PUPILS from a special school pitched tents and planned routes as they completed a camping expedition.

Fitzwaryn School in Wantage, which teaches pupils aged three-19, has congratulated 11 students on completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

The group split into two teams to take on the bronze-level expedition this term, independently navigating their way to a campsite on The Ridgeway.

School administrator Angie Wilkins said: "After lots of practice back in school, pitching the tents and cooking dinner on camping stoves didn’t pose a problem.

"In total, students walked just over nine miles in very hot conditions, each carrying a day sack - a massive achievement.

"Students identified watching the brilliant sunset with friends as a highlight and one commented that the expedition had been the ’biggest achievement of his life."

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The team of explorers is now looking forward to a presentation evening in the autumn, when students will receive their awards.

Many schools run the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, which is open to youngsters from the age of 14 up to the age of 24.

It was created in 1956 by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and challenges participants to get fitter, go on expeditions and residential trips and get involved with their local communities.

According to an Ofsted report released in April, outstanding-rated Fitzwaryn began offering the DofE recently.

The report said: "The school's wider curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities meet pupils’ needs exceptionally well.

"The recent introduction of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a further example of leaders and teachers’ aspirations for pupils."

The school teaches about 100 pupils with special educational needs.