Students are feeling on top of the world after successfully completing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award practice expedition - as they start the countdown to the real thing.
Fourteen sixth-form students from Years 12 and 13 travelled to the Peak District for the practice expedition, which saw them navigate their route over challenging mountain terrain and fend for themselves in the remote rural location.
The expedition took place from Saturday to Tuesday with the aim of giving students the chance to hone their navigation skills ahead of their real DofE Gold Award expedition to the Lake District later this month.
Students each carried a 70-litre rucksack containing their clothes, food and sleeping bags for the duration of the expedition and had to set up three camp sites and cook for themselves. They scaled three peaks, including the 462m-high Win Hill and 517m-high Mam Tor whilst also hiking 604m up Kinder Scout as part of their expedition, which started at Ladybower Dam and finished at Hope Valley.
Mr C.Moody, who runs Highfields’ Duke of Edinburgh’s programme and accompanied the students on the expedition, said: “It was a fantastic experience which gave our students the chance to hone their navigation skills ahead of the real expedition at the end of the month.
“It is really hard work, with students having to navigate their route whilst carrying a heavy rucksack containing everything they need.
“They worked as a team and did an incredible job. Their resilience and commitment was superb and if they all perform to the same level in the Lake District they will all achieve the Gold standard for their expedition unit.”
The trip comes just weeks after sixth-form student Chloe Tolley travelled to Buckingham Palace to be presented with her prestigious DofE Gold Award.
She was one of a number of Gold Award holders invited to the special palace presentation, which was organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the international DofE programme.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s scheme was launched 60 years ago with the aim of inspiring, guiding and supporting young people in their self-development. The awards scheme challenges students and allows them to discover the world around them whilst providing them with invaluable skills and experiences to improve employment prospects.