During the summer break, two Duke of Edinburgh expeditions trekked off to complete their Gold Award. The first group set off to Connemara, in Ireland, where in true Irish Fashion the rain poured down as the team attempted to set up camp. A long day of difficult terrain, tricky navigation and soggy camping followed. The final practice day didn’t quite go to plan as the group set off in the wrong direction from the start! With the weather refusing to lighten up and bodies becoming tired, the school minibus eventually rescued the pupils, though not for lack of grit and determination. The real expedition, though also tough, was packed with stunning scenery and the chance to camp on a beach. A challenging but memorable trip and the pupils even managed to squeeze in a trip to the famous Guinness Factory…”when in Ireland!”

A second Duke of Edinburgh trip took place in the much sunnier Lake District. The pupils hiked nearly 80km in four days. Caz Hatchell, the trip leader, said: “I loved this trip, we had ideal weather for hiking.” – Unlike the Ireland Trip! -“All finished the expedition in one piece and are really proud of themselves.” The group looks forward to receiving their gold award at St James Palace next year.