Category Archives: Gold award

Gold award

Gold Practice Expedition Letter from Kevin at Outlook

Dear Parent / Guardian


Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Training Expedition on 13th to 15th July. I’m writing to you to advise you of a change to the pick up point. All other information from the previous letter is the same and I will repeat below. The new pick up point is listed below. Please also ensure that you have read the letter about the critical kit that they must bring and not having it will result in yourselves being asked to bring it to the expedition area or them not being allowed to walk (e.g. boots not shoes, waterproof over trousers, asthma medication.) They must bring water proofs regardless of recent weather. It is warm at the moment but temperatures are due to drop to normal levels by next weekend. If they did not, we have ways of shortening walks, lightening bags and providing extra water. The girls need to be asked to have sun protection with them – hats, neck scarves, sun glasses. It’s better for them to bring too much and then leave some heavier/warm clothing with me in my van than to leave it at home.


I decided to change the pick up point away from Malham Tarn car park, where there are no facilities, to Malham village. This village will be crowded with cars but will also have mobile reception and toilets. This will enable you to come earlier and have a walk to Malham Cove and get an ice cream or food in the local hotel. It will also allow the students to get to the toilet and have an ice cream after their walk and before their drive home.


I will be coordinating the event and will remain in the area all the time to support the staff. I’ll be on-duty overnight on the campsites and should be your ‘First contact’ if you need to get in touch with your child. I’d remind you that there is often patchy signal in the area that we will be working, and I may not get a message from you for hours. You can leave a message and I’ll return it when I pick it up. You should also not be asking your young people to be ringing you to keep them updated. Assume ‘No news is good news’. They will stay at 2 different campsites on their walk.


During this training expedition, their trainer will stay with them for the first day and a half, training their navigation, group skills and campcraft to a higher level and risk assessing them. On most days, they will be out for at least 8 hours and be walking between 14- 18 km and ascending about 500-600m. Please ensure they have understood that this training is to be harder than the Silver training they attended and that their fitness, equipment and food need to be good.


Please ensure they are bringing a wrist watch – not just a clock on their phone. They need a wrist watch to help them time their walking and is an essential part of navigating and not getting lost.


Drop-off point:

Friday 13th July 9:30am

Stainforth Village Car Park

The Hollies, Stainforth, Settle BD24 9QD

Click here for map


Pick up point:

Sunday afternoon pick up: 5:00pm.

They may be later or earlier, please understand that they may get lost or be slower on their last day as they will not be walking with the trainer that day. (Remote supervision is required).

Malham National Park Centre

Chapel Gate,

Malham BD23 4DA

Click here for map


Getting lost – we have had problems recently with parents getting lost on the way to the drop off / pick up because they were using Google Maps and not a dedicated SatNav. Google Maps can struggle in the countryside as it relies on you receiving a 4G signal to update the map position. Please take precautions to download that area in Google maps in the App settings before setting off. Postcodes are not an accurate place finder in the countryside, they can take you to a 1km area but not necessarily to the exact point (houses and farms are a lot more spread out in the countryside).



These are the campsites we are using in case you need to pick up a child.


1st night – Town Head Farm Campsite (Riverside campsite)

Cove Road



North Yorkshire

BD23 4DJ


2nd Night – Kettlewell Camping

Conistone Lane



BD23 5RE


Mobile phones

The Duke of Edinburgh Organisation recommend that we do not allow participants to have mobile phones whilst on expedition (day or night). There are a number of reasons for this:

The participants are encouraged to ‘un-plug’ from the outside world and focus on becoming part of their team by socialising and supporting each other.

Mobile phones don’t stand up well to rain, mud, being crushed in pockets. They run out of charge and there are no charging facilities on campsites.

There is patchy coverage in the countryside, and batteries die and so if you are waiting on a phone call from your young person and don’t receive it or you are trying to ring them to check on them, and they don’t call back – you get anxious for no reason.

For these reasons, we have always run and supervised expeditions in such a way that mobile reception is not required for supervision or safety:


Sometimes it is necessary for me to contact home if a young person takes ill or has forgotten equipment. I have all the emergency contact details that you provided the school with and can contact parents if I need to. You can contact me directly on 07980 306869 – please only do this if it is an emergency, and remember, I too will have patchy reception and so may not get straight back to you.


Thanks for your support.


Kevin Beattie

Programme Manager




Buckingham Palace News

DofE Gold-Award 2018

This is Alice, Robyn, Charu, and Roz, who are the first of our students who have completed their DofE gold award with school. There were also a number of our students who had completed their gold award with other centres.

They were given their certificates by Squash Falconer, the mountaineer and adventurer who was the first female to climb Mont Blanc and then paraglide down from the summit. She has also climbed mount Everest. She gave a really interesting talk about her adventures and her own DofE experiences. As a group we met Princess Eugenie and we also saw Prince William the Duke of Cambridge.

Well done!

Training Days

Where?  Main school Hall

What to bring? All need lunch, drinks, snacks, sensible shoes and clothing as we may be outside. Silver and Gold participants who have completed their previous awards also need to bring their kit(not food) for a check.

Bronze Group 1:    Saturday 24/2/18  8:50am-4:15pm

Bronze Group 2:    Sunday 25/2/18  8:50am-4:15pm

Silver and Gold Direct:    Saturday 3/3/18  8:50am-4:15pm : silver  bring kit and ruc sac(not food)

Gold and Gold Direct:  Saturday 10/3/18  8:50am-4:15pm : gold bring kit in ruc sac(not food)

Information required by Venture Out

If you are doing your award this year then the following must be filled in.  This is so Venture Out, the company who trains you and runs the expeditions, has up to date information whilst you are in their care.  Please would you submit a form online for the relevant award.  If you are unable to do this then you can print one out and hand into reception for the attention of Miss Hickman.  This should be done by 21/2/18






Miss Hickman

DofE News



It has been a really exciting year for us this year.  We have record  numbers of students participating with 135 starting bronze, 65 silver and 19 gold.  This is well up on last year when we had 88 bronze, 58 silver and 4 gold.

We have also record numbers completing their awards with our first ever gold award holders.  Congratulations to Roz, Farah (2015-16)and Sudiksha(2016-2017). We have at least four other students who should complete in the coming weeks.

We have awarded 67 Silver awards and 76 bronze awards to the 2015-16 cohort and we have  83 bronze and 53 silver awards (from the 2016-17 cohort) which just need the assessor reports to be completed before those individuals will also complete the award!

Well done to all involved.

Miss Hickman


DofE Applications 2016/17

I hope you all had a peaceful break.  As you can imagine, sorting through nearly 200 applications and checking all information is a time consuming role, especially with a two and half week break!  I am currently sorting these out.  All pupils who have applied have a place but some participants have not provided all of the required information.  I will be sending this out to form tutors to pass on next week.

I have decided that as this award is all about the participants being responsible, I will not be emailing all information via Parent Mail.  I have many parents who can’t always find the information sent out to them.  Instead I would guide you to this blog which can be found via the school website.  All up-to-date information will be posted there.

What will happen next?

By 20/1/17

Information will be sent out to form tutors and on the school noticeboard for the participants. Some will need to bring me extra information which is missing from the application. This should be brought to me ASAP

By 29/1/17

Parentpay will be set up for the final payment

By 3/2/17

Participants should receive an email on their school email(year 10) or parents email(year 9)  advising them of their username and password for the DofE website.  I will also invite them to a meeting after school in order to introduce them to  edofe .  This meeting will also introduce the bronze award participants to the time scales required for each area.

If you require any information please look on the DofE website, or participants can come and find me in my room F28 where there is also a noticeboard of any important information

Thanks for your patience and cooperation with this matter.

Mandy Hickman

DofE Manager


DofE dates for 2017 : slight change to advertised previously. Bronze dates have been altered

Award Expedition/training Dates 2017 Venue For
Bronze Training 25th Feb 2017 School All Bronze
  Practice Exped 6-7th May 2017 TBC All Bronze
  Qualifying Exped 17-18th June 2017 TBC All Bronze
Silver Training 11th March 2017 School All Silver
  Practice Exped 9-11th June 2017 TBC All Silver
  Qualifying Exped 16-18th September 2017 TBC All Silver
Gold direct Training 11th March 2017 School Gold direct
  Practice Exped 9-11th June 2017 TBC Gold direct
Gold and Gold direct Training 18th March 2017 School Gold and Gold Direct
Practice Exped 7-9th July 2017 TBC Gold and Gold Direct
Qualifying Exped 30th August – 3rd September TBC Gold and Gold Direct



After discussions we felt the previous date of March may not necessarily give our groups the best opportunity to get the best out of the experience, mainly due to weather.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

DofE meeting

Dear Parents and Carers
If you and your child are interested in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme then there will be a short meeting in Main school, on the following dates. Information is sent out via ParentMail.
Award                      Open to                                        Date and Time
Gold or Silver       Year 12 and Year 10            5/12/16   6pm-7pm
Bronze                     Year 9                                           12/12/16 6pm-7pm

You and your child must attend this meeting if your child wants to participate as there will be important information given. You will be given the chance to meet Kevin Beattie from Venture Out who is our Authorised Activity Provider. We will discuss the level of commitment required and also costings and approximate dates of training and expeditions.
For more information, explore the DofE website at

Gold Final Expedition

Qualifying Expedition details

Dates: 31st Aug to 4th Sept
Expedition Area: Peak District

Staffing: Kevin Beattie Co-ordinator 07980 306869

31st Aug Acclimatisation: Arrive 2pm at Gradbach Campsite, Macclesfield, Meet Supervisor, get your kit, food, and maps ready for Assessor. Meet assessor. Stay the night (bring enough food for this night and breakfast)
1st Sept walk from Gradbach to 7Springs, Disley
2nd Sept Walk from 7Springs to Booth Farm Campsite, Edale
3rd Sept Walk from Edale to Crowden
4th Sept Walk from Crowden to Diggle. Parents pick up – hopefully 5pm

31st Aug
Gradbach Scout Camp
Old Hall Farm, Gradbach, Quarnford, Staffordshire, SK17 0SU’26.0%22N+2%C2%B000’37.2%22W/@53.192017,-2.002362,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d53.190556!4d-2.010326?hl=en

1st Sept
Seven Springs Outdoor Activity Centre,
Corks Lane, Disley, Cheshire, SK12 2AZ,-2.022774&z=16&t=m&hl=en-US&gl=GB&mapclient=embed&q=Stockport,+Cheshire+East+SK12+2AZ+Disley

2nd Sept
Upper Booth Farm  
Address: Edale, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 7ZJ,-1.8467224,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xc4f6349a46e9395f!8m2!3d53.3660659!4d-1.8467224

3rd Sept
Crowden Camping & Caravan Club Site
Woodhead Rd, Crowden SK13 1HZ,-1.893682,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xb53f08748c243d63!8m2!3d53.49042!4d-1.893682

4th Sept
Car park in Diggle
4 Sam Rd, Diggle, Oldham OL3 5PU,+Diggle,+Oldham+OL3+5PU/@53.5685069,-1.9929086,172m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x487bc64787087b1f:0xed09df6f87955b56!8m2!3d53.5685069!4d-1.9923601

Acclimatisation Day

This is a requirement of DofE. You don’t walk on this day but you can’t miss it out. You meet your group and supervisor and go through all your kit, food and routes to make sure you have everything and if you don’t you have time to do something about it – so bring money. It also means that you need to have food for that night and the next morning. This evening is not ‘assessed’.
After you have had time to check you kit and route with your group you then meet with your assessor for them to go through your plans, equipment, food. This isn’t meant to be a test, just a final check that you are properly prepared for a 4-day journey and that you have the knowledge and skill level to be successful.


Kevin Beattie is co-ordinating the expedition and is emergency contact for parents needing to get hold of participants. Please remember that mobile phone reception in these areas is not guaranteed and so don’t panic if you do not hear back from him immediately. He has access to all medical details and emergency contact numbers. He and the assessor will be driving around in the area meeting groups regularly at arranged points, and monitoring progress. There will be staff available on campsites at night.

What to bring

Everything that you would need for 4 nights camping and 5 days walking. You will need your own Silva compass (see kit list). You will have time on the first day to organise your food as a group and work out what you are sharing and what you are leaving out.

As this event is the weekend before the students go back to school, I am happy for students or parents to contact me directly to discuss arrangements.
07980 306869

Gold Practice Expedition IMPORTANT

Gold Practice Expedition details

Organisation: Altrincham Grammar School for Girls

dates: 17th-21st July 2016

Expedition area: Mid Wales

staffing: Kevin Beattie Supervisor 07980 306869
Chris Kirkham
Becki Lounds

17th July Meet 11am at campsite. Meet trainers. Kit & food check. Navigation training day.
18th July walk from Llandrillo to Llangynog
19th July walk from Llangynog to Bala Lakeside campsite
20th July walk from Bala Lakeside to Dolgelleau
21st July walk from Dolgelleau to Moria station Car Park (Near Barmouth)
Pick up probably by 4pm at latest.

17th July
Hendwr Caravan Park
Llandrillo, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0SN

Duke of Edinburgh & Groups,-3.4302143,13.75z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0000000000000000:0x1b80d6107ac855e1!8m2!3d52.936677!4d-3.4339356?hl=en

18th July
Henstat Caravan Park,
B4391 Llanfyllin To Bala Rd, Llangynog SY10 0EP


19th July
Gwersyll Pant Yr Onnen, Llangower, Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7BT,-3.62922,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xa340631bb988cdf1!8m2!3d52.8791993!4d-3.6305737?hl=en

20th July
Llwyn yr Helm Caravan Park
Brithdir, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2SA, UK,+Dolgellau,+Gwynedd+LL40+2SA,+UK/@52.7587285,-3.8589534,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4865644524187259:0x69ea20d24b7accdf!8m2!3d52.7574199!4d-3.8032937?hl=en

21st July
walk from Dolgelleau to Moria Mawddach train station, near coast south of Barmouth’22.4%22N+4%C2%B001’45.3%22W/@52.706213,-4.031443,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d52.706213!4d-4.029249?hl=en

or if we need to shorten the route for groups with injury (blisters etc)
Penmaenpool bridge
Penmaenpool, Dolgellau, Merionethshire LL40 1YD’54.5%22N+3%C2%B056’02.1%22W/@52.748465,-3.9347067,18z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d52.748465!4d-3.933931?hl=en

toilets at both these end points
There is a good bar Resturant at Penmaenpool bridge and a great coastal walk.
Trains can be got from Moria Mawddach station into Barmouth and from Barmouth on to Manchester


Kevin Beattie is co-ordinating the expedition and is emergency contact for parents needing to get hold of participants. Please remember that mobile phone reception in these areas is not guaranteed and so don’t panic if you do not hear back from him immediately. He has access to all medical details and emergency contact numbers. He and his 2 trainers will be driving around in the area meeting groups regularly at arranged points, and monitoring progress. There will be staff available on campsites at night.

What to bring

Everything that you would need for 4 nights camping and 5 days walking. You will need your own Silva compass (see kit list). You will have time on the first day to organise your food as a group and work out what you are sharing and what you are leaving out.