Outdoor education and Duke of Edinburgh Award

Yr11 Bronze DofE Completion Information - please click here for further details

Indoor Climbing Trips

There will be an Indoor Climbing Trip for Year 11 on the 26th November, Year 12 on the 10th December and Year 13 on the 15th December.

Year 12 Gold DofE training weekend, Brecon Beacons

The Year 12 Gold team spent the weekend in the Brecon Beacons as the second part of their training process. The group worked as a team to prepare an evening meal on the Friday night, they then completed some route planning in small groups and first aid training.On the Saturday everyone enjoyed a 10 mile walk which took them up Sugar Loaf in very challenging conditions. After a few teams games in the evening students got ready for a 6am start on the Sunday.

In foggy, windy and cold conditions everyone completed a circular walk in the Pen y Fan area, with a few first aid scenarios thrown in on the Sunday.

The group were a pleasure to take away and yet again performed to a very high level.

Thank you to Mr Camm and Mr Tomey for supporting students.

Year 13 Gold DofE Practice Expedition to Snowdonia

During the half term break the Year 13 Gold DofE group travelled to Snowdonia to complete their Practice Expedition. After what seemed like never ended journey we arrived in the National Park and set camp Friday night. The following day students bravely set off for their first day of walking and wild camping in very wet and cold conditions. All three groups successfully completed the 2 days and 2 nights of camping in the Park by themselves and were boosted by a day of sunshine to climb Snowdon on the 3rd day.

After a warm night in a local bunkhouse on the last evening everyone set off to climb Tryfan in high spirits on Tuesday. The group did fantastically well and showed that they good navigational, camp craft, fitness and scrambling skills. They were a pleasure to take away.

A huge thank you to Miss Ridley, Mr Tomey, Pam Ellison, Mr Briggs and Mr Camm who made this Expedition possible. They contributed brilliantly to all aspects of the Expeditions and gave up their half term break to do so.

Year 12 Gold DofE training, Brecon Beacons. October 2015

The Year 12 Gold DofE team were put through their paces at the weekend. The group navigated their way to a wild camp spot in the Brecon Beacons on Friday night. After putting up tents and cooking dinner they then practiced a night rescue, working as a team they successfully located Miss Tallett who was sat in a survival bag in a remote part of the park! Following this students were taught how to night navigate, using these techniques they found their way back into camp.

The following day everyone completed a micro-navigation exercise and 10 mile walk with full packs. The group proved that they are very strong and fit and capable of navigating in wild country, a great start to their Gold DofE Expedition training. A huge thank you to Miss Ridley, Miss Tallett and Mr Camm who gave up their weekend to support the students.

Ms Fox

Outdoor Education, 2015-16
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award will be running for a limited number of students in Year 10, and we will be running a small Year 12 Gold Award group.

Year 7 will continue with their residential, Year 8 will have a day of outdoor activity and Year 9 will have a residential of one night.


Reports on 2014-15 Outdoor Education

Year 13 Gold Expedition to the Pyrenees 10th-24th July 2015

The Year 13 Gold DofE group headed to the Pyrenees with Hayesfield and BCS for their Qualifying Expedition. They walked in small groups for 4 days in the mountains, wild camping and being completely self-sufficient and then enjoyed a week of activities such as rock climbing, rafting and mountaineering.

Ms Fox

Year 8 Activity Days. 10 and 11 June
Over 100 year 8 students enjoyed two days of Outdoor Activities at the Mendip Outdoor Pursuits Centre. Groups rotated round three activities, from dry slope skiing to Bush craft and team building challenges.
Thank you to the staff that supported the students during the day and joined in with activities.
Ms Fox
Year 9 Residential. Tues 16-Thurs 18 June
A total of 80 Year 9 students participated in a variety of challenging Outdoor Activities last week. Groups had to complete a short walk into camp and navigating as they went, this was followed by a team meal. Students had already planned in groups how to cook a meal together and contributed items of food, they learnt how to cook on a trangia and wash up!
The evening activity of caving was met with enthusiasm from students and teachers alike, there were many exciting caving stories told round the camp fire later that evening.
The next day students completed several rock climbs and abseils in the morning, returning to school exhausted but clearly proud of their achievements.
Thank you to all the staff supported students and joined in with the activities. Mr Hancock, Miss Ridley, Miss Bowden, Mrs Buist, Miss Hetenyi, Mr Newman and Miss Tallett.
Ms Fox
Year 10 Bronze DofE Qualifying Expedition, Marlborough 20-21 June
Congratulations to all the year 10 DofE students that successfully completed their Qualifying Expedition at the weekend. Over 40 students enjoyed good weather on the Marlborough Downs completing two days of walking and one night of camping.
It was great to see the amazing progress groups had made in a year, they navigated extremely well, their camp craft skills were superb and they worked well as teams.
Another 40 students are looking forward to completing their Expedition this coming weekend.
A massive thank you to all the staff that supported and assessed students over the weekend. Mr Hancock, Miss Tallett, Miss Ridley, Miss Uzzle, Miss Hetenyi, Mr Withers, Mr Briggs.
Ms Fox


Ten Tors Challenge May 2015

The first ever Ralph Allen Ten Tors Team successfully completed the challenge last weekend. Max Workman lead the team with Ross Jacob as assistant leader. They set off for Dartmoor last Friday looking forward to putting all their training to good use. Having  only just survived the kit scrutineering process the team made camp at Okehampton Army base and planned out their route for the weekend.
The challenge day began with a 5am wake up call, 400 teams made their way to the start to be greeted by an impressive military display of helicopters and bugle playing and cannons being fired.
RAS team got off to a flying start leading all the teams by midday, but slowed the pace by the afternoon due to team blisters. After a windy and cold night camping on the moor the team set out at 6am the
following morning. A tired but triumphant team emerged over the hillside and headed for the finish completing the challenge in a very respectable time. An amazing effort by all team members which I am sure they will remember for the rest of their lives. A huge well done to Finn Ross, Ollie Weedon, Jack White, Alex Hopkins Nettle, Max Workman and Ross Jacob, an incredible achievement!
Ms Fox


Bronze DofE Practice Weekend, Mendips. April 18th-19th and May 2nd-3rd

85 students completed their Bronze DofE Practice Expedition in the Mendips recently. I was impressed with the students positive attitude and determination to succeed. They were a credit to the school and great fun to be with. All groups will now go onto to complete their Qualifying Expedition in the Marlborough Downs in June. Some groups have more to work on then others to be ready for the next challenge!

A huge thank you to all the staff and parents that give up their weekend to provide these valuable experiences for the students. Miss Tallett, Mr Hanock, Mrs Marsh, Miss Hetenyi, Mr Camn, Miss Brown, Mr Corry, Mr Nanivell, Mrs Doyle, Mrs Thompson, Miss Ridley, Mr Nicholas, Mrs Smith and Mrs Gaynor.  Ms Fox

Ten Tors Training, Dartmoor 20-22 March
After a night in tents close to a Dartmoor youth hostel, we set off at 8AM on Saturday for a long and challenging day of hitting as many tors as we could. Despite the long distance between start and finish and the steepness of many of the tors, we managed to make it through the day in one piece. We burnt through a lot of Haribos in the process! The next night, we set up in a campsite/field, and munched our way through boil in the bag meals under an amazing sky full of stars.
A similar start on Sunday led us through another 6 hours of walking, before we finally collapsed onto the bus for the journey home! Over the weekend, we’d managed 32 miles and 16 tors, so Burger King had some very satisfied customers on our journey home!
It was a long and tiring weekend, but very enjoyable and rewarding! Bring on the real event in May!
A huge thank you to Mr Camn and Miss Ridley for walking up and down numerous Tors, keeping us safe and encouraging us.
Alex Hopkins Nettle (student)
Bronze DofE, Ten Tors, Year 12 Gold Day Walk, Batheaston. March 8
Bronze students completed a 12km route and with several check point stops to practice skills such as using a stove, map skill exercises and erecting a tent. The year12 Gold DofE group completed the walk with ease and supported Bronze students throughout the day.

The year11 Ten Tors group completed an undulating 16km route in an incredible 2 hours and 30 mins. Displaying some fantastic navigation and fitness skills.

I was very impressed by the attitude and enthusiasm of all the students, they are a credit to the school.

A massive thank you to all the staff and parents that gave their day up to support and encourage the students. Miss Tallett, Miss Ridley, Mrs Gaynor, Miss Hetenyi, Mr Mainwaring, Miss Doyle, Miss Jacob, Mr Hancock, Jennie, Mr and Mrs Bainbridge, Sally, Vicki, Rachel and Mr Nicholas.   Ms Fox

Year 11 Outdoor Activities Club, Canoeing with Bath Canoe Club 1 March
A group of hardy Year 11 students took to the River Avon last Sunday in canoes. Bath Canoe Club provided qualified instructors to teach students all the basic canoe techniques and information about how to further their skills and join local clubs. Ross Jacob won the prize for capsizing the most times with Finn Ross a close second. A huge thank you to Mr Briggs who looked after the students and encouraged them throughout the afternoon.  Ms Fox


Bronze DofE Day Walk. Batheaston, 8th Feb 2015

Fifty students set off on their first DofE day walk last weekend without a member of staff walking with them. All groups did very well and clearly showed that they are ready for their Practice Expedition in the spring. They completed a variety of tasks at check points such as putting up a tent to showing how to take a compass bearing.

We are now looking forward to the other half the group doing the same walk in March.

A massive thank you to all the staff and parents that gave up their Sunday to help, Mr Paisley, Mr Trowell, Mrs Robbins, Mrs Smith, Mr Tomey, Mr Smith, Miss Tallett, Mrs Buist, Mrs Organ, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Thompson, Mr Hancock, Helen, Emma and Steve.  Ms Fox

Year 11 Indoor Climbing Evening, Redpoint Bristol, February 2015

Year 11 students visited Redpoint Indoor climbing centre this week, many of them had climbed here last term and therefore made good progress with their skills and level of climbs that they achieved. There will be a final trip to the centre next term, prior to this there is a canoe taster day on the River Avon on the 1st March. Anyone interested in this trip should see Ms Fox for a letter.

Thank you to Mr Oliver and Miss Ridley who helped to coach and advise students during the climbing evening.  Ms Fox

Gold DofE Training, Tir-y-Cwm, Brecon Beacons Jan 2015
The Year 13 Gold DofE Team joined the Gold Teams from Beechen Cliff and Hayesfield School last weekend at Tir-y-cwm in the Brecon Beacons. A total of 23 students and 8 staff enjoyed joining forces and getting to know each other prior to their Qualifying Expedition in the Pyrenees in July this year. Students were put through their paces with some confidence work, scrambling and traversing a rock face on the Saturday and then walking in teams on the Sunday with full packs navigating a 16km walking route.
Everyone agreed it was a very valuable and enjoyable weekend. We are now all looking forward to the next adventure in the Pyrenees. A huge tank you to Ms Ridley who gave up her weekend to keep students safe and offer her Outdoor Expertise when required.  Ms Fox


How to complete your DofE Award, Jan 2015

Upload evidence for volunteering, skill and physical skill on to your account.  This could be photos or written statements.
›This will be verified by me.
›I will upload evidence for your Expedition section; you can add photos if you wish. You also need to add your Expedition Aim on to the system.
 ›Your Assessor for Volunteering, skill and physical skill needs to write a report for you. They will need your account number, they log on  to to the correct website http://www.dofe.org/assessor/ and enter your details, write their report for you which should include how long you spent on the section, your focus and how you got on.
›Once I verify your evidence and Assessor reports you need to submit a section.
›Look at the bottom of the page for the section you want to submit and there is a submit button. Click that to submit.
›Once you have submitted all sections this will go through to the DofE head office and you will should receive your certificate within two weeks. It will be sent to school.
›I have submitted all the evidence for your expedition section.
Please see Ms Fox if you have any problems.  I run a drop in session in Mr Oliver's room on a Weds Wk B at 3.15pm.
Outdoor Clubs and Training 2015
  • Monday 3.15pm-4.15pm, Ten Tors Training, meet outside of the gym.
  • Wednesday windows Bronze DofE training
  • Wednesday Week B DofE drop in session. Mr Oliver's room, 3.15pm
  • Thursday 3.15pm-4.15pm Year 12 and 13 Gold DofE training, meet outside of the gym.


September - December 2014

Staff Team Building Weekend, December 2014

Ralph Allen School staff enjoyed a sociable weekend in Brecon just before the Christmas break. Over twenty staff spent the night in a luxury bunkhouse and then climbed Pen y Fan the following day. A great way to spend time with friends!

Year 11 Ten Tors Training walk, East Mendips, November 2014

The Ten Tors team completed a 12 mile walk on a cold and sunny morning in November. Everything went smoothly apart from a navigational error when entering a forest. After a lengthy discussion and some relocation techniques being used the group found their way out and completed the last few miles of the walk. Thank you to Mrs Jacobs for giving up her Sunday to assist with the walk.  Ms Fox

Year 11 Outdoor Activities Club, November 2014

A group of Year 11 students ventured over to the indoor climbing wall at Redpoint in Bristol. They received instruction on climbing skills and safety techniques. The climbing instructors commended the students on their outstanding behaviour and standard of climbing that they achieved in such a short space of time. Thank you to Mr Oliver who assisted with the trip and provided some fantastic competition for the students.  Ms Fox

Year 12 Gold DofE Training Expedition, Brecon Beacons November 2014

A group of enthusiastic Year 12 students set off for the Brecon Beacons on Friday 7th November. They were looking forward to a weekend of team building activities, navigation training and first aid training. Everyone was pleased to staying in a heated bunkhouse for two nights as the weather conditions were very challenging! The group did very well to summit Pen y Fan in 45 mph winds and driving rain. I was very impressed by their positive attitude, outdoor skills and sense of fun. As usual they were a pleasure to take away. Thank you to Miss Tallett, Mr Tomey and Miss Ridley who gave up their weekend to keep the students safe.  Ms Fox

Year 13 Gold DofE Practice Expedition to Snowdonia Oct 2014

The Year 13 Gold DofE students successfully completed their Practice Expedition over half term in very challenging conditions! With heavy rain and 80mph gusts of wind it took real determination and resiliance to survive the Expedition! Students walked for two days and wild camped by themselves, on the third day they climbed Snowdon and scrambled up Tryfan on the last day with staff. I was very impressed with their team spirit and positive attitude despite the harsh conditions. It was also very evident that everyone had benefited from fitness training since September, both Snowdon and Tryfan were climbed with ease.

As usual the students were a credit to themselves and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing their Expedition experience with them, the team are now looking forward to their Qualifying Expedition in the Pyrenees next July.

A huge thank you to Alfredo Tomey and Heather Ridley who readily shared their mountain and outdoor experience to keep students safe and encourage them throughout the Expedition. 

Indoor Climbing Club, 20 November 2014, 3.30-7.30pm

As part of the Year 11 Outdoor Activities Club students are being offered the opportunity to try Indoor Climbing at Redpoint Center, Bedminster, Bristol. Climbing can offer a stimulating alternative to conventional school sports as well as helping to fulfill National Curriculum requirements. As an adventure activity, climbing quickly captures students’ interest, while raising self-esteem, building confidence and helping them to develop teamwork and social interaction skills. 

Banff Film Festival – 25th February 2015, Komedia Club, Bath.

Year 11 students are also being offered the chance to purchase tickets for the Banff Film Festival through school.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. The "mothership" festival has been held at the start of November each year since 1975 in Banff, Canada. The festival draws some of the world's best film makers and accomplished outdoor heroes to celebrate adventure, the environment, mountain culture and the outdoors through film.  Please see Ms Fox for further details.

Year 10 Bronze DofE Expedition, Mendips. 26/27 September 2014
On Friday 19 September Friday over 100 students set off for the Mendips for their first Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition.
Excitement had been mounting throughout the week leading up to the Expedition and there was a real buzz as students set off on their first walk into camp on Friday. For many students it was the first time that they had walked with a full pack, put up tents and cooked on a stove. Year 12 Gold DofE students and staff readily shared their camp craft expertise to help them with these skills.
Once all groups had made it into camp everyone enjoyed a sing song round the camp fire courtesy of Mr Jones and his guitar. There was a lovely Ralph Allen community feel to the weekend.
The 12 Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award students must be commended on their leadership skills and were invaluable during the weekend.   Mrs Fox, Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator, said, that she was also incredibly impressed by the Year 10 students, who were enthusiastic, well behaved and approached all challenges with determination and a sense of fun.
Finally a huge thank you yet again to the amazing Ralph Allen Staff that gave up their weekend to keep students safe and provide them with these wonderful opportunities
Year 12 Wild Camping in Brecon 5/6 September 2014

The Year 12 Gold DofE group travelled to the Brecon Beacons National Park last Friday for the first Expedition of the school year. With perfect weather conditions we enjoyed a hilly and scenic walk to our wild camping spot, arriving at 9.30pm. Following a relaxing evening under the stars everyone was up early and ready to tackle a 800m climb the following day. 

The group completed their first expedition with ease, clearly all the training and hard work that they put in last year as Silver students has paid off, they were able to perform to a high level and guide those students that are new to the Award. 
The group were a credit to themselves and Ralph Allen School, I am looking forward to future Expeditions and training sessions with them!

A huge thank you to Miss Tallett and Mr Tomey who gave up their weekend to make this Expedition possible.