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Our Trust of Schools

Devon students take part in Ten Tors Challenge

Students from West Exe School, St James School, Isca, Queen Elizabeth’s and Sidmouth Collegeall part of the Ted Wragg Trust, took part in the annual Ten Tors Challenge this weekend. The event takes place during National Walking Month, a time to promote the benefits of walking for physical health, mental well-being, and enjoying the fresh air outdoors. 

The Ted Wragg Trust has a special link to the Ten Tors as the Trust Lead for Safeguarding and Attendance, Aimee Mitchell sits on the Ten Tors Committee. She also acts as an Assistant Commandant for the Devon Army Cadet Force, and as such represents both the cadets and education on the Policy Committee.  Aimee offered her unique perspective on the challenge by writing a piece for this year’s Ten Tors brochure which explained why Ten Tors is important as part of the personal development offer for schools.

The Ten Tors Challenge is attempted by 2,400 teenagers in 400 teams of six. The teams navigate routes of 35, 45 or 55 miles (depending on age) over the Northern half of Dartmoor, visiting ten nominated tors/check points in under two days. Teams must be self-sufficient, carrying all that they need to complete their route and stay out overnight safely.

Ten Tors stands alone in its scale, its ambition and the fact that it is aimed solely at young people. Training for the event is the responsibility of the participants’ establishments and often starts months in advance. Completing Ten Tors is not easy with the terrain, distances and often the climate all conspiring against success. With the right commitment, training, endurance and grit, it is achievable! 

The Sidmouth College Ten Tors teams started training at the start of September 2023. Since then they have all put in an incredible amount of effort both in school and on the moor throughout the tough winter months to prepare mentally and physically for the challenge. Across twelve weekends students trained together for the event, working on physical fitness, mental resilience and honing the skills required to be successful including navigation, route planning, map reading and wild camping.

The Isca team even managed to snap some brilliant photos of the Northern Lights which were on display over the weekend whilst camping!

The teams ended the weekend tired but elated with their achievement. Students commented that Ten Tors was an amazing challenge, pushing you mentally and physically to the max and that Ten Tors pushes you to your limit, but the reward of completing it is well worth it. 

Moira Marder, CEO of the Ted Wragg Trust said:

“Despite living in a rural county, many of our students reside in cities, so participating in Ten Tors is a brilliant way for them to get out on to the wilds of Dartmoor! 

“Ten Tors stands out amongst other outdoor challenges for its sheer scale, and young people who complete it will come out the other end with more grit and determination than they had before, which can only serve them well in all other areas of their life.

“We know that undertaking challenges like the Ten Tors, helps to boost students’ self-confidence and allows them to develop their leadership, problem solving skills, alongside furthering their teamwork capabilities. 

“At the Ted Wragg Trust we believe that education doesn’t just happen in the classroom.  We are so fortunate to have the Dartmoor National Park on our doorstep and encouraging young people to get out and enjoy and learn about the history and nature of the environment around them is exactly the sort of thing educators should be doing.”