Thursday evening saw the School’s annual celebration of our students’ success in achieving their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the World’s largest award programme for young people and the School runs a programme at the three levels of the Award; Bronze, Silver and Gold. The evening recognises the hard work and achievement of the students over the last year.
The theme of the evening was “Expeditions”, one of the four elements of the Award. In the first part of the programme Ellie Robey presented a group who had completed their Bronze Award and talked about the various elements of training they had to complete in order to prepare for their expedition. Following this, Bonita presented the students with their Bronze Award certificates.
Next was the Silver Awards, and a group of students spoke about their experiences on the expeditions last year. They spoke about the hardships and the fun that can be had on expedition from the point of view of those who have actually completed it. Certificates were presented to the successful students by Bonita.
A special Award to a group of Gold students who had shown a truly amazing degree of improvement between their two expeditions took place next. Supervisors had never seen such turnaround in focus, attitude and determination and felt that this should be recognised. A group of Gold students made a presentation of the aim of their expedition in the Lake District. This was in the form of a video set to musicto which they sang. It was very well received but may not be a Eurovision contender. Successful Gold students receive their certificates from The Duke of Edinburgh at one of the royal palaces but on this night were given certificates so that we all had the opportunity to celebrate their success.
During the evening our guest speaker, Bonita Norris gave a talk about her experiences, from becoming interested in mountaineering to her ultimate goal of climbing Everest. Her talk was at times funny, moving and above all truly inspirational. Her theme of “Taking one step at a time” and “You can achieve more than you think” was particularly relevant to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award but also to many other aspect of life and I am sure her amazing talk struck a chord with the whole audience.
This year has been very successful for the School with a total of 78 awards, 35 Bronze, 29 Silver and 14 Gold. This shows the hard work of our students and the commitment and dedication of the ever growing team of staff from within and outside the School who give, not only their knowledge and experience but also their time to support and encourage the students.
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