Pupils at Fountain Head House School, a co-educational school for children with special education needs based in Saltash, recently embarked on a day trip to Dartmoor to discover and practise age old wilderness navigational skills.
The day, led by Footsteps of Discovery, started off at Nattor (Sheepstor) near Ringmoor Cottage which overlooks Burrator Reservoir, with pupils arriving wrapped up in warm clothing and waterproofs, ready for whatever weather Dartmoor threw at them on the day.
As the day unfolded, pupils were able to have a go at map reading, pacing (working out how many steps each individual required to cover one hundred metres), taking compass bearings, den building and even fire starting.
Headteacher Thereza de Lucca said: “Learning to navigate is fun, it's also a great way to deepen your connection with the landscape around you, especially in wild, remote places where being able to recognise landscape features and vantage points is a key navigational skill”.
Thereza added: “We want our pupils to be able to enjoy the magic of Dartmoor, and other such natural, wild places, but with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to navigate their way back to safety if they did ever find themselves lost. Our pupils are typically very able when it comes to technology, but we want them to feel safe in the knowledge that if they did ever find themselves in a situation without GPS or sat nav, or potentially even phone signal or battery, that they could navigate their way back to safety using just a compass and a map”.