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Pupils successfully complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award

The Oratory School pupils successfully complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award Assessed Expedition.

Max, Jack, Kieran, Josh, Archie and Danila formed the 6-man team that tackled a four-day, three-night unaccompanied expedition through the Brecon Beacons at the start of half-term.

As per the 20 conditions of the DofE expedition section, the team planned their own routes, their own aim and had to be self-sufficient, carrying all necessary equipment and supplies for the duration of the expedition in a remote and isolated environment.

The weather on the first day provided frequent showers, thunderclaps and later heavy downpours that soaked clothing but did not dilute spirits.  The team's assessors were impressed with the attitude of The Oratory pupils in the face of hostile weather conditions, commending them on their attitude in camp, when the deluge was so heavy that it prevented them from lighting their stoves (they did eventually get one lit and enjoyed a hot meal), and stating privately to me, that the conditions would have broken lesser groups/ hearts.

The following three days saw improved weather conditions and the team made excellent progress.  The assessors commented several times on how well the team worked together, shared all responsibilities rather than being a group of individual, independent specialists (e.g. the navigator, the cook, the washer-upper) and their focus on completing their aim on assessing the physical evidence of man's settlement of the Beacons since neolithic times. 

Simply put, the assessors' feedback was fulsome in its praise and the main point to take from it was what a great bunch of lads they were to work with: both in terms of how they worked together and in being such good company to support and assess.

Marcus Fec, Assistant Head Co-Curricular