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OUTDOOR EDUCATION


Once again we have had an outstanding year within Outdoor Education. Our thanks to the students, parents and staff that have supported our endeavours and looking back we cannot remember a free weekend!


TEN TORS


situated just outside Fernworthy Forest a recognisable campsite during the ten tors event. An evening of rest proved challenging, due to what sounded like a rave going on from late night to early morning. It turns out this wasn’t to be our weekend!


Over the Easter break we took time to focus on some advanced navigation techniques and this began in the Black Mountains. This was also to give some perspective that Dartmoor although challenging, does not require a great deal of ascent to reach the Tors. The team were taken through; back bearings, resection; using the compass to triangulate your position using a three back bearings. Once we were happy the team could achieve this accurately we continued to use this method throughout the day, with the team reaching the highest point in the Black Mountains national park Waun Fach. This concluded day one of Easter training programme and we returned to Dartmoor for the next two days.


We worked really hard leading up to the challenge completing six days training within a two week window working within the Easter break. These trips had us visit Dartmoor four times, in scorching heat and the black mountains once in more modest conditions.


Dartmoor Training weekend – Our second visit to Dartmoor of 2017 saw the team work with Mr Fairnington & Miss Dovey for half day revising; setting the map to ground and contour interpretation. The team were allowed to progress under their own steam the second day of training and had a hefty 28km day, in what turned out to be the hottest day of the year (at that time)! Remotely supervised the team were never too far away so we could intervene should difficulty occur. Initially the team made excellent progress and trusted in their skills and were off into the moor.


With the plan to meet them at Rough Tor, we arrived shortly before they did. Following a little relocation practice and them falling into the trap of our human nature encouraging us to walk in a circle!! They arrived safe and sound but not necessarily happy about their mistake, however they continued on and we did a little bit of guiding, feeding and rehydrating prior to letting them continue. With the heat increasing at this time, a decision was made to pull them off their route early, as we felt having had an excellent afternoon, we were satisfied with their progress.


This provided the team’s first wild camping experience, www.matravers.wilts.sch.uk


Day two we challenged the group to revise their contour recognition, we asked the group to lead us to Great Links Tor. After sprinting off to Brat Tor, the team progressed onto Great Links Tor devising a good strategy to get us there. From this we continued finding some smaller features on the map, using our pacing and bearing to enhance their accuracy. We found Bleak house, a ruin on the moor before moving up to Kitty Tor. Reaching Kitty Tor we were graced with an incoming weather front that was not too pleasant and proceeded to Gren Tor before returning to the Bus. It was an excellent demonstration of how the elements can change so quickly on expedition.


Our final days Easter training, we returned to Fernworthy Forest, where the team were dropped and provided a collection point. This was the day where the team demonstrated the team could really take care of themselves and be independent on the moor. Issued with a GPS that could track their movements, thus provided a tool that allowed us to review their data and ensure the team could accurately navigate on their own. Having reviewed the data, the team were accurate and quick. We were happy they would be ready for the Ten Tors challenge.


TEN TORS CHALLENGE


We arrived at Okehampton Camp and established Matravers Base Camp early, just after Mr Fairnington got shouted at for driving on the grass!”


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