The Duke of Edinburgh award is one of the world’s leading youth achievement awards and is a highly respected award. It is made up of four section which are skills, physical, volunteering and the expedition, apart from the expedition which lasts for two days, you have to spend three months on two section and six months on one section.

I asked students who were participating how they have found the DofE experience so far:

'It has opened doors up to so many new opportunities through the different sections e.g. giving back to the local community for volunteering; makes me feel more productive and helpful and gives me something to look forward to each week. The physical section helps make changes to lifestyles e.g. I stopped doing sport for a while but DofE has helped me get back into it which I personally think helps me physically as well as mentally. It's a sense of enjoyment as it gives you something to look forward to, that being the expedition. The experience is enjoyable as you're constantly creating memories whether that be through meeting new people through volunteering or enjoying the time with friends. It really puts skills to use, for example, the mapping out of routes. It's something that you know will stick with you as you get older especially through narrating event to friends, family etc. definitely not a waste of time and no regrets in choosing to take part. Would recommend even if it's just for the experience' Azra M said.

'I really enjoy doing it as it pushes me to do different things that I wouldn't usually consider, for instance helping an elderly person. I also really love it as you focus on your health as well as other people's. I have been going to the gym once and week and have started to feel healthier and more awake and ready. I am also really excited for the excursion which is in two weeks. I'm nervous about what it could be like but I like the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone.' Daisy C, year 10 student.

'I'm really enjoying doing my DofE volunteering, skills, and physical as it as an interesting way of making new friends and becoming more physical. I am particularly excited for the expedition as I think it will help me develop new leadership skills for the future. I am extremely happy that I signed up for the DofE as it is a new experience that not many people have the opportunity to enjoy.' Daisy M, year 10 student.

'I enjoy DofE because it creates a lot of options and activities for me when choosing what do for my skills and what not to do' Eleanor Warren, year 10.

'So far, I have found doing my DofE sections a fun way to express myself and I have been able to pursue interests that I never thought about before. It's been great to meet new people and try new things!' Amritha, year 10.

Ryan T who has already gone on the expedition expressed his opinions and said, 'It was very hard on the first day cause I've never done something like it before and I'm scrawny but the next day I was completely used to it and it was a whiz."

Princess Nwafor

Dartford Grammar School for Girls