Solihull School students enjoyed a day of pure gold when they received their Duke of Edinburgh awards at St James’ Palace.
Gold awards were presented by Linda Barker, star of BBC’s Changing Rooms, in the presence of the Duke himself to no less than 17 pupils past and present from the independent school for boys and girls in Warwick Road.
They were among 29 who had completed all the challenges to qualify at gold level and among 50 who had taken part in expeditions from the School last year.
The students showed their initiative and self-reliance in activities ranging from 50-mile ventures in Snowdonia to night sailing around the Isle of Wight.
They undertook the volunteering element of the award in National Trust reserves and some even travelled to India to work in hospitals and orphanages.
Key to the success of the assessed ventures was Solihull School’s Mountain Cottage in Snowdonia, with groups able to camp in its grounds and teachers able to use the facility as a base to track them on the ground.
Owen Bate, Teacher in charge of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, said: “Having so many students complete their gold ventures is unprecedented. The combination of terrain, weather conditions and distance made the Snowdonia ventures especially tough – and for all pupils to complete them was exceptional.”
He added: “Pupils gaining gold awards with our support and encouragement have enhanced both their personal development and their job prospects.”