An enthusiastic cohort of students has joined MEPI this year, who have already shown motivation and drive to challenge themselves within the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award programme.

The students were introduced to the four sections of the programme; Service, Adventurous Journey, Skill, and Physical Activity. The programme provides young people with a framework to develop life skills that enable them to deal with the challenges that life provides. The MEPI Award is a balanced award, which is undertaken voluntarily, is non-competitive, progressive, and fosters personal and social development. The Award is inclusive, and achievable by any individual who is willing to set themselves a challenge, and (with guidance and encouragement) has the persistence to strive to reach those goals. This year at BISL, students have been working at the Bronze level.

Whilst three of the sections are more individual challenges, the Adventurous Journey Expedition is very much a team undertaking. Therefore we have enjoyed a variety of team building sessions, that include both soft skills and more practical skills required for a successful expedition. This includes a team building walk to Disc Golf, Tivoli park orienteering, Šmarna Gora hike, tent pitching practice and Trangia camp stove cooking skills sessions.

All students completed a First Aid course with the Red Cross, and Taja and Chloe from Year 13 organised the book and barter event.

Our participants are working hard towards achieving their personal goals, with some participants already close to finishing some of their sections. They have continued volunteering - Zoja writes articles for the school's weekly newsletter, Isabella helps in Year 3 lessons, Eva and Nika volunteer in their family clinic every week. We are also proud of Taja, who has fully completed the Silver level of the Award. We look forward to celebrating this in an appropriate fashion before the end of the academic year.

It has been a pleasure seeing their improvements in map reading and compass skills, which was most evident in our most recent training in Škofja Loka. The students have also successfully completed the route card and overall planning for their practice Adventure Journey.

Ms Tušar has also been present on radio, promoting the MEPI award to all listeners of the national station Slovenia 1. Participants from all over Slovenia spoke about their experiences, and Ms Tušar shared her thoughts on being a MEPI mentor.

Continuing with MEPI this year, we are looking forward to completing the practice journey in the first week of Block 6, and then later in the year the participants will complete the qualifying expedition. Of course, all of this will be posted on social media, so keep an eye out for pictures of these exciting upcoming events!