Expedition training give students sense of pride

Durrington High School's red team said the sense of achievement on completing the task was what they valued the most
Durrington High School's red team said the sense of achievement on completing the task was what they valued the most

Students from Durrington High School are working on their bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

A total of ten teams have completed practise hikes over the South Downs, giving them a chance to demonstrate the 20 different elements they have been learning since January.

During after-school sessions, the students have learned skills such as map reading, teamwork, use of hike tents and stoves, first aid, how to pack a rucksack and good menu choices.

Six teams set off on May 5 and 6, the hottest early May bank holiday in ten years, and coped well with being out in the blazing sun for six to nine hours each day.

The other four teams set off on May 12 and 13 in totally different conditions, facing constant drizzle and wind all weekend.

The students hiked from Patcham or Stanmer Park to meet at Plumpton College, where they camped overnight, and the next day they headed back to their start point.

Members of the red team said they enjoyed getting to know other people in their year group, playing cards and laughing and joking while they rested in the evening, but it was the sense of achievement on completing the task that they valued the most.

All the teams will be heading off for the award hike on July 7 and 8, having learned to take only the essentials and distribute the weight more evenly between them.

The students will also need to take part in volunteer work and learn a new skill to complete the bronze award.