On Saturday, the Ten Tors team were out on Dartmoor for a training walk. The weather was very cold with snow flurries for much of the day. The walk started from the Okehampton army camp and took in High Willhays, Dinger Tor, Okement Hill, Watern Tor, Fernworthy forest, Grey Wethers stone circle and finished at Postbridge, a total of 21 Km. Mr Dickson and Mr Greenfield we very impressed by the navigation skills and speed of the students whilst walking. The next trip will be an overnight camp and walking with big rucksacks!
On Saturday 19th November our Ten Tors team had their first practice walk for the event in 2017. The weather was kind and the walk was completed in good time and we also avoided the torrential rains that struck the south west the following day, We will be out again in December and January for day walks and then camping trips in April and May.
On Thursday 13th October 20 Court Fields students from Years 7, 8 and 9 went to Snowdonia for the school’s annual residential trip.
On Friday 14th the group took on the challenge of scrambling up the North Ridge of Tryfan. For many students this was the first time that they had visited North Wales and also the first time they had climbed a mountain. The group were accompanied by 3 experienced members of staff who were all very impressed by the team work and resilience shown by the students.
Maya Thompson-Gardiner and Micaela Sellick take up the story
At the top of Tryfan we stopped for a summit photo at two large rocks named Adam & Eve and Mr Jenkins entertained the group with some mountain poetry before we headed down the south ridge and back to the Ogwen valley. On the walk back to the minibus the group found a sheep with its head caught in a wire fence but Mr Greenfield came to the rescue and managed to free the animal. Back at the centre we were provided with hot chocolate and Mrs Robertson’s cake and later on an evening meal before an early night to rest our tired legs.
We were up early the next day to explore the Rhiw Back slate mines and find out more about the history of mining in North Wales. We discovered that North Wales slate was once exported around the world as a roofing material but these days’ slate has some more unusual uses such as bulking powder in makeup and toothpaste!
Our underground trip started with a paddle through a flooded cavern on an inflatable boat. Next we went on a zip wire across another pool which was great fun. Wherever we walked there was water and the adults in the group had to duck their heads to avoid some of the low roofs. After the zip wire we abseiled into another chamber and stopped to eat our lunch. We then climbed up another level and found out more about the dangers of being a miner and what it was like having to work by candlelight without the benefit of any of the modern safety equipment.
Whilst we were underground we watched a film that was projected on to the side of the chamber about the work of some Welsh miners this was one of the earliest Welsh language films ever made.
Our final challenge was to exit the mine by climbing metal steps up a waterfall which was very exciting. We were lucky because during our time in Wales there was no rain and it was sunny so there wasn’t as much water running down as usual so we didn’t get as wet!
After saying goodbye to our instructors we headed back to the centre to wash the slate off our faces, pack the buses and start the long drive back to Somerset.
Many thanks to Mr Jenkins, Mr Dickson, Mr Greenfield and Mrs Robertson for organising the trip and looking after us while we were away.
Through their commitment in training the Year 7 Rugby Squad were able to field 2 full teams of 12 in a recent Central Ventue Event at Bishop Fox’s.
The teams played against the other schools in the area and showed bags of enthusiasum and commitment. Both teams should be proud of what they have achieved. For many of the students this was their first experience of playing competivtive rugby. Definitely some boys to watch out for in the future.
In their first match of the academic year, Court Fields School under 16’s came away with an emphatic 52-0 victory over Preston School (Yeovil). Noticeable performances from Finley Pocock with 5 tries and Jai-Leigh Sears who was outstanding in defence.
Left to Right (Back): Ryan Henwood, Jackson Wilkinson, Will Hodgeson, Cristian Satu, Finley Pocock, Rowan Blazeby, James Blackmore, Rohan Poulsom, Harry Roberts, Josh Thorne.
(Front):- Jai-Leigh Sears, Jayden Bowerman-King, Corey Perry-Jones, Freddie Coles, Harry Hanaford (captian) Ethan Osbon, Travis Baker-Way, Jack Payne
On Saturday 11th June 24 Year 9’s and 10’s were up and about early, in school by 7.30 pm, for the start of their Bronze DofE Assessment Expedition. We set off in two minibuses to Simonsbath on Exmoor and met our assessor who weighed our bags to check they weren’t too heavy! Despite them feeling very loaded, they were all about a quarter body weight or less, which is a DofE requirement. Then we set off in four teams, going in different directions. The assessor checked on us (and our navigation skills) at the source of the River Exe and then we were off again. It was one of those annoying weather days when every few minutes it would rain briefly and then get too hot again for waterproofs, but the scenery was great, with some very steep hills – at least the worst one was downhill! From about 4 pm on wards groups started arriving at the camp in Malmsmead, and once again the assessor was there checking on our camp craft skills and watching us cook up tea (pasta and boil in the bag rations being the preferred options). It was a nice night and we had a campfire and chatted until about 11 pm, when everyone suddenly realised there was a 6 am start the next day and went to bed quickly.
Sunday started with a bit of a downpour, wetting the tents nicely, but we had breakfast and had all the tents down and were off again before 8 am. Once again we had different routes, with two groups following parts of the coastal path and others the Lyn Rivers. Eventually we arrived at the final destination – Lynmouth. There we had a debrief with the assessor who picked out strengths and weaknesses in our teams – thankfully more strengths. We all passed our expedition.
Results from the 2016 Exmoor challenge which took place on 30/4/16
|Court Fields 2
|Court Fields 5
|Court Fields 1
|Court Fields 4
|Court Fields 3
There are 4 people in a team, and they have to follow a 16 mile route which is not marked – so following instructions, map-reading, and compass skills are essential. There are a series of check-points along the route and each leg has to be done in a pre-determined time – points are deducted if teams arrive too early or too late, and those who get very tired and lag too much are pulled out of the challenge. Only those who successfully complete the event are presented with a medal.
Last weekend was the final practice for the Court Fields Ten Tors teams before the actual event Dartmoor in May. On the first day the teams walked into a remote wild country campsite on the northern part of the moor, put up their tents, cooked and planned their routes for the following day before having a well earned early night.
Heavy rain fell during the night and the temperatures fell to below zero which meant that we woke up to find ice on the outside of our tents. As the teams ate breakfast there was also a snow shower!
The next day saw the teams heading south towards Great Mis Tor and their final destination of Postbridge. Both teams walked well covering about 35km over the two days and are now looking forward to the actual event on 7th May.
This year, for the first time in a number of years, students at Court Fields are working towards their Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. The four Silver teams have been out and about doing their training – map reading on Exmoor and putting up tents, cooking and practising some very cold outdoor first aid. Hopefully if they ever really need to put a teacher into the recovery position, they now know how not to roll them down a hill by accident!
The Silver teams were also out on a three day practice expedition on Exmoor on the weekend of the 11-13th March. Four groups set off from different points and made their way to Cloud Farm campsite by the beautiful Badgworthy Water, the last group arriving just as darkness dropped in. The weather was kind to us but next morning the tents were coated in ice and could probably have stood up without any poles. After a breakfast (cooked on gas stoves by the students, just like their previous night’s meal) everything was packed up for another hike across the moors, this time to Porlock. The third day saw everyone heading off on different stretches of the coastal path towards Minehead.
A number of lessons were learned for the next camp – not over packing backpacks, thinking carefully about food, being tidy in camp and taking time over route decisions. However everyone did really well for a first time out camping with all the gear needed for 3 days and the only people who seemed to get really lost were some of the staff helpers!
On Saturday 7th November Mr Dickson and Mr Greenfield went for a hike on Dartmoor with a group of Yr10 students as part of their Ten Tors training. The weather in the morning was very wet and everyone had to wear full waterproofs to protect themselves from the elements. After practicing putting up tents in the relative shelter or Fernworthy forest the sun eventually came out and we were able to enjoy our sandwiches on the top of Kes Tor with views of Castle Drogo in the distance.