievement for participants, and often means an expedition further afield to places like the Lake District and Dark Peak to the hills of Snowdonia. Trips like this show that the Duke of Edinburgh scheme is not only an amazing opportunity for young people to test their skills and acquire new ones, but can lead to broadened horizons and memories to last a lifetime.