Earlier this year, 12 Year 12s took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Gold award, which was once again a bigger group than the year before. Half the cohort had done bronze and silver previously, while the rest had limited experience. Indeed, two students had never done an expedition before! The practice took place in the Lake District over five days and four nights during the Spring Term, and was far more challenging than expected. Students found the step up difficult, but persevered and achieved great results with only a few navigational errors. This practice really built up their levels of resilience – one student even needed a specialist blister doctor!

In September, it was time for the assessed expedition, with the same twelve students (now in Year 13) heading to the Brecon Beacons. The conditions were unbelievably difficult, with Trip Leader Mr West saying afterwards that it was the worst weather ever seen on a DofE expedition. Wet, windy and cold, these five days and four nights demanded extraordinary levels of resilience and determination. However, the group had a great mentality and indeed never got lost throughout the expedition. There were lots of logistical challenges which were dealt with expertly. Ultimately, all students passed their award – a great achievement! Well done to the boys – Dhanvi Bharadwaj, Alec Brundle, Kacper Dzienisik, Arnav Gupta, Isa Khan, Ross McQueen, Danut Minecan, Aadi Mudhar, Dara Razaghi, Remoon Saliba, Shaan Tailor and Diallo Williams.


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