A group of Year 9 students had a very successful Duke of Edinburgh trip for their Bronze assessment. On Friday 23rd June, the students travelled to the New Forest in Hampshire where they stayed overnight at a local campsite. On arrival, they undertook a seven hour hike, carrying all of their equipment including tents. Despite getting lost a couple of times, and one group losing a shoe, they managed to get back on track to complete their hike. Once back at the campsite they then had to set up camp & cook their dinner using their trangias (portable stoves). Despite it being an extremely hot day - which added to the students’ challenge - every single student stayed upbeat throughout the experience.

All students got up at 6:00 am the next morning and repeated the gruelling task, but this time attempting a slightly tougher walk. Everyone managed to complete the route and meet at the pick up point to get the mini bus back to Kingsley Academy. Most slept all the way back.

A group of Year 12 and 13 students then undertook the Silver award on the 8th July in the Purbeck hills, Swanage. It was extremely hot and the terrain was tough, but all students worked together to get through the exhausting three day expedition. They all completed their final day and arrived at Swanage beach for fish and chips to celebrate completing the Silver award.

What the students had to say about their Duke of Edinburgh experience:

Matilda  "I didn't think I could do it, and almost gave up on my training expedition. Completing bronze was a massive sense of accomplishment and I am now doing silver."

Jack "It took me out of my comfort zone, I have never done anything like the DofE before, I am so glad I did."

Neeman "It was challenging and reading the maps was difficult at first, but when we finished it felt amazing."

Ariana "We learnt loads of skills during our training and throughout the expedition. It was worth all of the hard work and I can't wait to do silver"

Nathan  "the packs were heavy and we had to do everything ourselves, without help. I learnt how to cook in a trangia, it was hard but I enjoyed every minute"

Melfin "I lost my shoe in the swamp, but my team helped me and Dondup gave me his spare. I completed the second day in shoes three sizes too big but I made it! "

Ula "I had already completed bronze so knew what to expect. The hills were really difficult and it was so hot, but the landscape was beautiful and made it all worthwhile"

All students successfully passed their residential part of their award after learning how to use and read maps and how to use a compass, planning their own routes and arranging to meet supervising staff at various checkpoints. They will all receive their awards in November and many of them are now going to complete the Silver or gold award.

Kingsley Academy is thrilled to announce that we are now offering the bronze, silver and gold award, which means that students will have the opportunity to participate from year 9 - 13.

If you would like further information please contact our Duke of Edinburgh coordinator Sarah McCarron email: smccarron@kingsleyacademy.org

What is the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme?

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged from 14 to 25, regardless of personal ability.

The Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award consists of four sections: Expedition, Sport, Skill and Service. Each participant must complete each section in order to gain their Bronze Award.

It is a chance for young people to have fun, be outdoors and complete new challenges that will boost their confidence.

Activities include camping overnight, map reading, route planning, cooking outdoors and teamwork rather than competition.

Why participate in Duke of Edinburgh Award?

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is a real adventure. Every section gives you something different - you will develop new skills, make new friends and complete new challenges.

Achieving an Award will give you skills, confidence and a view on life that everyone is looking for, from employers to colleges and universities. It proves that you are able to commit to tasks, are good at teamwork and are up for a challenge.

In addition, you will get recognised for doing things you want to do (and may even be doing already).

Plus you will make a difference to other people’s lives and your community, be fitter and healthier, make new friends and have memories to last you a lifetime.

Above all, you will enjoy it!

The Bronze Award may only be the start as past Kingsley Academy students have gone on to complete their Silver and their Gold Awards.

Students start in Year 9 and complete the Award at the beginning of Year 10. Anyone can be involved, but there has to be a high level of after school commitment in order to complete the Award.