Silver Practice Expedition

Please see the information below from Kevin at Venture-Out.

Dear Parent / Guardian

Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Training Expedition on 9th June to 11th Friday to Sunday. I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements. If they no can longer attend please let the school know ASAP as this has an impact on the viability of their group.

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, (possibly no signal on the first campsite and none on the second one). 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’. (07980306869)

During the training expedition, each group will be assigned their own trainer who will stay with them most of the first two days, training their navigation, group skills and campcraft to a higher level and risk assessing them. As this is a training course, the focus will be on training input and not necessarily on doing big distances each day with full kit. But on most days, they will be out for at least 7 hours and be walking at least 12km and ascending about 400m. Only on the first day will they not have to carry the group kit (tents, cookers, fuel). Please ensure they have understood that this training is to be harder than Bronze Qualifier and that their fitness, equipment and food need to be good.

Please ensure they are bringing a 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. Please also check that the equipment that they had from Bronze is still appropriate, they may have grown out of a few things. We have found that young people often don’t want to ask their parents to buy new/replacement stuff for them as they want to impress them with their independence and prove that they can do this. (and that they didn’t get their first choice of kit wrong)

Friday morning drop off: 9:30am prompt.
Tesco Superstore, Bridgemont, Whaley Bridge, High Peak SK23 7PB (click here for map)
They will meet their trainer, and walk from here towards Buxton.

Sunday afternoon pick up: 4:00pm.
Errowood Hall Car Park (at Errwood Reservoir). Buxton SK17 6SX (click here for map)
They may be later than this so please be patient and remember that if you are early you will have to wait until they are dismissed by their trainer at the end of their debrief.

Google Maps Alert – 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 or SatNav app. 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.

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

1st night – Cold Spring Farm
64 Manchester Rd, Buxton SK17 6SS
(click here for map)
Campsite has showers

2nd Night – Gradbach Scout Campsite
Peter Watson Camp Site, Old Hall Farm, Peak District National Park, Quarnford SK17 0SU
(Click here for map)
Campsite has showers. No phone reception as this is a narrow valley.

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 the number above – 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

Bronze Practice Expedition

Well done to all of those who took part on Saturday. The weather was varying and I know the heat on Sunday would have made for some uncomfortableness, especially with a pack on! You must remember to wear hats, use sun cream, and drink water. Don’t be scared of taking off and putting on layers throughout your walk and a long sleeved shirt is really useful when the sun is out.
Kevin Beatty from Venture-Out has given me a link for some photos he took over the two days.

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Venture.Out.co.uk/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1527897927261069
In your groups it would be useful to think about how your cooking worked and whether you need to change ideas for food. Also think about what your leader spoke to you about over the weekend.
All bronze groups should have an idea about their project and you should enter your group names and aims and objectives of your project and expeditions onto your expedition part of your eDofE account.
Well done!

DofE training day at school

DofE Training Day at AGGS, February 2017
DofE Training Day at AGGS, February 2017

Over 140 pupils attended the three DofE training days run at school by Venture Out. This is an important aspect of the training for the expedition strand and the groups looked at first aid, map reading, and nutrition, amongst other things. It was a long day but the trainers were impressed by the pupil’s attitude and knowledge.

Well done to all taking part and just a reminder that the bronze practice expedition is this weekend. Details have been given to the pupils and are on this blog. The blog is the place to go for any information and has details of all expedition dates and equipment needed, details of locations for the expeditions will be put on the blog as soon as I have the information from Venture Out.

IMPORTANT:Bronze Practice Exped Information

For Bronze Participants, please see the letter below from Kevin at Venture Out.

Hi
Your child is due to attend their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Training Expeditions on 6th & 7th May. By now they should have gathered all the equipment and food they need. I’m contacting you to confirm the arrangements.

Venue for weekend:
Linnet Clough Scout Camp
Gibb Ln, Mellor, Stockport SK6 5NB
Sat morning drop off: 9:00am prompt.
Sunday afternoon pick up: 4:30pm

This is a large campsite but the lane to it is narrow and the car park small. We encourage all parents to offer car share to minimize traffic and congestion. Please also remember that Google Maps may not work in the countryside due to poor network connection.

The groups will have a trainer assigned to them who will be with them at all times from breakfast to evening. Training them in camping, cooking, navigation, walking and emergency scenarios, in preparation for their assessed expedition.

Mobile phones
The Duke of Edinburgh Organisation recommend that we do not allow participants to have mobile phones whilst on expedition (day or night). The 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:
The group are given an emergency phone with the supervisors’ numbers and have been taught what to do as a group in an emergency. We assume that they won’t be able to use it and so our supervisors trail the groups and meet up with them every hour to check in on them.
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.

If they need to take photos, then they should come with a camera, or maybe their phone but with the SIM card removed.
Thanks for your understanding and support.

Kevin Beattie
Programme Manager

Silver Training Day

Important Information for your training day on March 11th. For those who have not done bronze there is a kit list on the eDofE website or pinned up outside F28

• One of the sessions is outside – so come dressed to be outside in the rain for 2 hours.
• There will be 2 breaks and lunch – bring own food and drinks. Lunch will be at 11:30am for 30 minutes. You can’t go off site.
• Arrive for 8:45 so we can start at 9am sharp. We will try to be finished for 4:15pm.
• We will do 3x 2 hour sessions:

1. First Aid & emergencies
2. Using maps to plan routes
3. Kit list check and planning your menu

You will need to bring:
• Your rucksack packed with all your kit, sleeping bags, waterproofs, boots and your water bottles.
• Your first aid kit

We need 5 teams of 7, 2 teams of 5 and a team of 6. The team lists of names need to be handed in to me personally by the 10th of March and it will be first come first serve for the teams of 5 and 6. If you do not know anyone then don’t worry we can add you to a team on the day.

Thanks

Miss Hickman

Bronze Training Day 25/2/17

All bronze DofE 2017 should attend.

Arrive at the main hall by 9am for a prompt start.  It will finish approximately  at 4:15 pm.

You should be dressed for working inside and outdoors.

Please bring a packed lunch and any snacks or drinks you require.

You will be divided into groups of at least 6 so you might want to do this beforehand.

I will be there too.

Meetings

For all pupils who have handed in an application.  Please bring any missing documents that have been highlighted by your form tutor.  This was sent in an email to them.

You will need a pen and paper, they will take place in F28 and 12:40 and will last approximately 30 minutes. You must attend.
Tuesday 31/1/17            9-1 and 9-6
Wednesday 1/2/17       9-3 and 9-7
Friday  3/2/17  or Thursday 9/2/17          9-2, 9-4 and 9-5
Tuesday 7/2/17            10-1, 10-2, 10-3
Wednesday 8/2/17    10-4, 10-5, 10-6, 10-7

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.

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