Hethersett Old Hall School (HOHS) blog – an independent day and boarding school near Norwich, Norfolk.

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Good luck to our Gold D of E pupils


Some of our Sixth Form pupils are setting off for the Brecon Beacons today, to take part in their Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

We wish them all the very best of luck and hope that this warm weather continues for the rest of the week.

Photos to follow..

Talybont Reservoir Brecon Beacons 2

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Successful expedition for Gold D of E girls

Nine students and three staff braved the wilds of Norfolk for a one-day Gold Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition in readiness for their trip to the Brecon Beacons.

Although most of the students had not tried D of E before, they were all game and soon realised the importance of bearings and following the route carefully.

Well done everybody.

Mrs Grove

DofEGOLD March4 DofEGOLD March2



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Six Gold D of E girls head to the palace

A bright sunny morning greeted our six Gold award holders from HOHS as they approached the entrance to St James’ Palace for the presentation ceremony.

badge-gold_1Walking through the palace was very interesting and when we reached our allotted area we were given some history of the room: it was here that Nelson Mandela met the Queen and that William and Kate’s official engagement photographs were taken.

As we awaited the arrival of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, our VIP guest Jim Rosenthal entertained us with stories of his life as a sports presenter and amusing tales of his own Gold award, achieved in the mid-1960s. We also met David Walliams!

At the ‘three minute warning’ we all stood up and before long the giant doors opened and Prince Philip entered. He was introduced to the room marshals, including our very own Mrs Grove, and then spent nine minutes talking to the students. His quick wit and response to students’ comments had everyone in the room laughing.

After HRH left, photos were taken and the certificates were presented by Jim Rosenthal.

We all had a wonderful time and it was good to catch up with former pupils Kelsey, Rina, Daniele, Angel, Kirsty and Isabel – congratulations to them all!

Mrs Grove

D of E palace211069264_10204008838397668_2290398960762552718_n988899_10204008835437594_7322982877124227091_n1503833_10204008838917681_5706540516147039056_n10919039_659372784209067_770736012561834901_n10994346_10204008837597648_709564053382322975_n11042668_659373020875710_3302446393993990518_n11069892_10204008834477570_5843267941736112839_n




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Setting off on a Silver D of E hike

Good luck to all our Year 11 students who set off this morning on their Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition to Holt.

May the weather remain dry and the blisters stay away! Silver Dof E Sept2014s

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Another successful Gold D of E expedition

brecon-in-ukDay 1:
Having left school at 10am, we had a quiet drive to Wales, following a night of dancing at the Leavers Ball. We arrived at our Band B, the girls last bit of luxury before their 4-day D of E expedition in the Brecon Beacons. After a delicious meal cooked by Miss Mann everyone went to bed so that they could be prepared for the walk the following day.

Day 2:
After a hearty ‘Welsh’ cooked breakfast we bundled into the minibus and drove to the start point to meet the assessor. He quickly put the girls at ease and they set off up the mountain. The day was hot and there was little shade to be found. The group were amazing navigators and coped well with disappearing paths. They arrived at the camp site, put up their tents and cooked their meal.

imageDay 3:
The girls were up and off by 5am and met by Mrs Grove at 5.30am before they started to walk up the hill. By 7am they had already reached the top of the mountain in the early morning low cloud. This soon burnt off to reveal a bright blue sky and sunshine, so the girls were glad to have started early.

Mrs Grove met them again at the top before they started their walk down the valley, Arriving at 1pm they were able to get out of the sun and rest under the shade of the trees, dangling their toes in the cool waters of the stream. image-1image-2
Day 4:
The day started very bright with blue skies, sunshine and weather warnings of high UV risk. Once again the group started walking at 5am and by 7am they had started their climb up on to the ridge. Although it was early in the morning the temperature rose fast. They enjoyed beautiful views from the top of a reservoir in the next valley and, on their way down, of Llanthony Abbey, a ruined priory which was their next campsite. They arrived by 1pm and had time to pitch their tents before a slight drizzle arrived to freshen the air.

Day 5:
Andrew, their assessor, met them at their campsite at 4.45am to watch their final packing, before they departed the site at 5am. It was a little overcast and cooler than the day before; much better weather conditions for walking in the mountains. Having your lunch at 9.48am seems very strange, but when you are up so early it makes sense.

One more hill to climb and then it was downhill all the way to the end, where the minibus was waiting in a car park on the flanks of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Andrew debriefed the girls and praised them for their excellent navigation, skills and fabulous teamwork.image-1

Congratulations to Hannah Bacon, Sophie Beart, Megan Chainey, Alice Handley Howorth, Hannah Kingston and Erica Nunney on passing your Gold Expedition.

Also a very big thank you to Mr Johnston and Miss Mann for helping me to supervise this group.

Mrs Grove



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Day 2: Gold D of E expedition


Another bright day ahead of us but thankfully this time with a little more cloud coverage. It was very hot to be walking in the hills yesterday, especially when there was no shade to be found.

This morning the girls were up by 5.20am and already out walking by 6.30am. Hopefully it will not be so hot for them today and the early start will mean they should finish by 3pm.

When we met them at this little bridge at 8am they were all still cheerful and ready to climb the next mountain.

Mrs Grove





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Good luck to our Gold D of E girls


We were fortunate enough to have a bright and sunny morning for the start of our Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition in Wales. The girls were all up bright and early today and were soon packed and ready to start their long walk.

How lucky are they to be walking in the Brecon Beacons on such a beautiful day!

Mrs Grove

GOld DOF June2014