January 2020

Dylan was delayed in starting his expedition work on Sundays in January, by a heavy cold. Expedition 1 eventually started at the beginning of February. He will undergo 6 expeditions and 2 practice camps before the event on Saturday May 2nd, gradually increasing both the distance and pace of his walking.
D has now completed 2 off moor expeditions during which he has practised walking at a steady pace, uphill, downhill and on the flat. Unfortunately, this w/e’s planned route taking in Barn Hill and Pew Tor, Dartmoor, on Sunday, had to be cancelled due to the extreme bad weather conditions. Nevertheless, not to be outdone by nature, he walked on Saturday over a country lane circuit, covering 4 ½ miles in 2 hours (plus breaks). He was rewarded with perfect walking conditions. Those of you old enough to remember the Landlake X route will know it as a favourite cross- country lesson run!!!
Expedition 3 is due to be held on Mar.1st at Bellever

Jubilee Challenge 2020

Now that Open Evening has passed, weekly Jubilee Challenge training will begin after school on Thursdays from October 3rd, 3.15 – 4.30 pick- up. The training base will be the ALC classroom.

November 2019 Update

Dylan Harvey 10 ADF has been registered for the 2020 Jubilee Challenge. He has been training weekly with Ms Unwin after school on Thursdays and at lunchtime each week he  washes a variety of staff cars, in order to raise training funds. He is progressing well and is very pleased with his new boots – thanks Mum and Dad!

Jubilee Challenge 2019 practice camp

The 4 students participating in this year’s Challenge (Emily 11ACS, Sam 11ITA, Dylan 9KAL, Nicole 10 EP) had an overnight practice camp this week having completed 6 expeditions.

They and various other groups of students helped put up the tents in between showers. Then, once school was over for the day they set about preparing the meal which was to be their, (and parents + supporters), supper. Thanks to Mrs Maywood for allowing us to use her kitchen and to Josie for letting us borrow the big pans.

The menu consisted of:-

  • tomato/chicken and leek soup
  • Tuna pasta bake/ Chicken paella + baked potato and French bread
  • Cherry/Apple pie & cream
  • Tea/coffee/squash
  • Hot cross buns- thanks Mrs Maywood
  • Chocolate/caramel slices- thanks Mrs Harvey
  • Mints and chocolate

Of course we had too much (although nothing was wasted) but Ms Nettle’s legendary lemon drizzle cake will have to be frozen and eaten on our second camp practice after Easter, which also finalizes students training.

Thanks to all for making it a lovely evening and such a success. Thank you also for your generous donations, and to our guest supporters Mrs Gilbard and Ms Nettle whom we hope to see again.

The event itself will be held on 10/11th May. The countdown begins- only 4 weeks to go!


What a lovely walk on a bright, dry, sunny and warm day! Six miles completed, skirting the edge of Dartmoor and taking in part of the old WW2 Harrowbeer airfield, following Drake’s leat and the old railway line, passing Yelverton cricket club and the golf course before turning down into the village of Clearbrook itself. Our packed lunch was taken outside ‘The Skylark’, before we continued this circular walk along the river Meavy, again keeping to the old railway route; through its kissing gates and under its bridges. Fields of bluebells were a couple of weeks away from blooming but spring lambs were very much in evidence. Unfortunately Nicole missed this one with a heavy cold and tight hamstring, but Dylan, Sam and Emily kept up a good pace, with frequent water stops.

On Thursday, all four students, plus Ms Owen and Ms Unwin will be camping and hosting a fund raising supper for supporters. Students final practice camp will take place after Easter on 27th/28th April, with THE EVENT on May 10th/11th

January 2019 Update

Jubilee Challenge 2019      Expedition 2 update   27/1/19

Jubilee Challenge students Emily, Sam, Nicole and Dylan braved the strong, gusting winds and wintry showers to complete their second expedition and first actually on, Dartmoor. Walking from Pork Hill car park, over Barn Hill, down to Windy Post and then up the boulder strewn slopes of Pew Tor for lunch, they took turns to lead the route, supported by staff, Mrs Guest and Ms Owen. As this was a first for both Nicole and Dylan they did exceptionally well. Although this was not a long walk, by the end, everyone understood the need for good kit, warm layers, full waterproofs, and gloves to prevent the onset of hypothermia when on Dartmoor.

Highlights –

  • Using the minibus safely to ‘shepherd’ sheep off the road and back into their field.
  • Nicole giving a pony a tickle after it followed our trail and ‘nudged’ Mrs Guest’s rucksack until we stopped. Well done.
  • Sam bravely acting as a ‘crashmat’ for Dylan as we crossed the leat first time.
  • Ms Owen finding Dylan’s ‘lost’ shoe after a gust of wind blew it out of the minibus.
  • No wet boots!!
  • Willy’s ice cream at the end!

Students Dylan, Annabel, Nicole and Sam with staff and supporters, having completed expedition 1 training for Jubilee Challenge 2019, at SW lakes trust Roadford. They are pictured with Mr Mike Weaver, café manager, standing outside Lakeside café, who once again have generously assisted us with our training needs. (Missing from picture Emily).

The Roadford complex provides a safe and accessible environment for our first off site adventure.

Expedition 2 will be in a fortnight on 27th January incorporating Pew Tor, Dartmoor.

March 2018 Update

Expedition 3 for the Jubilee Challenge students, between Postbridge and Bellever, was marked by dry, cold and bright weather conditions. Hayden missed out on this one due to a family birthday. Emily, Dylan and Sam were well wrapped up to cope with the cold from the start and supported by Mrs Dearing and Ms Owen, made good progress along the plantation trails, which were sheltered from the biting wind by the trees. At one point we had to turn back and take a different route due to fallen trees. Lunch was taken in a sunny glade before we made, our way back to our starting point. Photos were taken by the famous ‘clapper bridge’ before making a brief visit to Postbridge Visitors Centre, alas no Mrs Egford this time! We did stop at Pork Hill car park on the way back to take in an ice cream and see the view, which we were not able to see during our last expedition! Once again, the staff were very pleased with the students effort and team work. Much to be proud of.

Next expedition 4 at Whitchuch, Tavistock on March 10th.

February 2018 Update

Sam, Dylan and Hayden + staff Ms Owen, Mrs Dearing and Ms Unwin braved the wet and misty conditions before ½ term, to give pupils their first taste of the ‘real Dartmoor weather’. Carrying their packs and fully kitted up they completed a shortened circular route across rugged terrain (fighting a gorse bush), and along country lanes. The survival shelter became a makeshift dining room and kept us dry for lunch. Both Sam and Hayden completed the ascent of Pork Hill –useful training for Okement Hill, station 4 on the JC 1 route in May: Whilst Dylan showed remarkable resilience laughing and moaning in equal measure. As a reward for their endeavours a mug of tea and ice cream were taken at the Pasty House, Tavistock, before returning home, weary but proud.

Next, expedition 3, at Bellever on Feb. 24th.

January 2018 Update

Sam and Dylan have now been joined by Emily Gillespie 10ACS and Hayden Houghton 9ELG and they continue to train weekly with Ms Unwin. They have already completed a 3km walk in wet conditions, using our school fields in December 2017. This month they attempt their first off site expedition, fully kitted up at Roadford, where they will be walking the green cycle trail. This will give them the opportunity to practice their navigation, pacing, leadership and survival skills in a low land, safe environment. They will be accompanied on this first expedition by staff members Ms Unwin , Mr Mitcheson, Mrs Dearing, Ms Owen and Ms Carlton.

Thank you to Lakeside Café staff for allowing us to use their facility once the walk was completed.


Castle students Sam Tancock and Dylan Harvey have started weekly training with Ms Unwin for the 2018 Jubilee Challenge to be held on Saturday 12th May. They will gradually build up their walking distances in order to cope with the 7.8 mile route 1 course, as well as learn all the skills needed in order to cope with the changing weather and rough terrain on Dartmoor.

Dylan is actually too young for this year’s event (as there is a 14 years minimum age restriction). However, as he is partially sighted he will train alongside Sam so that he builds confidence, stamina and capabilities that will allow him to be successful in 2019.

Our request for 4 places has been granted and it is hoped that a further 2 or 3 students will commit to this event within the next few weeks.

Ms Carol Unwin will be attending the team managers meeting at Okehampton Battle Camp on Saturday 14th October 2017.


This year we start again as our senior boys have completed all 4 JC courses. We hope to arrange our own weekend challenge later in the summer to stretch them even further.  Kirsty and Aaron have expressed a wish to try for the JC 3 course and Danny from year 9 will start training for JC 2. We have 3 more places available and will recruit over the next 2/3 weeks.

Jubilee training has re started for this term, weekly on Thursdays after school and on Sundays throughout the term until the event in May. We only have one participant this year – Kirsty Whittington 11CB, having got our previous entrants through to gold medals and achieving success on all four JC courses, last year. Kirsty has already obtained her bronze and silver medals having completed JC 1 and 2 courses. This year she goes for gold. Our most experienced ‘challenger’ Max Harmer 13 PM, who holds 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal himself, is acting as Kirsty’s trainer. We thank both Mr Mrs Harmer and Mr Mrs Whittington for their transport assistance and general support.

Jan. 12th Weekly training Thursdays restarts until Mar. 30th  x 11 inclusive
Jan. 29th Roadford + visitors centre                                                    9.30 – 3pm
Feb.26th Burrator + aquaduct +plantation                                         9.30 -3pm
Mar.5th Bellever     +Postbridge                                                            9.30 -3pm
Mar.12th Cox Tor +Steeple + Pew Tor                                                  9.30 -3pm
Mar.26th Tavistock +tunnel +Gem Br. +                                               9.30 – 3pm


School camp + twilight supper fund raiser                         3.30pm  – 8.30am


Apr. 20th Weekly training for 2 weeks  to  Apr 27th  x 2 inclusive
Apr 22nd /23rd Fox n Hounds Camp + Night walk +                                    11a.m

Bearslake to Okehampton                                                 – 1.30 pm

Apr. 30th
May 3rd Load trailer 3.30pm
May 4th Pitch tents 9am CAU/MJM + seniors                                9a.m – 12
May 5th Register + Scrutineering                                                     9a.m –
May 6th Jubilee challenge 2017                                                        6pm

Next year we are anticipating that 3 ‘Castle’ students will be entering Jubilee challenge for the first time.


5 students from last year’s successful students have elected to ‘go again’.

Tom  Hopper 12 EH Hepworth

Jess McAlpine   12 EH  Hepworth

Max Harmer  12PM  Trevithick

Harry Read 12 EH  Hepworth

Kirsty Whittington  10 CB  Hepworth

They have been training weekly after school on Thursdays since September. In February, March and April their training will also include 6 high moor expeditions plus 2 practice camps. So far they have completed routes at Roadford, Burrator and Grenofen.

The team  have been busy during lunch times washing staff cars, to help raise funds to cover the transport costs via school minibus, and a coffee morning at Barclays Bank has been successfully held on March 4th   with many bank customers making small donations to support us . Our grateful thanks go to Ms Charlotte Olive, Barclay’s Community Banker, for her support this year, and Mrs Theresa Marsh manager of the bank who kindly allowed us to hold the event in the Launceston branch.

As a result of the fund raising, including regular staff car washes, not only did we have enough to pay for all the training transport but were at last able to purchase the 6 x second hand tents we have been using plus a cook tent of our own. These were all used to good effect at the 2016 event. All students successfully completed their courses with the ‘stingers’ being particularly pleased with themselves. Kirsty and Jess were just outstanding!!

A big thanks to all helpers and supporters – couldn’t have done it without you.


Event Update

8 students have begun weekly training with Ms Unwin for the 2015 Jubilee Challenge. 4 more places are available to bring our complement up to 12. This year a ‘taster’ session was held on October 4th to which old and new participants were invited. In spite of overnight and early morning rain the session was successfully held under blue skies, with pupils undertaking a series of compass bearing, shelter building, first aid and open fire cooking activities.

Students attending regular training and participating in the 2015 TT Jubilee Challenge are as follows:-

Tom and James Hopper 11PLO Hepworth

Jess McAlpine   11PLO   Hepworth

Max Harmer    12      Trevithick

Harry Read  11 LDD  Hepworth

Aaron Battin   9EP Rescorla

Ethan Childs  9TJC  Causley

Kirsty Whittington  9CB  Hepworth

They have attended weekly training in school and participated in regular moor based sessions. All have helped towards fund raising to pay for kit, food and transport, by selling ‘supper tickets’ and then serving the meal and via a house based sponsorship (50k for 50p).

As of 26th April the Jubilee Challenge teams for 2015 have now completed their training with this w/e final practice camp at Fox and Hounds Hotel, Bridestowe. During the w/e, team members also travelled to  Tavistock to ‘thank’ the businesses who have offered support, namely James Mc Dowall of Kountry kit, Janet and Nigel Eadie at The Pasty House and Colin and Adam Taylor of Black Tor Enterprises. Their generous assistance has allowed us to offer 24 after school sessions + 7 x off site training expeditions on Sundays throughout the spring and summer terms, with appropriate kit and equipment.

Pub manager Dave Luxton and hotel owner Frank….allow us to use their safe camp site, act as hosts for our 2 x team meals and provide us with the names of 2 of our teams (Yellow Hounds and Orange Foxes) the 3rd team being Red Hawks. We thank them all for their generosity.

The other two ‘teams’ helping behind the scenes being the parents, and teachers Carol Unwin, Matt Mitcheson and Jo Mc Neela without whose unstinting dedication none of the above would happen.

The Launceston JC team camp (plot 20) will be set up on Thursday 7th May, in the Jubilee field at Okehampton Battle Camp. Teams will set off at approximately 7.30 on Saturday 8th having been woken at 5am, with Hounds walking JC 1 route, Foxes JC 2 route and Hawks JC 3 route. ETA at the finish between 1- 2pm Saturday afternoon. Day passes will be available at the camp car park -£5 for parents and supporters.

April 2014 Update

All 7 students participating in the Jubilee Challenge teams trained on Dartmoor at Belever at the end of March. Walking in a circular route from Postbridge and taking in a variety of terrains, they completed map work tasks and leadership activities which took them thro’ Belever village, (Lunch was taken in the Youth Hostel grounds) and up to the summit of the Tor. Understanding the history of peoples inhabiting the moor is part of the challenge and this was brought into clear relief with stops at cairns, cysts, stone rows and hut dwellings on Lakehead Hill. Training staff continue to be impressed with pupil’s excellent progress. A  big ‘thank you’ to Kountry Kit and The Pasty House of Tavistock who have contributed to our training needs this year with emergency shelters and funding.

A week later (on April 3rd) students took part in an overnight camp and twilight supper (to which parents and supporters were invited). It was a great success as team members cooked a 3 course meal on an open fire, served their guests and washed up after them. This was followed by a night walk using head torches in order to practice reading map coordinates. Finally everyone enjoyed a mug of hot chocolate and some of Ms Nettle’s chocolate cake (yum)around the fire before settling into their tents.  The weather held superbly until 5am the next morning when it started to drizzle. The cooked breakfast was still consumed heartily, albeit in the subway area and tents were taken down and hung up to dry. No one was late for school ha! ha!

Once again teams’ were excellent and coped admirably with this school based camp experience. Please note they can all cook, serve at table and do the washing up !!!!!!!!

A big thank you to Alex Horsington and Harry Gilbert, two of our senior outdoor students, who acted as assistant leaders overnight  and thanks to all the parents and guests  for supporting us at our first ‘Twilight Supper’.

March 2014 Update

Seven  Individual Needs students ( Max P, Max H, Harry R, Ashleigh W, Jess Mc, Joanna B, Tom H) accompanied by Ms Unwin and staff support (Mr Mitcheson, Mr Read and Mrs McNeela)  trained on Dartmoor on Mar 9th. Students walked a route taking in Barn Hill, Windy Post, Feather Tor, Pew Tor, Heckwood Tor and Cox Tor. Walking in near perfect weather conditions pupils practised sighting and following bearings, emergency first aid, ‘edging’ and ‘digging in’ on slopes, sweep searching, monitoring distance travelled and ‘tacking’ to reduce tension on the knee joints when ascending or descending steep slopes.

February 2014 Update

Jubilee students learn about safe  ascending and descending of slopes, following a bearing, pacing, guestimating distance and packing their ruck sacks.

Although both High Moorland training walks had to be postponed due to severe adverse weather conditions the Jubilee students did manage a highly successful two hour lowland walk based around our own playing fields. They were able to put into practise all of the things they had learned about. 

January 2014 Update

Pupils doing Jubilee Challenge 2014 continue with their training which includes fast walking  3km. Wearing wet weather gear, deploying an  Emergency shelter and use it  in under 1 minute. Students  practised their Emergency first aid for cuts and sprains.

Students continued with walking/Jogging and Scouts pace.  Proposed Moor walking dates were distributed including 2 overnight camps.  The Kit list was discussed and understood by pupils.  The issue  of finding Safe places on open moorland  during thunderstorms/lightning was considered.