Posted: Tue 21st May 2024

Flintshire students qualify for Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award after expedition

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

A group of students are excited to gain their first Duke of Edinburgh Award after a qualifying expedition camping and hiking in the Welsh countryside.

Thirty three Flint High School students from years 9 and 10 took part in the weekend expedition, and worked together in smaller groups of 4 to 7 to navigate their way on several hikes around the Llangollen area, carrying all their equipment with them. 

After months of preparation, which involved learning to read maps, route planning, how to cook on a Trangia stove, emergency procedures, first aid skills, and completing their eDofE profiles, the students were well equipped to take on the challenge. 

Phill Dowle, teacher of science and lead teacher of medical science, is the DofE manager at the school and has successfully encouraged students to participate in the programme over the years.  

He said: “The students have really benefited from the DofE programme, as it has given them opportunities to make friends, develop new skills, increase their resilience, as well as encouraging them to believe in their abilities and work as a team. 

“The behaviour, effort and attitude on the expedition was exemplary; they supported each other throughout the weekend, whether on the hike, striking a tent or cooking.  They also learnt how to communicate and have fun without mobile phones due to there being no phone signal.

 “I would like to say a huge congratulations to them all for achieving their Bronze award, and I hope to see many of the students join up to the Silver or Gold award in the future.”

To achieve their DofE awards, students must complete four areas of activity: volunteering (giving up time to help others in the local community), skills (improving a skill or learning a new one), physical (improving fitness levels) and expedition (hiking and camping).  

The feedback from the students following the expedition has been hugely positive.

Nathan Burrows said: “My favourite part of the expedition was the scenery; even when I had blisters, I still enjoyed the views. I developed my stamina the most with the physical section which I was glad about for the expedition.”

Darcey Ellis added: “For my volunteering I was coaching children’s football and loved seeing how they developed their skills. During the expedition I loved spending time with my friends doing something different. The social side was excellent!”

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