D of E Gold expeditions complete

Students in the Sixth Form are working to complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is the highest level of the world-leading youth achievement award. Participants must complete months of voluntary work and physical activity as well as other committed efforts towards self improvement. 

This work then culminates with an extended expedition in wild country, which takes in a minimum of four days and three nights camping. 

As part of their training for the expedition, the small team of Year 13 students headed out into the southern end of Eryri (Snowdonia National Park) to the area around Dolgellau. Completing a three day journey from Dinas Mawddwy across Cadair Idris before finishing on the northern side of the range.

The team braved incredibly arduous conditions, with tough terrain under foot and driving wind and rain. Carrying large packs and climbing steep hills, they dug deep to reach the summit at Penygadair (in fortunately glorious conditions). 

Ten days later, the team were back in the minibus, this time heading north on the M6 to Cumbria and the Lake District. With the forecast looking bleak for their expedition, the team set off from Eskdale hoping to make camp on the shores of Wastwater. Strong, arduous winds, very poor visibility and constant rain meant the team had to make rapid changes to their plans in order to remain safe. 

Despite this, they kept in good spirits and pushed on to climb to the summit of Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England. The conditions were atrocious, but the team managed themselves incredibly well. On the final day, the team got the clear skies they had been hoping for, and some fantastic views of the peaks that had been hidden in the clouds!

Congratulations to Dylan Hewett, Daisy Medder, Scarlett Newby and Balint Fekete. They are an incredible team and showed real character, strength and resilience. The staff are incredibly proud of them, and they should be proud of themselves. 

Thanks should go to Jake Drysdale, who was unfortunately injured in training for the expedition, but met us at school on our return to welcome the team home. Thanks too to Mr Francis-Black for assessing the team and for showing some excellent driving skills, which were hard not to be impressed by. 

Next step is to get assessor’s reports written and completed. The team will be the first to complete the Gold award in St Katherine’s history (as far as Mr Parsons can remember anyway!), which would be a monumental achievement for them and we wish them all the best for getting it finished.

Mr Hodgson, Outdoor Education Lead