On Saturday morning a group of 24 Year 10’s met at school to head to Dartmoor for the next phase of their Ten Tors training.
It was a particularly cold start to the day, temperatures were barely above zero and a cold easterly wind certainly didn’t bring any warmth to the moor.
The student’s had already been divided up and they walked in these groups, navagating in poor visabilty, across frozen ground around the various different obstacles Dartmoor brings.
As the day unfolded it became clear we were moving a lot slower than expected. Then towards the end of the walk a two of the groups came to a usually safe river crossing which was impassable.
The staff worked together and decided on course of action to ensure the safety of the students and to get back to our pick up point before it got too late.
Despite rerouting to find a suitable crossing point it this proved too challenging.
In the end the students had to remove boots and socks to walk through a ford, wet feet for 5 minutes is better than wet feet for 2 hours! Not a single student complained once, it was a big ask of them when they were tired and still had about an hour and half of walking to go, most of it would be in the dark.
We often talk about resilience in school, yesterday yet again proved what many of of are students are capable of when it comes to the crunch. They worked together to keep morale high, supporting each other physically and mentally.
Walking in the dark on Dartmoor can be intimidating for experienced hikers but none of them were moaning, they were a testament to Park School.
We ended up returning to school at nearly 7.30pm, having met there twelve hours earlier!
The Ten Tors challenge is for a team of 6 to walk up to the top of 10 of Dartmoor’s famous Tors (A lump of exposed rock at the top of a hill). This is done over a distance of 35, 45 or 55 miles and participants also need to carry the equipment they will use for the camp that is required overnight.
It is an event organised and run by the Army to give young people the opportunity to complete something that is physically and mentally challenging.
We are currently preparing for the Ten Tors event with a series of practice walks both locally and on Dartmoor itself.