Prince William congratulated pupils for being the to complete a new character building course.

Year 9 pupils from Nightingale Academy, in Turin Road, Edmonton, completed the Trailblazer phase of the new Prince William Award.

Education charity SkillForce deliver the national character award aimed at transforming children in Key Stages 1 to 3 in Britain.

Principal Ann Palmer helped create the award that may one day be as important as the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Prince William sent a special recorded message from Kensington Palace to the school to congratulate the ten pupils.

He said: “I want to thank you for all of your effort, your energy and your enthusiasm - it means a great deal to SkillForce and to me!

“Since starting the Prince William Award, you will have challenged yourself to do things that you may not have thought were possible.

“For some of you, that may have been standing up and talking in front of your class for the first time, for others it might have been helping others or perhaps leading a community project.

“You have taken on a variety of challenges and dared to be your best.”

Nightingale Academy is one of a dozen schools in the United Kingdom to enrol in the pilot.

Developing resilience, responsibility, teamwork, endurance, respect, communication, leadership and listening skills are some of its aims.

In praising the youngsters, Ms Palmer, said: “Those of you who have completed the programme this year are part of history.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Award has helped young people to achieve marvelous things for many years.

“What is unique about you is that you are among the very first to have completed the Prince William Award and that’s a great achievement.

“When you leave us, this is certainly one of the things you can say to a potential employer, that you not only completed the award, but you helped to shape it from the very start.

“You have all grown as people and we are extremely proud of you.”

Former armed service personnel working for SkillForce as instructors help six to 14-year-olds develop skills through workshops and activities.

Eider Demir, 14, enjoyed learning about First Aid the most.

He said: “Knowing I could help to save someone’s life makes me feel like a hero.

“I feel very special and thankful to have been one of the few people selected to complete this award.”