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Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Silver assessed expedition – Ballard School – July 2016

March 12, 2016
Ballard School DofE trek Dartmoor Day 1

What will the weather be like?

Our Silver Duke of Edinburgh group were probably thinking this when they set off, just after our end of term and Speech Day (read more about what was said at Speech Day in our Headmaster’s Blog).

A short summary of what was to come (written earlier in 2016) in our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award calendar is below – and, how time has flown!

The D of E is hotting up – hopefully along with the weather! With initial training behind us, expedition groups have been formed and will be tested this Sunday, out in the Forest. In the classroom, projects have been decided upon and routes are currently being planned for the practice expeditions in May and the assessed expeditions in June. Food will be the next major topic for people to focus on! In addition we have joined in with the D of E’s 60th anniversary celebrations, attending a function in Winchester which showcased various groups and at which Oliver and Talisa were great ambassadors for Ballard. Still to come, we will be hosting the New Forest Area’s annual presentation evening in April. The silver group will be off to the Brecons in May and the year will end with their assessed expedition on Dartmoor in July. Busy, but satisfying times!


Twitter was the main source of updates for us back at Ballard, waiting for news of how the Silver assessed expedition was progressing in Dartmoor this July. Here is their first correspondance – not the best start (weather wise) to their adventure.

Day 1 – exploring tors (or should that be to(u)ring?!)

Our Silver group have had their first taste of with a stroll around Cox, Ross and Grand Staple Tors. Grand Staple is described as:

A most impressive Tor. As you approach from the south you are greeted by two large stacks forming a ‘gateway’ at the top of the Tor. Great views across to Great Mis Tor and Merrivale Valley.(attrib)

Day 2 – first day of assessed expedition

After an opportunity to explore and acclimatize to the area, our five DofE-ers set off on their first day

Ballard School DofE trek Dartmoor Day 1

Wet underfoot but prepared and ready for their assessed expedition

Update on Day 2

The next update we received was after their ‘wild camping’ night and when they had begun their project work. Shipley Bridge was the chosen destination for a well deserved lunch stop.

Ballard School DofE Dartmoor expedition

Shipley Bridge location – with thanks to

 Spurrel’s Cross – Day 3

Our Silver group at Spurrel’s Cross on Day 3 of their assessed expedition. Wikipedia informs us that Spurrel’s Cross is unique on Dartmoor for  having spurred limbs of a type that were popular in the 14th century, as many of these crosses on Dartmoor marked ancient crossroads between major settlements. Let’s hope it helped them orientate themselves for the finish!

Ballard School Spurrels Cross Day 3 DofE

Our Silver #DofE group at Spurrels Cross on Day 3 of their assessed expedition

And finally… home!

The final group shot – expedition completed and time for showers, food and sleep – not necessarily in that order!

Ballard School DofE expedition Dartmoor

The final five completed their assessed Silver expedition!

We tweet from @BallardSchool. For more information on our Duke of Edinburgh Award’s Scheme, please see our website.

Ballard School is an independent, private co-educational school in New Milton, Hampshire, providing an outstanding level of education for nursery to GCSE. With small class sizes and proven academic excellence, we strive to nurture the academic potential of all students. Learn more about our academic programmes, pastoral care, facilities and school ethos by visiting our website or by requesting a prospectus here


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