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Walthamstow School for Girls

Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition

Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition on 11th May 2024.

A couple of weekends ago, the Duke of Edinburgh cohort of 2024 went on their practice hike. Since bringing DofE back after Covid, this is the first time we have done a full practice and - despite the hot weather and incredibly muddy trails - the students did themselves proud! It was a challenging but wonderful day, as one student so eloquently describes below:

On a beautiful Saturday morning, 24 students and 6 staff loaded onto two minibuses, armed with bags towering over our heads, filled to the brim with towels, a tent, heavy books, clothes and food. We were to complete a practice walk; arranged to prepare us for our DofE Bronze award expedition, in which we have to sleep overnight at a campsite after walking 20km over two days, finding our own way with only a compass, map and each other. After around an hour drive, we received a brief from our DofE practitioner, and we set off into the wild (Epping Green.) After trekking through rather muddy spots, we reached rolls of empty green fields, making sure to check our maps and exercise our rusty compass skills in case of any upcoming turns or forks in the road. Thanks to this practice walk, my group and I learned we need to brush up on our navigational skills! When finding a patch of shade amongst vast areas of open land, we determined it was best to sit down for lunch, enjoy conversation amongst ourselves and of course, a beautiful view. Keeping to the countryside code and cleaning up after ourselves, we began to continue the other half of our promenade, passing along the way what seemed like hundreds of farms. We even got the chance from a passing-by rider to pet their horse! After another break (or two), much more amazing views and a few more patches of mud, we reached the now long-awaited minibuses and met the other groups. We were all ready to catch up on our adventures and began reminiscing about our wonderful experience. It was a great tester for the real deal, and most definitely boosted all our teamwork skills. We can’t wait to do it all again! 

Serena 10W 

Special thanks to Keitu and Nusaybah for providing some of the photos.