DofE practice expeditions 2024


Well done to participants at all levels who have recently completed their DofE practice expeditions.

The Golds were first with the walkers going out before the Easter break, braving the elements and experiencing the best and worst of all that Dartmoor had to throw at them. Staff from Ocean Rock, the organisation that provides KLB expeditions, were full of praise for the students: “Your boys were magic. They navigated to super high levels even though they were bogged down almost to their knees at times. The weather was grim and we had one of the worst days we had experienced on Dartmoor for some considerable time but the team managed it all with smiles on their faces. They were fantastic!” Thank you to them all for their resilience and for leaving such a positive impression on the expedition leaders.

The canoeists were booked to go on the Wye during the Easter holidays but the relentless rain created high river conditions that were judged too risky and forced a last-minute change to a mixed-mode expedition. This took the participants to the beautiful Pontsticill reservoir in the heart of the Brecons where they had a mixed canoeing and walking challenge.

Thanks are due to Ocean Rock who designed a new expedition at short notice, to the parents who changed their plans to make sure their children arrived at the right location at the right time and to the participants who embraced the changes in good spirits and arrived determined to thoroughly enjoy their expedition come what may.

Over the first weekend of the new term, the Silver and Bronze participants completed their practice expeditions. This year, for the first time, the Silver groups travelled to the Quantocks, providing new and unfamiliar terrain from that of their Bronze expedition. The comments from the lead instructor for the expedition filled us with pride: “What a pleasure it was to be lead instructor for your year 10 students on their Silver DofE practice expedition this weekend. All the instructors commented how they were a delight to talk to, listened well to advice and instruction, and how their behaviour was exemplary. It was great to see how they supported each other generally but, in particular, how they helped the students who needed that bit of extra support with pitching tents, packing rucksacks and looking after themselves.

“It was also lovely to see how children I remember from Blue Coat have grown and developed to be such great young people. A real credit to your school.”

The bronze practice is never easy: for most participants it is the first time they have had to navigate their way through unfamiliar territory independently and self-sufficiently while working together with other members of their team. They rose to the occasion, enjoying bright sunny days but chilly nights. Miss Johnstone, Head of Year 9, joined them in the evening for a game of rounders, and was delighted with the students’ attitude and impressed by their camp crafts.

We hope all this year’s students are proud to be KLB School DofE participant and will leave the final word with Ocean Rock: “The students were a credit to themselves, their families and your school community – simply a pleasure to take out on expedition.

“From the Golds surviving the rain, to the Bronzes surviving absolutely freezing temperatures on Saturday and the Silvers rising to the challenge of Quantocks, your students are fun, polite, hard-working and resilient.”

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