47 Year 9 students took part in their practice Duke of Edinburgh bronze expedition this weekend. The route followed the ancient footpaths of Wiltshire, from the Iron Age earthwork remains of Barbury Castle, through the stunning Designated Area of Natural Beauty of the Wessex Downs to a beautifully located campsite near Royal Wootton Bassett.

Students were instructed by our partner organisation ‘H5’ on the cold Saturday morning and took their first journey under guidance of designated Duke of Edinburgh instructors. Students were exploring their orientation and map reading skills throughout the journey. Whilst in camp on the Saturday evening the students had to prepare their own sleeping areas and cook their own food. After dinner, a little down time was enjoyed by all – which even saw Mr Kershaw making a last ditch dive for the football before it went into the near-by water feature … (he failed).

On Sunday morning, students and staff were awoken by an amazing dawn chorus of birds in the misty surroundings before having breakfast and beginning their route back towards Barbury castle.

All the H5 staff commented on how resilient and respectful the students were and everyone was very proud to see all the students arrive back safely to be reunited with parents, albeit with a few sore knees and scrapes and bruises. Many thanks to the Bradon Forest staff who helped on this trip: Mr Bray, Miss Burton, Mr Cridge, Mr Kershaw, Mr Koniarski and our governor Mr Lindley! Well done all.  We are looking forward to the real thing in June!