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High school pupils from Lanarkshire pitch-in and put their outdoor skills to the test in Pentland Hills

A total of 19 youngsters from a high school in North Lanarkshire successfully completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition module, taking them one step closer to completing their award.

The third-year pupils at St Aidan's High in Wishaw worked in teams to navigate a route which took them through the Pentland foothills. They had to work independently to cook and to put up their tents. The uphill sections were most challenging, but they enjoyed the camaraderie and the friendships made.

Following the successful expedition, the group took responsibility for delivering an outdoor nature experience for the Thrive group which consisted of S1 pupils.

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The school's Thrive was set-up to support all year groups with their transitions, firstly from primary to secondary and subsequently through high school.

After setting up tents, the pupils delivered presentations on the abundant nature and wildlife found around the school grounds, such as roe deer and oystercatchers, and cooked a meal with the younger students.

S3 pupil Emma, said: “It was great to give the pupils a different experience outside of the classroom.”

Fellow pupil Loghan added: “I enjoyed interacting with the younger students and telling them about the wildlife”

Miss Elizabeth Donnelly, Principal Teacher of Nurture and Wellbeing, welcomed the opportunity to work in partnership with the DofE group. “It was wonderful to see all the students truly engaging in every aspect of the Nature Camp.

The youngsters put their newly learned skills to the test

"The students were amazing and worked well with their DofE leaders. They also discovered so much about working together in teams and developing their knowledge of the landscape which supports their accreditation for our THRIVE transitional award. It’s a green high five from everyone.”

The Thrive pupils Claire, Lauren and Hayley said: ” We enjoyed everything. We learned about the different types of trees, birds and nature in the school grounds. The S3 also made amazing pasta! Thank you, Mr O’Brien and S3”

Mr O’Brien has been very impressed with the progress of the group, which is the largest and youngest group that the school has ever taken through the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

He said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award is a valuable experience for pupils. They are challenged to go beyond the academic curriculum and use their skills in the real world. It is an award that is highly valued by employers and further education, as it shows that the young person has literally gone the extra mile.”

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