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Senior students explore the Yorkshire Dales during Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Senior students explore the Yorkshire Dales during Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

During June and July, around 60 students from Years 10, 11 and 12 navigated the spectacular scenery of Yorkshire Dales as part of their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award — an internationally recognised award that aims to cultivate independence, new skills and teamwork. 

The Silver Award, the second level of the assessment, includes an adventurous outdoor challenge, during which students learn about the environment and put their outdoor skills to the test. Year 10 and Year 12 undertook Silver and Gold practice trips respectively, while Year 11 successfully completed their Silver assessed expedition. 

The students planned their own routes, carried their own food, shelter and supplies, and sharpened their navigation and campcraft skills as a team. The Year 11 students’ arrival was met by dramatic, stormy conditions, which luckily did not last for the full 4-day trip, during which the girls walked an impressive 50-60 km. Showing determination and resilience, Year 12 covered 70-80 km, over steep and uneven terrain, in rain, sunshine and storms.  

The Year 12 students also spent a night at Street Head Campground in Newbiggin and visited Bolton Castle. The beautiful medieval castle proved worth the resulting uphill push to reach the coach park at the end of the day and was made even more welcoming by the well-earned cakes at the tearoom. Other highlights included the friendly chickens at Askrigg campsite, one of which even tried to move into Mrs Shercliff's tent. Above all, the students and staff enjoyed being outdoors with friends again.  

The staff were particularly impressed with the independence and determination of the Year 11, who all successfully achieved their Silver expedition section during their assessed trip. We look forward to seeing the remaining students complete their assessed expeditions in October. 

Head of Geography and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Manager, Mrs Norman, would like to thank the highly committed staff team of Mrs Shercliff, who led the Silver expeditions, Mr Mallabone, Miss Robley, Mr Griffiths, Mrs Foster, Miss Lees, and Mrs Wilson and our wonderful volunteer supervisors and assessors, Miss Dickson and Miss Spore, former Heads of Geography at St Mary’s, and former parent Dr Shercliff. Mrs Norman said:

‘It was a wonderful end to a very strange year and the girls were an absolute joy to go on expedition with!’ 

Mrs Shercliff and Mrs Norman would now like to encourage the girls to complete any other outstanding sections of their awards. Mrs Norman runs Duke of Edinburgh drop-in sessions on Mondays and Fridays to provide one-to-one advice and guidance.

See pictures from the trip in our gallery.

Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award at St Mary's here.