A group of students from The King’s School in Ottery St Mary took part in the annual Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor during the weekend of May 11 and 12. 

The school entered two 35-mile teams and a number of other students from the school also completed the 35-mile, 45-mile and 55-mile distances with East Devon Explorer Scouts and other community organisations. The King's School said it is very proud of the achievements of all the students that took part.

Sidmouth Herald: The King's School Ten Tors 2024The students have been training hard for Ten Tors over the past eight months, starting with beautiful walks along the East Devon Way and the Jurassic Coast. The training moved from local day walks to the more demanding environment of the Dartmoor National Park. Students undertook a number of weekends of camping and walking between February and April, learning to navigate and camp in some really challenging conditions.

Sidmouth Herald: The King's School Ten Tors 2024After all the training in cold, wet and windy weather, the weekend of the event itself had some of the best weather of the year so far. This presented different challenges including coping with the risk of sunburn and dehydration.

Sidmouth Herald: The King's School Ten Tors 2024

The students arrived at Okehampton Battle Camp on Friday, May 10, supported by a team of staff from the school. The students used Friday afternoon to prepare themselves and to do the last-minute equipment and navigation checks. The staff team provided expert advice as well as catering for all the students both on the Friday evening and Saturday morning. The team also enjoyed a surprise meeting with the bushcraft expert Ray Mears.

Sidmouth Herald: The King's School Ten Tors 2024

Along with more than 2,000 other students from across the region, the King's School group made their way to the start line before embarking on the challenge that they will remember for the rest of their lives. There was a display by the British Army Parachute Display Team, The Red Devils, and the presence of helicoptors buzzing around the skies all added to the excitement of the whole event. The challenge was officially started at 7am on Saturday morning by Ray Mears and his countdown was completed with gunfire from the Army; it was a sight to behold as over 2,000 students disappeared off on their assigned route for the weekend.

Sidmouth Herald: The King's School Ten Tors 2024

The team of staff and parents eagerly monitored the students’ progress over the two days of the event.  A spokesperson said: "We were delighted to see the progress the teams made and were confident that they would be successful. The event is not a race; it is a personal and team challenge and our students completed this with flying colours. They were a huge credit to themselves and their families, and many of the parents joined the staff team in cheering the students in to the finish where they received their medals.

"The students showed outstanding determination, courage and resilience to complete their challenge, for which they have trained for throughout the school year.

"Alongside the Ten Tors Challenge, there is also a special event called the Jubilee Challenge for those young people aged between 14 and 21 with a range of challenging conditions who complete one of several routes suited to their abilities. We were delighted that this year, three of our students supported young people from Brook Green Centre for Learning, Plymouth. We are very proud that Lily Harlond, Euan Wright and Bethany Jackson all gave up their time to support students with autism at this event.

"Finally, a special mention to all the staff for the unwavering support and generosity with their time to enable this very special enrichment opportunity to take place for students from The King's School."