The Award equips young people for life and work.

Not all learning happens in the classroom. Young people need experiences outside the classroom to become committed, responsible and fulfilled citizens of the world.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is available to all 14-24 year olds and is the world’s leading youth achievement award. It equips all young people for life regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills and interests. Doing the Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others; it pushes young people to their personal limits and recognises their achievements consistently.

Since its launch 60 years ago, the Award has inspired millions of young people to transform their lives. Through non formal education, the Award can play a critical role in a young person’s personal development and is achievable by any 14-24 year old who wants to take up the challenge. You can find out more here

Duke of Edinburgh – ‘Alpujarra’

For our final Assessed Expedition of the Year, we took 4 teams to Sierra Nevada’s Alpujarra. The Silver award team set off on the Thursday from Lanjaron and camped in the ‘wild’ at Finca Montana, the home of the International Mountain Leaders (Mike and Jane of Sierra Nevada Guides) who acted as our Assessors for this Expedition. The rest of us spent the night camped just above Lanjaron. 

On the Friday morning two Bronze award teams set off from Lanjaron and trekked upward to Puente Palo, a designated wild camping spot 1800 M up in the mountains. The third Bronze Team was driven to Capileira from where they too trekked to Puente Palo.  Friday night saw the arrival of some very tired students and supervisors at Puente Palo and a suitably early night.  

Saturday saw the Silver team complete their journey by walking to Capileira, with the two Bronze Teams walking to Soportujar and the third to Lanjaron. 

All teams managed to meet the requisite standards for their Awards, and most surpassed them. As ever, a huge thank you to our volunteers; Mr Brian Bannister, Mr Iain Mitchell, Mr Stephen Mirfield, Mr Antony Cockings, Mrs Sharon Powell and her husband Mark, who have provided the students with unstinting support, encouragement and direction. Great job all.

Onwards and upwards.

Mr Shaw


Sierra Castril

This month we took four student Teams to Sierra Castril for their Practice Expedition. The weather forecast predicted to be brisk on the day of arrival and sure enough, as we alighted the coach and began the 8km walk into the base of the valley, it snowed briefly. The students took it all in their stride however, and made good time into camp. The campsite provided us a warm meal that night and a fireplace, for which we were all grateful.

The next two days saw each team being assessed. With the students walking some truly beautiful terrain. The evenings were spent with their teams either in their tents or round the fire. All the teams demonstrated reasonable skills at their Award level and, with a few caveats, all will be allowed to progress to the final assessed Expedition taking place in April.

Well done boys and girls, keep practising!

Also many thanks to the global family of volunteers, without whom the Award simply could not exist.

Mr Shaw



You can find out more here