A group of Flintshire high school students enjoyed a weekend on expedition in the Welsh countryside as part of their Duke of Edinburgh programme, which has resumed at the school after three years due to the pandemic.

The Flint High School students, all completing the Bronze Award, meet once a week after school to work towards the targets they have set for themselves, and learn practical skills to help them prepare for their expedition.

Thirty-five Year 10 and 11 students took part in the two-day expedition around Llangollen, which involved a variety of skills, such as: map reading, stove safety, first aid, emergency procedures, route planning and the countryside code. The trip also gave them an opportunity to learn about planning food for an expedition and how to use various pieces of equipment.

Read more: More class acts in the School Report

Year 11 students who stay on at the school's sixth form will have the chance to complete their Silver Award in the next academic year, and the Gold Award the year after.

To achieve their 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). For the Gold award, there is also a residential element.

Phill Dowle, teacher of science and lead teacher of medical science, is the DofE co-ordinator at the school and has been responsible for encouraging students to participate.

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, encourage them to believe in their abilities, and work as a team.

Read more: Schools invited to join Royal Run in aid of hospice

"The behaviour, effort and attitude on the expedition was exemplary; they supported each other throughout the weekend, whether on the hike, putting up a tent, or cooking. I hope to see many of the students join up to the Silver Award in the future."

Dylan Torres and Olivia Francis-Owen, both Year 10, were excited to take part in the expedition and are looking forward to the next level.

Dylan said: "It was painful at times but overall, I enjoyed the experience and I have learned so much," and Olivia added: "It's a great challenge and I can't wait to take part in the Silver Award with my friends."

Year 11 students Nia Lovatt and Kallie Craig will join the sixth form in September. Nia said: "I enjoyed the Bronze expedition so much that I can't wait to do it at a more difficult level in Silver," and Kallie said: "I enjoyed the challenge we faced while doing Bronze, so I am looking forward to completing Silver."