With the final expedition for The Duke of Edinburgh bronze award fast approaching, we've asked some students what they thought of the practice expedition a few weeks ago so we can see the difference after their final. They all did a great job and best of luck for the final.


On the 18th and 19th June, a group of year nine students took part in the Duke of Edinburgh practice expedition around Redditch and Bromsgrove. We were put into groups of five or six and given a map with a route to follow; each person in the group had a go at directing from one checkpoint to another. However, our group managed to get lost in a field because we went down the wrong path.
Despite us moaning about how much our legs hurt from walking it was a great experience and it was fun to have conversations and get to know people better. Monday was the most difficult day for my group considering we spent all day walking up hills and through fields. It took us about seven hours to get from the carpark to camp on Monday and then it took us about six hours to get back on Tuesday.
I think that the DofE is a good experience because we are learning to cook for ourselves, work together as a team and to be determined to finish the walk. Even though it was hard to carry heavy rucksacks it was amazing to get to know people better, to sort things out for ourselves and to just work hard to achieve something great. By Katie Wilson
The two-day walk was really challenging and the group and I got lost a couple of times, but when you get to the end of it, it felt so rewarding; even though we left with a few blisters and scratches. By Daniela
It was very tiring, but as we got to learn to read a map we got better at it. I will remember to bring less weight next time. I enjoyed the camp and cooking the food, and appreciated the chance to relax on the coach home. By Boyd
Day 2 was the toughest for me, but it was such a feeling of achievement at the end! By Isaac
It was a massive sense of achievement that I will never get again, even the part when we were chased by cows. By Alfie
I was so proud of our students when they tackled the challenge of the DofE expedition. Many of them had never tackled anything like this before. The packs seemed huge on the backs of some of them, but they kept on going despite the setbacks. A 10-minute sit down, a bit of a moan that they cannot walk another step�, a drink of water, and they were back on their feet marching on.
Once at camp, they pitched their tents, all mucking in to support each other. They cooked their own hot meal, some watched the World Cup match as well it was an England match! Others sat and talked or practiced athletics on the grass. They were up at the crack of dawn, and by 5.30 many were already preparing their breakfast. It was a challenge to see which team could check in first on their differing routes back. I would have liked to join them on the section down the massive section of canal locks at Tardebigge lock flight, but only managed to cover 4 locks before the teams were back on their feet to continue their journey. I am really looking forward to joining them on the final expedition in the last week of term. By Mrs Harrison

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