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.

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.


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.


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.

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


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

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