Ten Tors 2017

Congratulations to the Court Fields Ten Tors 2017 team who completed the 35 mile challenge in a very qDSCF0525uick time, arriving back at 10:53 on Sunday morning.

After a mass start from Okehampton Army camp at 7am on Saturday morning.  The team set a very fast pace, passing check points at High Willhays, Watern Tor, Fernworthy Forest, Sittaford Tor, Higher White Tor, Holming Beam, Little Mis Tor, White Barrow, Standon Farm before haDSCF0529ving to stop for the night and camp at Chat Tor.  After cooking an evening meal and getting some sleep the team were up early and on their way at 6am to Great Kneeset, Hound Tor and Cosdon Hill before turning for home and arriving back at the Okehampton Army Camp by 10:53 on Sunday morning to be met by Team managers Mr Greenfield, Mr Dickson and all their parents.

A very impressive effort – well done to everyone that participated in the training and the challenge itself.

Snowdonia Residential 2016

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.

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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.

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Year 7 Rugby turn out in force for their first rugby games in Court Fields Colours.

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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.

 

Court Fields Storm Through To Next Round

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.

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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

DofE assessment

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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.

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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.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

dofeThis 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!

Ten Tors Training

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.

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Ten Tors kit list

Kit List

All Ten Tors participants are eligible for a 20% discount in Cotswold Camping at Darts Farm near Exeter.  Please see Mr Dickson to collect a copy of the letter which you will need to show in the store to claim this discount.

Footwear

You will need walking boots with a good quality leather or Goretex upper and a ‘vibram’ type sole.  Dartmoor is very wet and it is worth investing in a good pair of boots and gaiters to avoid getting wet feet!

Socks are also important.  Avoid cotton socks and get some wool socks that fit you.

Clothing

Wear a base layer t shirt or long sleeve top made of a man made fibre.  Please don’t wear cotton t-shirts as these do not ‘wick’ sweat away from the body and will make you feel cold as soon as you stop moving.  These tops can be bought cheaply from most outdoor retailers.

Midlayer – Wear a light weight fleece and not a cotton sweatshirt.  Once cotton gets wet it will stay wet.

Outer layer – a more substantial fleece or soft shell jacket.

Waterproofs – Must have taped seams and be made of a breathable fabric (e.g Event, Goretex, Aquafoil etc) A good quality waterproof jacket can make the difference between an enjoyable weekend and a wet and uncomfortable one.

Waterproof trousers – get some with leg zips so that they can go on over your boots without having to take them off.

Hats – (fleece or wool) and gloves (fleece or ski gloves)

Rucksack

45-50 litres in size.  Avoid zips and internal compartments.  Go for a simple robust design with compression straps and an adjustable lid.

We can lend you a rucksack so it would be better to buy good boots and a coat rather than a rucksack At this stage.

Sleeping bags

You will be camping in March, April and May on Dartmoor so will need a bag that you will be comfortable in even when there is a frost outside.  Ten Tors rules state that the bag must be zero rated ie comfortable down to 0 degrees celcius,  you will be asked to prove this before being allowed out on the even by the Army. Make sure that any bag you buy will fit into the rucksack that you are using and leaves plenty of room for all the rest of your clothing and equipment.  Use a compression bag to help squash your sleeping bag.

Sleeping mats or thermarest’ style mats.

Not needed until the weekend camps but essential for keeping warm.

Cookers – Gas Trangias will be provided by the school.

Maps – provided by the school Dartmoor OL 1:25,000

Compass – a Silva compass with a 1:50,000 and a 1:25,000 roamer.

A your kit should be put into plastic bags and you should also use a heavy duty bin bag or rubble bag as a rucksack liner.

Personal medication

If you have medication this must be clearly labelled and stated on your EV5 form.

 

North Wales Residential 2014

10aThe annual ‘mountains and mines’ North Wales Residential will take place between 13/11-15/11/14 (dates to be confirmed)  Once again we will be staying at  the luxurious Latymer School outdoor pursuits center in the secluded Penmachno Valley near Betwys-y Coed, Snowdonia.

 

 

During the trip we aim to ..

  • Get everyone to stand on top of one of the highest mountains in North Wales.
  • Get everyone to explore a disused slate mine using caving equipment.
  • Provide everyone with delicious food and Mrs Robertson’s home made cake!

This trip is aimed at students from Years 7-9.

Letters will be available next week but spaces will be limited.  So, if you are interested please give your names to Mrs Robertson, Mr Jenkins or Mr Dickson.  Cost is likely to be in the region of £115.

 

 

Snowdonia trip part two (underground)

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After our successful ascent of Tryfan, the group returned to the base for hot chocolate and another delicious meal of sausage casserole prepared by Mrs Robertson. Everyone enjoyed an impromptu musical performance led by Chris and Casey that made us forget our aching knees! Unsurprisingly, everyone went to bed quite a lot earlier!

The next day we headed off to Rhiw Bach mine. Year 7 students Starr and Becky continue the tale…

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