2024 Ten Tors Teams Take on Challenge in Record Heat

20 May 24
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Congratulations to the three teams representing Sheldon School at the 2024 Ten Tors Challenge! This annual event organised by the British Army challenges 2,400 young people to navigate through Dartmoor on a 35, 45 and 55 mile route. Sheldon has historically held a strong position at this event and has been sending teams to the Ten Tors Challenge since 2013.

During the event, teams of six must navigate a route through 10 checkpoints on the tors, the exposed granite hilltops of Dartmoor, using only traditional skills of using a map and compass. This takes young people out of the digital age to learn resilience and team work. Once the event begins, there are no adults around and the teams must look after themselves as they spend two days and one night on Dartmoor. 

It is an incredible thing to give them that trust and independence at that age and they really relish it. They show that we can trust our young people with that level of responsibility. - Richard Page , Ten Tors Manager

This was one of the toughest events in recent years as temperatures soared. This added a challenge for the students who trained in drastically different conditions. Our teams have been training for the event since September and were far more used to cold, rainy conditions. On Saturday a number of students in the competition (not Sheldon teams, thankfully) had to be evacuated by Mountain Rescue and RAF and Navy helicopters. This prompted the Army to put in compulsory half hour stops for students to cool down in the interest of wellbeing of the competitors. This created more of a disrupted journey than our competitors were used to, but they coped well to the change in rules and weather conditions. Despite the challenging conditions, the Sheldon School teams all performed strongly, working together to successfully complete the challenge as entire teams. 

The hardest part of the event was definitely the terrain you have to walk along - from grass to pebbles to bogs - your feet go through a lot, and you need to look after them.




enjoyed it so much - the community surrounding it is very fun and happy: even when your at your worst, the people there make you feel really good and proud of yourself. - Ben (Y10)

First to finish were the 45 mile team of Finn (Y12), Zara (Y11), Rufus (Y12), Sylvie (Y11), Will (Y12) and Luke (Y12) finishing at 11.53. In the true spirit of the event they had slowed on Sunday morning in order to wait for a decent size crowd, and parents, to see them home. Despite having walked almost 50 miles in total, they still took the time to change into the most brilliant cowboy fancy dress--inflatable horses included!

The two 35 miles teams came in close together with 35 A finishing at 15.28 shortly after 35 B at 15.02. Team A consisted of Anneka (Y10), Ben (Y10), Sofia (Y10), Charlie (Y9), Freya (Y9)and Joe (Y9). Team B consisted of Alistair (Y10), Emilia (Y10), Libby (Y10), Ethan (Y9), Henry (Y9) and Rowan (Y10). That they finished so close was testament to their efforts through training and highlights the difficulty we had in picking teams.

Crossing the finish line felt excellent because its what you've been working towards for months and to finally complete it is just a wonderful feeling and you feel so proud of everyone in your team. The highlight of the event for me was meeting and talking to other teams because you understand what they're feeling. I would definitely recommend it. - Sofia (Y10)

We could not have a Ten Tors programme at Sheldon without the tireless dedication of Richard Page. He began managing our teams in 2013 and quickly established a strong presence for Sheldon School at the event. We are well known for being one of the only comprehensive schools to consistently bring multiple teams to the event. Many of former students return to support training and give up their time to help during the event. This shows how instrumental Mr Page has been in developing the programme and influencing the personal growth of many young people at Sheldon. We are very grateful for his leadership and dedication over the last decade.

I will definitely be doing the event next year if I can because the feeling you get after finishing the event or even just a camp is incredible. I would definitely recommend doing Ten Tors to anyone who wants a challenge that takes great effort for even greater reward and the volunteers and teachers who run it are exceptional. - Libby (Y10)

A special thank you goes to the core training team of Amy Goldsmith, Ruth Teague, Nick Cooke, Fleury Howson, Marcus James and Kieran Pidgeon. They were supported through training by Lindsay Freeman, George Rich, Emily Whitham and Harvey Johnson who all made considerable contributions to the success of the Sheldon Teams.

This event as special for Richard Page and Amy Goldsmith as they both received awards for over 15 years of voluntary contributions to Ten Tors. Both humanities teachers have volunteered to train students for Ten Tors for 16 years! We certainly hope they continue to support our teams for many years to come. 

I would highly recommend Ten Tors to people in Year 9 and 10 as starting out on 35 miles gives you a taste of what is to come. The navigation, the teamwork, the late hours and the sense of togetherness throughout the brilliant and the blue helped me grow skills I'd never of thought would help me in the rest of my life, yet I keep seeing how my teamwork in groups or sense of motivation links back to my times in Dartmoor. - Rowan (Y10)

If anyone would like to get involved with the training for the 2025 event please contact Mr Prage at tentors@sheldonschool.co.uk. A timetable for training will be available in September with launch assemblies and initial interest meetings for students in Y9-13 held late September and early October.

We were very lucky to have the Sheldon Ten Tors teams profiled by BBC Wiltshire. You can read an interview with our teams before they headed out here and can listen to the story on BBC Sounds by clicking on the first image.

Mr Page was also interviewed by BBC Wiltshire after the event. The interview is available for a limited time here and you can read a transcript of the interview here.

Thank you to all the parents and carers that supported their children through this endeavour and congratulations to all the young people that trained throughout the year in rain, snow and extreme heat! You always showed your Sheldon spirt and made us proud by being brave, being kind and being the best you!

Ten Tors was sponsored by the Sheldon Student Opportunity Fund. The SSOF provided a grant for the entry fees, a new mess tent, maps and individual tents (shared with our DofE programme). Without the continued support by our Sheldon community, we could not fund events like this. 
I didn’t realise until I was older that the things i learned weren’t all academic - I was shown how to be a better person and express myself due to some really amazing teachers.
Bethany Cole - Xbox Category Manager for Subscriptions and PC Gaming